Serving the St. Louis and surrounding communities.
A Family Affair: Elizabeth and Ben Niven
Dogs have always been my passion. At age 10, my best friend was my dog Polly, a
humane society special. We won an obedience contest at the fair. As an adult, I had the
dream job of being the public relations and development director at the Animal Protective
Association for many years. I left there and worked professionally as a dog trainer and
behaviorist. I then founded a group, Canine Rescue. It eventually became Dogwood Farm
Sanctuary, which is dedicated to providing care for unwanted dogs and cats, rehoming
animals when possible and educating the public on responsible pet ownership. During
this time, I served as the "dog lady" on a nationally syndicated radio show for four
years and then hosted a local radio show on animals for eight years. I received the
Hardees Hometown Hero award in animal welfare. I have been featured talking about
animal issues by Real Simple, vetcentric.com and scores of other electronic and
print media. I am active in the St. Louis animal community and continue to work
in media and marketing.
Ben and Litzsinger Kennel
Ben Niven is the son of Sue Hawxhurst and grandson of Pete Litzsinger. For more than 40
years, Litzsinger Kennel provided boarding and training services near New Melle. When
Sue retired in May of 2003, we already were in the process of building the Dogwood Farm
facility. We welcome Litzsinger clients and have been pleased with the number
of former Litzsinger customers who have "made the leap." Many of you know Ben, and he
remembers your dogs as well. We do not offer retriever or obedience training; we prefer
to concentrate on taking care of the boarding dogs and exercising all the dogs in our
care on a daily basis. Ben works full time at the kennel and is here every day.
These other dogs are our Dogwood Farm Sanctuary dogs.
Since our Sanctuary dogs are permanent residents, they have gravel yards and access to those yards
at all times. Our dogs live in groups depending on temperament, age and activity levels
(we rotate them through our house as well). All the dogs have been rescued from shelters
or from the side of the road, and all have their own unique story and reason for living
here. We have a large number of geriatric dogs, which is quite challenging. Two-thirds
of our dogs are more than 10 years old. The majority of them have
been here most of their lives and will continue to live in the comfort and companionship
of the dogs and people that they know.
We have ducks, chickens, horses and cats. Our cats live in the small building just west
of the kennel, where we will also board cats as the need arises.