Safe Haven board looks toward future

January 18, 2013

Last week, the board of directors of Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary took the very difficult, but necessary first step to begin focusing on its future as a leading no-kill shelter for homeless and abandoned dogs and cats in Delaware.  It is never an easy or simple decision to make a change in executive leadership. And in so doing, the board wishes to acknowledge and express its thanks for the many significant accomplishments that Anne Gryczon achieved in our long journey to bring the Safe Haven shelter from a dream to reality.

As Safe Haven completed construction on the sanctuary building and began operations during 2012, it became apparent that we underestimated the magnitude of the challenges ahead. It also became clear that our needs had changed and our director did not have all of the skills we needed to manage our fast-evolving operation.  Unfortunately, she did not move quickly enough to fill key staff positions which resulted in performance below the standard of service we had set for ourselves.

Moving forward from here, the board is undertaking a complete review of our operations.  This review will include:

• Complete reassessment of all animals in our care and take action to vaccinate, spay and neuter as needed;

• Ensure animals receive appropriate exercise and socialization;

• Conduct a top-to-bottom review of operational policies and procedures to ensure proper records are kept and statistics are published;

• Move aggressively to increase adoptions and fosters, including increasing hours open to the public ;

• Commence an immediate search for a full-time staff veterinarian;

• Complete outfitting our medical wing as quickly as financing will allow;

• Ensure there is a defined process for reporting problems to management;

As much as we strive to provide a nurturing and safe environment at the shelter, it’s never an ideal environment, and our goal is to get animals placed in permanent, loving homes.  We are confident that we have a dedicated, caring, and competent staff who have the best interests of the animals at heart, and who will carry on during this transition.

We also want to express our deepest thanks to our many, many financial supporters and volunteers who have generously given us their time, and talents and who are standing with us now.  We are also very gratified by the many expressions of support and offers to help that we are receiving daily.

As we commence our search for new executive leadership, the board wishes to emphatically reaffirm our commitment to the no-kill ethic. We will also look for opportunities to partner with animal-rescue organizations and other shelters. The sheer number of animals entering our shelter and others is indicative of the scale of the problem and needs. For the sake of the animals, we need to move beyond internecine warfare.

Please visit our website at and our Facebook page for up-to-date news and information about our program. If you would like to volunteer your time and talents, or make a contribution, you will find information on how to do so on our website.  We welcome your help and thank you for your support.

Board of directors
Safe Haven Sanctuary of Sussex County

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