Our sanctuary is located on 13 acres at 19022 Shingle Point Road, which is between Georgetown and Milton. Click to see more photos of the building and the construction process.
Safe Haven's animal-friendly design is unique in minimizing the stress of the cats and dogs living there, while keeping operational costs at a minimum. The 18,000 square foot building has cage-free indoor living spaces for 250 cats and dogs. In the next phase of construction, we will be completing the cat wings. The cat and dog wings are heated, cooled by radiant flooring, and full of natural light from windows that can be opened in good weather.
Compatible dogs are paired up in each room whenever possible. Each dog room has an outdoor run, walled off from the other runs so the dogs don't bark constantly at each other. The runs have gates that lead to fenced yards where the dogs can play and run around.
Groups of cats are together in rooms to prevent the isolation that literally makes cats more susceptible to illness in traditional shelters. We will soon be constructing the little yards outside of each cat room so that our cats can go outside safely, too
Our Green Building
By building “green,” Safe Haven is reducing our impact on the environment, and also significantly reducing our construction costs and operating costs.
Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary is the first "green" animal shelter in the Mid-Atlantic region. The innovative building, designed by award-winning architect David Quillin, will reduce environmental impacts and also reduce the costs of building heating and cooling. Some of the green elements incorporated in the design include geothermal heat, use of recycled materials, a climate-controlling courtyard, and a white reflective oof.
According to Quillin, "green building is partly about consuming fewer resources, but it is also about working with the envir-onment, rather than against it, to create a vibrant and comfortable space. People (and animals) feel better in build- ings that connect them to their envir- ment through natural light, natural ventilation, and natural materials."
The shelter is the first commercial LEED certified building in Sussex County. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a process that certifies buildings in terms of categories such as site sustainability, energy, materials, and indoor quality.
Building the Sanctuary
When Safe Haven was founded in 2003, the goal was to construct a green, animal-friendly building. Fundraising took longer than anticipated because of the economic downturn. We received final approval of a Rural Development loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture early in 2011,and our general contractor, R.Y. Johnson & Son, Inc., started construction of the building. The bidding processfor our design had been completed in 2010. We had already obtained our state and local permits and completed the site preparation, so we were ready to begin construction.
Due to the great need, we expect to be continually expanding our facilities so we can help more abused/abandoned cats and dogs.