BHRR’s – Aug. 16. 2004. – Mr. Arthur Zane – Oct. 28. 2014. – R.I.P.

Love to — BHRR/Kanata A.H. —

Gwen, Sean, Mason, Kinsley & Staff’s,

*Thank-You –ALL– !!!

For the *Special Gift we received on *Good Friday-2006.

Zane was attached to “Sean” that Easter w/e when we spent
the afternoon @ BHRR. & After “Arthur-The-5-th.” came to His new home in Toronto…Zane attached Himself to my Dad & became his shadow until yesterday morning.

**Thank-You “Sean/Gwen” for Your trust in us,
& Kanata A.H. for Your care of Mr. Arthur Zane too.

As “Gwen” would agree…”Zane” will always be remembered
as a –Delightful/Handful– in Our/Hearts…

****Thanks So -Ever- So Much “GWEN/BHRR” !!!

Love-Zane’s/Brother-XO-Black-Jack Joker/Heath,


& The-Rodgers’ -XO- Family.

Anonymous – Nomination #10 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

I nominate Gwen Boers of Birch Haven Rescue ( for the Heroic Heart Award. Gwen personifies both words Heroic and Heart. She has championed and saved hundreds of broken, abused, and neglected giant (and a few small) breed dogs over her almost 20 years ‘in the trenches’. She is the Hero to hundreds of animals and thousands of friends, family and volunteers. She gives her Heart completely over to every new animal, 100% without exception or compromise. It doesn’t matter if they are a puppy with a full life ahead of them or a senior; all are given the chance to find (many for the first time) the loving family they may not have ever had otherwise. Gwen doesn’t like to take much credit for her deeds, she likes to say we are all ‘links in the chain of success’ – but it is Gwen who organizes those links, forges them together, makes them strong, and does all the heavy lifting behind the scenes through the good and the heartache. There are many worthy people on your list already, but I hope you will give the small rescue, that does big things a chance. You see, many of the dogs Gwen takes in are not in good shape, physically and emotionally. These are not easily fixed and many cost thousands of dollars in vetting and rehabilitation, be it surgery, diet, exercise or medications. They all get whatever they need, no question. It is more important for Birch Haven to adopt a dog to the right home not any home, I think this is one of the best things about her program. Gwen also runs a Haven program, a palliative care hospice if you will. Dogs who have been deemed unsuitable for adoption (many due to severe medical problems) are given a wonderful home for the rest of their lives, no mater how long or short they have, they are all loved.        

Anonymous – Nomination #9 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

Gwen and her family/team are angels to animals. While a lot of rescues pride themselves in the number of animals they rehome, the BHRR team focuses on making sure the animal is 110% ready to even think about going to a new home before considering it – no matter how long that may take. They focus on the animals that most people would pass up knowing that it'll be tiresome and expensive rehabbing them. Special needs animals that a lot of people would euthanize are the animals they focus on and make these animals have amazing lives and they also provide to everybody that just because a dog is blind and/or deaf and/or has other issues, they can still be amazing family members. the price doesn't matter to them, the quality does. They even often pay for things out of their own pockets! I believe that nobody deserves this more than them! Nobody has a bigger heart than Gwen, after all, she rescues the Giants who have had their hearts hurt.             

BHRR’s Cosette’s Mom – Nomination #8 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

Gwen tirelessly works with giant breed dogs. She is just amazing in her work rehabilitating and finding the right matched homes for these wonderful creatures. Once a dog arrives at Birch Haven they are given everything they need including palliative care if that is what is necessary. Gwen is meticulous in making sure her dogs are placed in the perfect home. I have been fortunate to have one of these Birch Haven dogs. She has been with me a year and a half and came so well trained and mannered. This was a skinny dog who lived in a one room apartment and then abandoned at a shelter. Today she thrives and did so as soon as Gwen worked her magic. She is one of the good people out there. It is all about the dogs. I have participated in having special dates with a wonderful dog who could not be saved but had the best last few months being loved and knowing people care. Gwen took her on dates to visit people and other dogs, she received so much love and she flourished. It was wonderful to see and be a part of. It is not about being popular it is about doing what is right for the dogs and Gwen is a miracle worker.  

The Bethunes – Nomination #6 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

Gwen Boers goes above and beyond each and every day of the year. She rescues giant breed dogs and dogs with special needs (deaf, blind, senior, ill or injured) that other places don't take in for one reason or another. When a dog comes into her care, they get whatever they need, no matter if it's major surgery (such as a limb amputation) or simply a proper vet check-up and then spay/neuter. She is also a trainer and behaviourist and any dog that comes to her also gets complete emotional rehabilitation, as much as they need, for as long as they need. Gwen constantly gives of herself to all the dogs that come into BHRR. She has a HUGE heart and gives each and every dog all the love and care they need. Any dog that comes to her is very lucky indeed!              

K. Boers – Nomination #3 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

I am 11 and would like to nominate my mom, Gwen. To all the animals’ she has helped, she is their heroic heart hero. My mom is sincere, humble, full of integrity, selfless, a volunteer who works tirelessly and she is not only there for the animals and people of BHRR, yet, also for others. Gwen has said often, 'it is not about my rescue or their rescue, it is about all of us rescuing together and by doing so, more animals can be saved, making a bigger positive difference.’ My mom tells me that everyone involved is part of that *chain of success*. Another thing is that Gwen lives by quality over quantity. My mom leads by wonderful example, has operated, BHRR – a Giant Breed dog and Horse Rescue – since 1996, and, is quite respected. Gwen is passionate and, she focuses on the special needs. Yet, she will always, take in the next in need, no matter size, age, colour, sex, breed, medical condition if she has a spot. She even has an amazing BHRR Haven program for animals that are deemed not adoptable. I am proud of my mom for she is here 24/7 for all of her Volunteers and helps others outside of BHRR. She makes every person and animal feel valued. My mom takes in the animals that many others will not or cannot and these animals can often have bills up to $10,000. She stands strong for animal welfare such as trying to help a dog in a car left in a store parking lot back in 2013, that received much publicity. She is also the creator of the ‘Freedom Dogs Unite’ Fb page, founded when the PRU puppymill bust happened and, still volunteers at the emergency shelter, yet, also wanted an educational support page to keep creating awareness. While others sleep, my mom is answering requests trying to find spots for dogs in other programs when her own group has none. She does not just say *no*. Gwen works hard on educating the public to do the right things. She visits schools and she has a walking group that brings other responsible dogs lovers together, to support each other plus network. The adoption success rates for BHRR are paralleled by none. 100% for over 10 years and now 99%. It is about each and every animal that comes my mom's way getting everything done the right way each time. She has a Masters degree, is finishing up her Doctorate and she belongs to many organizations including doing animal disaster relief efforts and does this to help improve animals’ lives. She has also been to places like Mexico to volunteer after being invited to lend her expert hands and is now invited to Costa Rica and DR. Hero’s can wear many hats and sometimes the most heroic ones in rescue are the quiet ones that are also great mom's plus inspiring role models to little girls like me.              

Anonymous – Nomination #2 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

I would like to nominate Gwendilin Boers. There is much on the website that talks about all the wonderful plus much needed things done daily at BHRR. I would like to talk about some of the things that people may not commonly know that this wonderful woman does in addition to all of the special needs dogs plus horses others either can or will not assist over the past close to 19 years with BHRR, including in their Haven Program, a real heaven sanctuary for animals for life. For over 15 years now, she has helped women in domestic abuse situations, by taking in their pets free of charge, providing food, shelter, complimentary training, love and even pays for Vet Bills, so that women can leave(often with their children) abusive situations. A staggering number of women will not leave these home situations as they have pets. Gwen steps up to the plate, all behind the scenes, quietly doing what needs to be done and, she will even drive through the night to help. She will bring hot meals to these women/kids, drop off clothing and, brings the dogs for visits so that the family can stay connected. She even circulates resumes to help these women find work. She has also helped more than one animal, right out of her own pocket whose Owners who could not afford to vet their pets, just so that the homes could keep their cats or dogs or horses and, even exotics. She helps other rescue organizations with transport, vet bills, free behavioural consults, home-visits, company in the middle of the night be it at home or in an emergency animal hospital and cross-posting etc.. She helps people who take in animals on their own, who are not affiliated with any registered rescue with Vet Bills making sure that they are vetted including altered. Over 7 years ago, Gwen created, what has now become the largest microchip clinic in Canada due to the importance of trying to see more cats and dogs find their way home if lost or stolen. She takes in dying dogs that owners will say they will shoot or hang as they think that is the best way to put them to sleep, and, Gwen will humanely let them go and, pay all of the bills. These are some of the things that one may not find on the BHRR website or be aware that Gwen does in addition to all the rest of the Volunteer duties she fulfills with her rescue work as the Founder plus President at Birch Haven. She is a rescue angel…a true hero. Doing what needs to be done, as hard as it has to be. She saves animals yet, she also saves people.       

Anonymous – Nomination #1 For Global Pet Foods Heoric Heart

I have only known Gwen for a short time yet I have yet to see a woman with so much love in her heart both for humans and animals. She founded Birch Haven Rescue in 1996, a rescue for giant breed canines and equines, with a special focus on special needs, such as blind, deaf, abused, and injured. Dogs that are not deemed adoptable have found their forever home in her haven program and have a safe place to live out their lives. Last fall, my husband and I had the absolute pleasure of attending one of the many in house events and got to meet some of the most beautiful, well behaved dogs we have ever seen. We fully expected to be led to a kennel outside the house to meet the dogs but we're totally astounded to find that they all lived in the house and were part of the Boers family. We were totally humbled by the fact that this wonderful Boers family had sacrificed so much to be able to save these beautiful animals. It humbles me to no end to see that her lovely children are the first to make sacrifices by giving up their allowances to help a dog in rescue. Gwen never ceases to amaze me at how far she will go to obtain an animal she thinks is worth rescuing regardless of how injured or abused it might be. She fights tooth and nail to be heard and there are no limits to how far she will go to save a dog in trouble. She has a big support team behind her as well that are willing to help when needed. Gwen is also involved in educating the public about responsible ownership. This is such an important part of the Birch Haven program. So many dogs are returned because their owners have no idea of how to handle them or what is needed to make their pets the best they can be and not set them up for failure. Gwendilin Boers is a friend to all, whether it be human, or animal. She is a voice for the voiceless and in my opinion, she deserves this heroic heart nomination for all the wonderful work she has done and continues to do for rescue.

A. Thornback

Love the work that you do, so thankful that there are loving/caring people like you and all of your volunteers out there.  My partner and I are animal lovers who have taken in many rescues over the years we've been together. Will send you a pic of my four legged furballs.  Best wishes to you and your organization!

Nevenka Rene

Thank you for everything you're doing. I know how much time and love giant breeds do request. I lost my Dane in February, this is my way to honor his memory and our ten years together.

Thank you again for all the amazing work you and yours are doing.



E. White, Ottawa, ON

Thank YOU, for everything you do and being such an inspiration. I wish that I could give more, and one day (hopefully soon) I will!


Demi Leclair

Hi there,

  I recently found your rescue online and I was wondering if you guys are looking for any new volunteers. I got my first Great Dane, Moose, a year and a half ago and I never knew I could love a dog this much! I think what your rescue stands for is great and that it's really important to bring awareness to the issues and benefits of owning a giant breed so that less dogs end up being surrendered or abandoned. I am graduating from university in April and volunteering with your rescue would be a great way to spend the extra time I'll have once I've graduated.


Demi Leclair

Lindsay Barbosa, Ontario

Here is a truly lovely 'PAY IT FORWARD' VIDEO Entry made by a lovely soul who adopted BHRR's Apollo from BHRR. I added it to his 'Reality' section on our website also. I have shared it with his approved temp foster home that took such wonderful care of him when he was ready to be temp fostered post surgery/rehab.

Deeply touched, humbled and moved daily by the support that continues to be given to BHRR from new and old incredible believers daily!

THANK You Lindsay Barbosa for opening up your heart plus home to a BHRR doggie in need of one to call their very own!

Hazel T, Ontario

Hi Gwen, 

Just sent Birch Haven an email transfer to celebrate my birthday and 2 years with Handsome Holden!   : )

It was 2 years ago on Feb 17th that he came to stay and he is now an extrovert!  😉

Thanks so much for saving our boy!  He is amazing!

Dörte Mayer


First of all I like to take my hat off for the special work you and your Volunteers are doing and if I would live closer you might consider me a Volunteer as well

Angel Noelle

It was such an honour to meet Angel Noelle. I had to go outside and cry privately my tears of joy. She is an amazing spirit and a true testament to what BHRR does best. There must be some magic at the Boer’s house.
Dawn S


!!! CONGRATS !!!





Keep On Charming The Top of The MORN !!

*Gwen & Sean/Family !!!

–> LOVE – BHRR’s/ZANE etc…

cynthia graham

I am not sure about this section
I have been on your site many times so I thought I should
sign in the guest book
Gwen .. I had spoken to yu on the phone about
Aslan (I am not ready emotionally yet)
so… I am just signing guest book


My name is Megan.  I feel that because I have just spent the better part of my day perusing your site and looking at your dogs and all the fine work you do, that I should do more.   I am absolutely in love with Bishop 😉  (and many others!!) 

I think what you are doing is so amazing!  I would like to help in some way with food, etc.  I'd like to make some donations…may not be much, but I see there is a huge need to keep things running.  Please let me know if there is anything other than just monetary contributions that I can send or if I can help in some other way.  

I look forward to hearing from you…and maybe someday I'll get to meet the Bishop!!

Thanks for your time, 



Megan B

W. Royer, Orleans, ON

We are soooo happy with Spice and so thankful for everything you did for her!