Safe Haven Now...and Then

Safe Haven Humane Society is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation. All the work is done by volunteers, we have no paid staff.

The pets we rescue and re-home come to us from a variety of abandonment situations. Our funding is based entirely on donations and fundraising projects. We have no central facility, and all of our rescued pets remain in foster homes until they are adopted. Safe Haven places approximately 400 pets into permanent homes each year—pretty good for one of the smallest rescue groups in West Michigan.

What we can do for homeless animals is limited by the number of foster homes and volunteers working with us, so we’re always on the lookout for good people. While animals are in foster care, Safe Haven provides the food, supplies, and medical care. All we ask of foster families is to provide a safe and loving environment until a permanent home is found, and to help transport foster animals to vet and adoption events. Please visit our section on Fostering a Pet for more details.

Just a few words about how Safe Haven began . . . In 1996, a couple of Ionia County residents got together to discuss how to change two very important animal control issues in the county: 1) selling live animals from the Ionia County Animal Shelter to a Class B Dealer who then sold the pets to research facilities, and 2) the use of CO2 (gassing) as the method of euthanasia. Perseverance and support from a growing number of residents resulted in success! Both issues were resolved! Pets were no longer sold for research and a more humane method of euthanasia was put into place. By February, 1997, that original group of animal lovers had grown into Ionia County Humane Society.

From 1998 through mid-2003, the Ionia County Humane Society operated the Ionia County Animal Shelter, working in conjunction with Animal Control, under a contract with the county. By mid-2003, Ionia County Humane Society was ready to “spread its wings” and go out on its own. The name was changed to Safe Haven Humane Society, because of the growing range of counties from which rescued pets were coming.

Under a land contract, a physical facility was purchased, with a down payment and lots of hopes and dreams. Unfortunately the timing and finances weren’t right. It soon became apparent that the "owning our own building" concept was not going to work. By the end of 2004, the building was a thing of the past and the foster home network was born.

Since becoming a foster-home rescue group, Safe Haven has rescued and placed hundreds of pets into permanent homes (roughly 1,200 pets placed by mid-2008). In the beginning we weren't so sure it would work, but because of the dedication of our volunteers and fosters, and tons of help from our vets, we’re still here and still going strong. We owe much of our legacy to those couple of people who originally stepped up to change the things they saw as wrong. We continue to thank all the people who make our rescue work possible.


Safe Haven Humane Society
P.O. Box 55, Ionia, MI 48846
Phone: 616-522-1611
Fax: 517-579-5948