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Tonya G.
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Rating: 5

Hard at Work.

posted 6 years ago

My sister wanted a shelter dog, so I told her to go and see what Safe Haven had to offer. I decided to tag along. Safe Haven is located out in the country on some farm land. A kind farmer donated a barn for the facility to run on. It is set up nicely. The cats are able to roam in and out side with comfortable space and bedding, and the dogs each have their own kennel with bed and are also allowed to go in or out. The staff (or volunteers) were very helpful with the selection of my sister's new pet. We were able to take the dogs out and to a separate larger kennel to see the personality and bonding of each dog. The only downfall to this shelter is that they are quickly running out of room because they accommodate the needs of several small towns. Thank god for foster families because there is really no more room for anymore dogs.... Let's just say my sister ended up with a new companion and I have ended up volunteering my time to help in any way I can. I hope others near this shelter will either help by donations, supplies, fostering or just some time.... it is always needed.

Pros: Set up nice for both cats and dogs.

Cons: Running out of room

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.

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Kandi B.
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Rating: 5

Safe Haven is exactly that!

posted 5 years ago

I found Safe Haven on Petfinder.com. I immediately fell in love with the picture of the little 'Joey' that was posted. His story was heartbreaking and joyous all at the same time. He was one of a litter of pups who were in a cardboard box on a farm being sold for $5.00 apiece. A woman stopped to inquire and purchased one of Joey's siblings. The farmer pressed her to purchase more. When she said she was only interested in one, he informed her the ones who didn't sell would be shot. How sad that someone would have so little care for the life of these precious puppies, but how miraculous that there was someone to save them! The woman called Safe Haven. Safe Haven immediately went and retreived the pups and asked to also take their mother who was not fixed. The farmer refused, but allowed the puppies to go. The next day he called back and asked them to also take the mother...which they did. Joey was taken to a foster home and his photo was put on Petfinder. His foster mom, Val told me later that she had several inquiries about Joey, but no one seemed like a fit for him. She was distressed about it, but late one night (I think it was close to 10:00) I submitted my application to adopt Joey. Val said she knew right away that she didn't adopt Joey out because she knew someone would come along who was perfect for Joey (like us!). We took the kids and drove over an hour to meet him. He was an affectionate, sweet puppy who immediately won ours hearts. We left already remorseful that we had to leave him behind while we went through the screening process. My husband went back and retrieved Joey as soon as possible. We spent days with the kids trying to figure out the "perfect name" for him. In the end we kept Joey...(Safe Haven had already chosen the perfect name) He has amazing height in his jump and he is an Austrailian Mix, so how fitting to be a 'Joey'! Safe Haven required us to have Joey neutered as terms of the adoption and even gave us a voucher for a discount. He was microchipped and we provided proof of his neutering from our veternarian (who honored his discount..thanks Family Pet Vet in West Branch!) Later that summer, they held a family reunion for the adopted dogs where Joey was reunited with his brother J.J. Safe Haven is a loving responsible group of people, who truly love the animals they have the grace of helping. It is my honor to review them!

Pros: Very forever home oriented. Thorough screening of applicants, they really care where these animals go!

Cons: They don't have enough room! Their hearts are bigger than the barn allows! But the ones who get there well taken care of while they find a foster.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

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Judy W.
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Rating: 5

Makeover is NOW!

posted 5 years ago

Opportunities for small rural animal rescues and shelters are few and far between. The Zootoo Million Dollar Make-Over is a one in a million opportunity. Unlike urban areas where adoption and pet ownership are vogue. Rural Iowa often wrestles with age-old notions that these are "farm" animals. Although many individuals are catching up and now know that animals are part of our family and not livestock. Our infrastructure is not there. This is where the makeover and creating a model for rural areas around the country is a one in a million opportunity.

Safe Haven is proof of what a few people with a good idea can do. This young shelter is committed to humane, positive animal care as well as volunteer and community training. Safe Haven excels in community building, training and creating stimulating environments to care for these animals!

I believe that in addition to doing great work in Iowa County, Safe Haven can create a model that we can share with small, growing and start-up shelters around the country using grassroots efforts.

With the support of Zootoo, thousands of animals will be saved and joined to loving homes in Iowa County. If we can develop a good model that is shared with others, these numbers will be exponential.

I'd love to see with Zootoo's financial and technical assistance and Safe Haven's passion the creation of a program that includes facilities for the animals, a strong foster program, training for animals in the community and shelter and educational opportunties for the area. I am proud to be able to be a part of it!!

GO SAFE HAVEN! and thank you Zootoo!

Pros: Great staff, amazing animals and volunteers!!!!!!!

Cons: need a shelter makeover!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

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Peg L.
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Rating: 5

They've opened my eyes!

posted 5 years ago

I started volunteering at Safe Haven about 18 months ago. I would occasionally send them a donation, then got in the habit of sending a monthly donation. They started sending me thank you's. I told them to save their money, I knew they appreciated the donations. They asked if they could send thank you's via e-mail and I said sure.

So- I started getting all the e-mails, which was great cause it kept me informed on what was going on. Then came THE e-mail. The one that said they needed more volunteers for animal care. At that point in time I was going through a very selfish period. My Dad had recently passed away (my Mom passed 5 years earlier) and I was really just feeling sorry for myself. I didn't want to give up any time. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that 1-2 hours a week wasn't going to kill me.

Needless to say, I got hooked! The animals are so appreciative of the time we spend. Just like my own pets, it's unconditional love. Plus, this is a cause I really believe in. Safe Haven really opened my eyes to what was going on around me in regards to homeless animals. Yes, I still have my moments when I think it would be nice to stay home on my night at the shelter, but after I'm there and see all those sweet faces I remember why I do this.

Pros: Caring staff/volunteers

Cons: Not enough room!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.

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web m.
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Rating: 5

All you could ask for in a shelter, and more

posted 5 years ago

Safe Haven may be a small shelter in size, but it is HUGE in heart. Having a volunteer staff, and no financial help from local governments or organizations. Safe Haven must rely on donations and fundraisers to continue their work of saving the animals in their care. The volunteers hearts, however, are huge. Since it was founded around 3 years ago, it has had to move into it's second "home" and has continued to grow in population and volunteers. No matter what the situation one of the volunteers has always come forth to do what was needed to ensure the welfare and safety of the animals of Iowa County. We have again outgrown our available floorspace, and are in need of a bigger shelter. We need a shelter with some of the "conveniences" other shelters take for granted. Namely running water (in the wintertime) and toilets.

But no matter the obstacle, the volunteers are always looking for ways to improve quality of life of the residents there. That is why we recently put a down payment on some land. We are in desperate need for our own shelter. A shelter large enough to accommodate the increasing number of animals in need. We need to be able to have paid staff able to take the time to work with the dogs one on one to make them the best possible candidates for adoption. We need a facility we can truly call home, instead of a leased barn from one of our volunteers.

We have come along way in a short time. Imagine a small shelter, in a small farming community in Iowa being able to finish #14 in the first round of the Zootoo.com Shelter Makeover contest. That's right #14. We have come so far, but still have so far to go in order to realize our dream. If able to win this contest, we will be able to build our dream shelter...but it doesn't stop there. We will be more able to educate our community on spay/neuter and why it's necessary. We can host microchip clinics to help reduce the number of lost pets. We will even be more prepared to step up in the event of a crises such as a group of dogs in danger at a puppy mill. With this shelter, we will be able to do many things we can't do now, and the things we are able to now do, we will be better equipped to do much better.

To everyone who already volunteers or supports Safe Haven, THANK YOU!!!! To everyone else, please consider volunteering or supporting our cause.

Pros: Dedicated staff of volunteers will do anything to save animals

Cons: Limited space to work with

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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