TANGENT, Ore. – SafeHaven Humane Society broke ground at its new building on Thursday thanks to a half-million dollar grant.
An anonymous donor said it would give SafeHaven $500,000 if the humane society could match it. This summer, SafeHaven met its goal, and will be moving from its current 4,000 square-foot facility into a 33,000 square-foot building.
“It’s like getting the best Christmas present you could ever ask for,” said Executive Director Chris Storm. “It’s a big celebration. After 40 years we get to move into a new building.”
Storm says SafeHaven has been in its current location on Highway 34 near the Interstate 5 interchange since 1985, but has been operating as an organization for 40 years. Storm says moving into the new building, located on Old Highway 34, is only the first phase of its new project.
“During the first phase, we’ll move the cats, dogs, and staff over,” Storm said. “We’ll have an indoor play area and a grooming facility.”
The first phase will also include setting up the main pet adoption areas, fenced exercise yards outside, isolation and quarantine areas, a community education room, and a pet food bank storage and distribution area. During the next phase, Storm says they will remodel the front offices. The third phase will be a creation of a medical center, and the last phase will create a behavioral center and a veterinary care center. It will also serve as an adoption facility for animals other than cats and dogs, such as hamsters and rabbits.
Storm says SafeHaven isn’t just an adoption center, but it’s also a place for education.
“Kids are the next generation,” she said. “And if we can get to them and teach them compassion, kindness, and respect, then we’re building a better community, and we’re building a better world.”
SafeHaven is a no-kill shelter, meaning they will not euthanize animals who don’t find homes in a certain period of time.
Marti Cersovski, who works in Marketing and Communications for SafeHaven, says she worked for the organization for two years before she took home a pet. Piper.
“I’ve had Piper one year almost to the day,” she said.
Cersovski says the three-year-old dog was scheduled to be euthanized at a California shelter.
“It was a very overcrowded shelter, and she was pregnant.”
A program contacted SafeHaven to see if it wanted to take Piper in. It did, and as soon as Cersovski met Piper, she fell in love with her.
“She’s just the sweetest dog,” she said. “She thinks she’s a lap dog. She’s 80 pounds and just wants to cuddle and snuggle up next to you all the time.”
So far, SafeHaven has raised approximately $2.5 million, but still needs $2.2 million in order to finish the final phases of the project.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so online by visiting: http://www.safehavenhumane.org/ways-give