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Safe Haven Animal Rescue: Helping Pets Find Homes

By Allison Wilson

Nearly every town seems to have a large population of homeless pets. Common causes of this issue include the failure of pet owners to spay, neuter and prevent their pets from running away. Many pets also become homeless because people either don't become educated about the breed of the pet before getting it, or are not committed to caring for the pet for a lifetime. Instead of seeking help from a trainer when they run into challenges, they give up their animal.

Safe Haven Animal Rescue

Luckily, there are organizations dedicated to helping homeless animals like Oklahoma City's Safe Haven Animal Rescue. Safe Haven is a nonprofit rescue, meaning that it operates on donations and pet adoption fees, unlike city-run shelters. Nonprofit rescues often take in animals from the local shelters when they can't get enough funding to house all of the them long enough to be adopted. So local rescues like Safe Haven help increase the number of animals leaving the city-run shelters alive. Safe Haven, like most rescues, is foster-based, which means there is no facility that houses the animals. Instead, the pets are all living in the homes of people who have volunteered to foster them.

One of the top three groups in the area when it comes to rescuing and adopting animals, Save Haven adopted out 1,400 animals in 2014 alone.

"We have an open adoption program," says Lisa Jensen, Board Member at Safe Haven Animal Rescue. "We hold events all over the metro, usually at a Petco or Petsmart, every weekend. People come in, meet an animal they are interested in and are paired with an adoption counselor to discuss their family and that animal to see if they are a match."

If the person is a match, they will fill out a contract, pay the adoption fee and take their animal home. Safe Haven also features animals on their website and allows potential pet owners to pursue adoption by filling out a questionnaire and setting up a meeting.

Jensen says the efforts of Safe Haven are making a difference in the community.

"Our adoption numbers continue to increase every year," Jensen says. "With the people we meet and talk to, it seems the view and mentality of responsible pet ownership is changing. It's a slow process in Oklahoma but we consistently see the tide turning."

Education plays a large role in this kind of change. Teaching people to research their breeds and know what challenges they may face when they pick out a pet can help set up reasonable expectations. Encouraging pet owners to spay and neuter is also an important step for decreasing the homeless pet population.

Microchipping can also make a big difference, says Jensen. "There are so many animals we see come to the shelter that are clearly an owned and loved pet, but no one comes to get them," she explains. "Microchipping increases the chances of these pets getting home. We now offer microchipping for $20 in an effort to help pets make it back home where they belong."

Save Haven hosts adoption events every Saturday in the metro area, which are advertised on their website and Facebook page. They will also be participating in an upcoming multi-group adoption event, called Adopt Ugly, on May 16 at 10th Street and Hudson Avenue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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8/20/2016

Cheryl Templeton

I have about 20 cats and kittens that some of our neighbors left behind when they moved. I have been trying to find help with finding them homes or at least someone to take them to no avail. I tried

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5/5/2016

Angie Nicole

We adopted Cooper on April 30th. He is a Beagle rescued from a lab. This is the sweetest dog ever. Jessica did a great job communicating with us and meeting us for the adoption. Very happy with this

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10/26/2015

Rachel Smith

I do not recommend Safe Haven to anyone that values the health of their pets. We adopted a kitten from them on October 17th and this kitten is having issues. We tried to call Safe Haven and ask

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10/20/2015

Nancy Lessard-Binette

Is there any assistance available for victims of domestic violence who are forced to go to a woman's shelter with 2 children, but can't take pets there with them ? 2 dogs and 2 kitties had to left

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Allison Wilson is an award-winning writer and communications professional whose...

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