Safe Haven seeks new location for Kent facility

Neighbors oppose South Little Creek kennel
December 28, 2012
The proposed Kent County location of Safe Haven would feature 20 kennels and one main outdoor dog run. In Georgetown, the Safe Haven building can accommodate more than 100 dogs and has multiple dog runs. BY RACHEL SWICK MAVITY

Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary still plans to establish a Dover-area kennel, but the effort to convert a South Little Creek Road warehouse building has been abandoned.

Georgetown-based Safe Haven has been searching for a Kent County facility since July, but concerns raised by neighbors caused the no-kill shelter to abandon its original plans.

During a public meeting Dec. 13 in Dover, residents opposed locating a kennel in a residential neighborhood on South Little Creek Road.

Safe Haven Executive Director Anne Gryczon said she heard those concerns and met with Safe Haven’s board of directors Dec. 14 to try to resolve the issues.

Safe Haven was seeking a variance on the property to allow for the housing of dogs picked up by Safe Haven, which has the dog control contract for Kenty County. The proposed facility would also provide a central location for Kent residents to locate lost pets.

Bobby Barrett lives next to the warehouse where Safe Haven proposed establishing its northern location by adding 20 interior kennels and one outdoor dog run. He said he fought the proposal because it is not the right place for a dog shelter.

“I’m glad that’s what they decided. We don’t need it here,” Barrett said. “They were trying to put a commercial business in an agricultural area.”

Barrett said Safe Haven would have had to share a driveway with Barrett to access the warehouse, because the variance didn’t leave enough space for a second driveway.

“We were also concerned about the noise,” Barrett said.

He said he had to call Safe Haven's animal control officers out to his property.

“As soon as the advertisement went in that they were going to buy this warehouse … within two weeks, two dogs were dropped off out front,” Barrett said. “I called Safe Haven, and they came right away.”

For now, the warehouse property remains for sale.

Gryczon said she wanted to keep her word to residents of Kent County and provide a kennel there, but she said the Little Creek Road location was not appropriate.

“We are looking at a very promising location this week,” Gryczon said. “Kent County residents have been very understanding, and if they have any transportation issues, we deliver their dogs back directly to their home.”

Gryczon said no Kent County animal will be euthanized as long as Safe Haven has the Kent dog-control contract.

“As a no-kill organization, we also offer a safety net, and residents know their dogs are not at risk of being put down,” Gryczon said.

To contact Safe Haven, call 302-856-6460 or go to