This is my personal dream and my pet project (no pun intended). I have always loved dogs and I have had numerous dogs own me throughout my 56 years. We actually have eleven dogs in my household - two of them rescue dogs.
Safe Haven Dog Sanctuary will be a “Sanctuary”, a lifelong place for love and caring, not a
Our dogs and cats
will come from shelters, rescues and private parties all across America through our Safe Haven Rescue
They may be deemed "unadoptable", have medical issues,
have other behavioral challenges, have
grown old, have become a burden or have
just run out of time at a shelter.
If a dog is breathing, he or she qualifies
to come live here!
We will provide a permanent
home for truly "unadoptable" dogs - dogs that are out of options and are facing certain death.
a "Last Resort" for these dogs that have nowhere else to go.
These dogs are allowed to live
out their lives in safety and peace here at Safe Haven.
I am an advocate that no dog or cat should be placed in the peril of euthanasia, just because the shelter has run out of resources or an animal has run out of time!
We will be and always remain a NO KILL facility. We will allow adoptions after an extensive application and home background check has been conducted.
We Should Never Be a Dog’s
or Cat's First Choice ... When a
dog or cat has exhausted all its other options, still has no prospects, and is looking
at euthanasia as its only alternative, it is welcome here!
We are here for the animals that have been unable to find a good home,
despite the best efforts of the rescue community ... dogs and cats that have nowhere
else to go.
Sometimes, their behaviors prevent it from being adopted.
Sometimes, it’s a medical condition or age or even its breed.
adoptable dog has just run out of time at a shelter.
For many dogs and cats , we are their “Last
Resort.” We are their only chance to survive. We
Should Always Be the “Back-Up Plan” or the Last Resort ... We do not limit the kinds of
dogs or cats that can come here. Dogs and cats of any breed, any age, any behavioral or
medical issue are welcome.
We do not “evaluate” dogs or cats before
We accept dogs and cats who have failed evaluations at shelters
and rescues elsewhere.
will incorporate “Man’s Best Friend” into
therapy and other animal-assisted activities. Animal-assisted therapy uses dogs or other animals to help our
clients, the homeless, elderly and children recover from or better cope with
health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and mental health disorders as
well as substance/alcohol abuse and dual diagnosis.
Our Safe Haven PAWS for Joy Teams will visit many units in the hospital and always spend as long as needed with our
The dogs follow the directives of the on-site professionals
along with our mobile therapist and our trainer but the furry friend who visits weekly encourages, motivates, and makes
difficult tasks a bit more bearable.
" For the special needs child, the dog can serve in a therapeutic manner by serving as a social facilitator; as a symbolic vehicle for the expression of emotionally laden topics; as a focus of attention and as agents of de-arousal; as an object of attachment; as a source of social support; and as a living instrument for learning new skills, ways of thinking and behaving."
–Can Animals Help Humans Heal? University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, July 2004
For children with physical disabilities, Safe Haven PAWS for Joy Teams help with practical tasks such as retrieving dropped items, opening doors, and helping remove a jacket or pair of socks and shoes. The dogs can also help with physiotherapy routines. This practical assistance helps to build a level of independence and confidence in a child’s ability to do things for themselves.
Our Safe Haven PAWS for Joy Teams will
be a pet therapy program geared towards working with children who have
Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects children uniquely, so each child
is approached differently. The teams work with the on-site instructors and
therapists to address the goals of each child’s IEP. For children, ages 4-10,
who have difficulty relating to humans, interaction with animals is the perfect
half-step for learning to connect with others.
Petting or grooming dogs
satisfies the child’s need for repetitive action in a socially acceptable way,
and the dog responds to the child without requiring socially-mandated behaviors
such as words, smiles or handshakes and hugs.
A bond forms between the therapy
dog and child and allows the child to become more self-assured and curious
about his/her surroundings. Eventually, the child begins to reach out to people
with less trepidation.
Our Safe Haven Need to Read to Succeed Program
will be designed to help below grade level readers improve their skills.
The program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to or with a dog.
It might seem a bit silly to read to a dog, but canine reading programs are doing wonders for young students.
Children who might be embarrassed to read aloud to the class or even adults are likely to be less scared to read to a dog and our program will be used to encourage struggling readers to practice reading aloud. With the presence of a “calm and well-trained dog,” students will find social support and peer interaction.
On top of spending time with their favorite therapy dog, students will be offered incentives, including “pawtographed” books signed by their favorite authors . After reading 10 books, students earn a book stamped with the paw print of their favorite therapy dog.
Our Safe Haven Animal Therapy for Addiction Program
will help even the most broken and jaded person rediscover his or her deepest inner sources of compassion, which is an essential step for any addict who hopes to finally ascend from the pit of despair and shame that dominated his or her existence for so long.
Before those with a history of substance abuse can hope to find lasting sobriety, they must first rebuild their self-esteem to the point where they actually feel strong enough to accomplish difficult things and worthy enough to deserve the happiness and peace that was denied them during their years of battling against alcoholism or drug addiction.
This intensive and valuable program's mission is Finding Strength and Purpose in Love in fixing bodies, minds, and souls that have been damaged by abuse and neglect. Above all else, recovering addicts and alcoholics need something new and worthwhile to live for, and a commitment to caring for animals who have been cast aside can provide vital meaning and purpose where before there was only dependency and hopelessness.
As a proud veteran of the US Army Special Operations Command in the early
1980's, I was blessed to never have received a service related injury in all of
the 100 plus missions we were engaged in.
So the Safe Haven Salute to Honor Program will
be making service/assistance dogs available to the many service men and
women who are still suffering from the conflicts of war to help them lead
a more independent life.
Veterans whose primary disability is a mobility or hearing impairment as a
result of a combat injury during one of the more recent wars and conflicts are
eligible for the program.
We will be working with Veteran’s organizations, the Veteran’s
Administration and other organizations to ensure proper placement and will use
a selection process to evaluate veterans in need.
Once a service dog has been fully trained, the veteran will spend 12 days in
Birmingham, AL. Over the 10-day period at our training facility individuals
will work with and become accustomed to their service dog and the service dog
will become certified at the final day of training.
Air Compassion for Veterans will provide round-trip airfare free of charge
for any financially stressed, wounded veteran. For more information on this
program go to: www.aircompassionforveterans.org
Veterans who are interested in this new program and want an application
, please contact us on our website or email Pamela D Wray Biron at
Now that you have learned about our services and programs, let's talk about the sanctuary and facilities themselves.
Formerly a horse farm, the Sanctuary is in
the middle of 230 acres. Some of the original buildings will be utilized as a state of the art veterinarian medical and surgical center, training and staff administrative offices and to provide a climate controlled environment for our
Additions will be built for over 100 outdoor enclosures which will house the
two catterys (one with healthy, adoptable cats and the other with our FIV/Leukemia
cats and chronically ill dogs), the dogs (which live in communal groups of two to six), and our therapy horses.
For miles around there is no one, unless you count the
occasional tractor plowing the nearby farms or the infrequent sputtering of a
battered truck's exhaust. Instead, the days are punctuated by sounds of barking
dogs, meowing cats, the neighing of horses.
take in a variety of domestic animals who settle in and live out
their lives at our sanctuary if they cannot be adopted. Many of the animals are
terrified of people when they first arrive because of their traumatic
histories, but they soon learn that they are safe at the sanctuary.
We provide homeless companion animals with
unconditional life – food, shelter, love and life in a permanent, safe, and
healthy environment, despite special health needs or temperament. We seek
loving adoptive homes for our animals, but when adoption is impossible, the
animals live the rest of their natural lives at the sanctuary in the company of
other animals and human caregivers.
Transitional housing ( four bedroom houses) will be built and scattered throughout the property to provide shelter for our homeless, substance/alcohol abuse, domestic violence, at risk youth, homeless families with children and homeless veterans in the future.
SO GIVE A DOG AND A CAT A BREAK!
Help us make this dream a reality with donations of funds or products, volunteer your time or any other assistance that you can provide.
For further information, please contact us at the firstname.lastname@example.org or call Pamela D. Wray Biron at 205-834-6272.