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Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary celebrates 25th anniversary

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In 1996, a group of dedicated animal lovers came together with a dream of creating a no-kill,

nonprofit organization that would help spare the lives of homeless animals in the Las Cruces area.

With a small group of volunteers, loads of donated goods and lots of elbow grease and sweat,

their dream became a reality in the East Mesa desert of Las Cruces. And so, 25 years ago, Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary was born.

Safe Haven is a no-kill 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue and adoption center for homeless cats and dogs in the Las Cruces area. Safe Haven also operates a thrift store located at 840 El Paseo Road. The income raised through thrift store sales is the main source of funding for the organization and is used to provide care for the animals residing at the sanctuary as they await adoption. Safe Haven currently operates its thrift store and sanctuary utilizing five full-time employees and eight part-time employees.

I have been at the helm of the organization for six years. When asked what I consider to be our greatest achievement, my response is, “Being able to offer low-cost spay/neuter clinics to the pet owners of our community is what I am most proud of for Safe Haven.”

The rescue work we do at Safe Haven offers at-risk pets the chance at a better life, which is amazing and very rewarding. But the truth is, we get more requests for pet surrenders than we do for pet adoptions. Our sanctuary is limited by space, so we cannot help them all.

Looking forward, getting to the root of the problem is the key if things are ever going to change.

The community problem at hand is pet overpopulation. The solution is easily attainable and

affordable spay/neuter options for our area pet owners.

Safe Haven first sponsored and staffed a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in 2016. Since 2018, Safe

Haven has been offering its own Snip Snip Hooray! low-cost spay/neuter clinics to area pet

owners. These clinics include the options of vaccinations and microchipping with the purchase of

a spay or neuter. The latest clinic held this past September was a three-day clinic in which 177

cats and dogs were spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.

Safe Haven plans to hold two three-day clinics in 2022 and will spay or neuter more than 350 cats and dogs during the year.

Today, the 1996 dream for Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary is still alive. Safe Haven has grown to

an even greater endeavor, thanks to the ideas and sacrifices of Safe Haven’s early pioneers.

Though two and a half decades have passed since its inception, the spirit of those pioneers has

been kept at the forefront of the work Safe Haven does on behalf of the abandoned cats and dogs

who reside at the sanctuary and the community pets who benefit from our spay/neuter services.

There are so many people who have sacrificed for Safe Haven to become what it is today. From the volunteers to the donors and the many businesses in our community who have helped us, we give our sincere thanks. It is because of the dedication and support that we have received from the animal lovers of the Las Cruces area that we have been able to continuously improve the lives of animals in need, and we offer our heartfelt gratitude to our community for making our work possible!

For more information, visit www.shaspets.com.