SAFE was launched in September 2017 by staff who had been been retrenched by the Animal Welfare League when they closed their animal shelter at Ingleside. With the help of supporters we launched the Save Our Shelter appeal and when it was made clear that the AWL was not going to red-open we decided to establish our own charity to take in unwanted animals.
In 2017 a few of us were happily working in a team of passionate animal carers at a large shelter on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Suddenly & unexpectedly the shelter was closed and the whole team was retrenched.
We felt the closure of the shelter left a big hole so we decided to set up our own rescue organisation. Little did we know how much that entailed but that’s probably a good thing!
Our first actions were to write a constitution and enlist the help of a legal supporter to look it over. We successfully applied for charity status and got together some volunteers from the closed shelter to set up a network of foster carers
For 2 years we worked only through foster carers whilst trying to engage with rich sponsors or high profile ambassadors to raise the profile of our new charity (we are still looking for both by the way!) Our President, Tim led the way and devoted all of his time to running the charity from his small bedroom as well as looking after 8 foster cats!
The next step? We knew the path to helping more animals was to establish a Rehoming Centre but finding somewhere seemed impossible. We had no money for rent and no support from the local councils. We spread the word through radio interviews with the ABC and Northern Beaches Radio as well as trying to find local business people to sponsor us and/or help us raise money.
In August 2019 we established SAFE Haven… At long last we found a sympathetic vet who was willing to rent us a space she had been using to board cats. Here, cats are available for viewing & adoption seven days a week and we also offer premium boarding facilities which help to fund our operations. As this facility is only for cats we continue to rescue dogs through a small network of foster carers which we are trying to grow.
Click here to look at animals available for adoption
Whilst caring for these animals is something we would all do for free if we could, we need continued community support to fund operations – to provide food and medication and pay the rent. We established SAFE Haven without any help from the local council or the government and depend on everyone we touch to spread the word. The issue of unwanted animals affects everyone in Northern Sydney and we do everything we can to make a small dent in the numbers. If you can donate towards the running of SAFE Haven please click here.
Our beautiful animals are surrendered by pet owners, come from the pound or from other rescues or good Samaritans. They are microchipped, desexed, vaccinated, treated for fleas/worms and health checked before being made available for adoption.
We have on our team two experienced, qualified behaviourists who assess and treat any behavioural issues before and after adoption. They can also help you in general with any pet issues. For more information click here or contact us.
We have come a long way since 2017 and we are continuing to develop. Most importantly we are changing the world little by little by changing the lives of animals and people who surrender and adopt.
Our vision statement is “Every animal deserves love, understanding and as many chances as it takes to find a perfect home”