2022 Impact: Our Top 10
Animal Haven has grown and changed over the last year, and we have our supporters to thank for it! Whether you shared a post on social media, volunteered, adopted, sponsored, or donated, you’ve helped us change the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats in need. Here are the Top 10 Animal Haven highlights from the past year.
10. Hurricane Ian Relief
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Animal Haven took in thirteen new dogs after another animal shelter in South Florida became overwhelmed with intakes and sustained damage during the storm. Part of the transport included a sweet mother dog, Narwhal, and her six puppies that made the trip to New York at just a few weeks old. By supporting our Relocation and Relief Fund, our supporters allowed us to act quickly when this natural disaster struck, and now these pups have the chance to grow up safe and sound out of harm’s way. They’ve all since been adopted, including Narwhal, who now goes by Mama Bear in her new home!
9. Cat Hoarding Rescue
Late in 2022, Animal Haven’s Community Engagement Program connected with a man in the Bronx who had become overwhelmed with cats. His kindness towards the community’s unwanted and abandoned cats had spun out of his control, and he needed help. When Animal Haven’s team arrived, we found more than 40 cats living in his apartment. Through a combination of rescue, local resources, and spay-neuter services over the course of several months, Animal Haven took in nearly all of the cats for rehoming, and the man retained three cats (all spayed and neutered!), and many of those 40+ felines have been adopted into wonderful homes.
8. DACOA + Flew the Coop
We forged some wonderful partnerships in 2022! For several years, Animal Haven has been working with Dogs & Cats of Antigua (DACOA) – an animal rescue on the Caribbean island of Antigua – to transport former street dogs to NYC to find new homes. Thanks to a generous grant from our friends at Flew The Coop, we transferred 87 dogs and cats from DACOA in 2022! These animals came to Animal Haven through both large-scale airlifts and “travel buddies,” where folks vacationing in Antigua would accompany an animal in the cabin on their return trip to NYC. We look forward to continuing this lifesaving partnership in 2023!
7. Corporate Volunteering
Did you know Animal Haven offers volunteer opportunities for companies and teams? We have several offerings that range from group volunteer sessions at our shelter, to “Yappy Hours” with puppies and kittens, to hikes with adoptable pups! More than 25 different corporate groups participated in 2022, and everyone had a blast! It’s a wonderful way to team-build and help adoptable dogs and cats.
6. Starla’s Recovery
When Starla was just eight-months-old, she fell from a window — we think about three stories high — causing multiple fractures to her front legs. A good Samaritan found Starla and took her to a local emergency vet, who called Animal Haven to help. We happily agreed to take her into our rescue program and continue treating her injuries. After two extensive surgeries, Starla began her long road to recovery. And it didn’t take long for her bubbly, friendly personality to get her noticed by her adopters, who welcomed her into their home not long thereafter.
She now goes by the name Mimi and is loving her new life! “Mimi is doing great!” says her new dad. “Her legs have healed just fine. She runs and jumps around the apartment like she never injured them in the first place.” Starla’s emergency surgeries were made possible by our Recovery Road Fund, which allows us to respond to medical emergencies without delay. We’re so thankful to our supporters for saving Starla’s life!
5. Camp Underdog
You helped us launch Camp Underdog! In 2022, we embarked on a new program – affectionately named Camp Underdog – in an effort to enrich the lives of our longer-term canine residents. Our friends at Bittersweet Farm offered up the use of their land in Warwick, New York, and we began with a pilot program, taking one dog at a time. Dogs got to leave the hustle and bustle of the big city and spend several days relaxing and de-stressing among the trees, grass, and ponds. In October, we asked for our supporters’ help to officially fund the program, and you came through in a BIG way! In only 48 hours, you helped us raise $40,000, which unlocked another 40K match from one of our long-time supporters, fully funding the program. Our dogs have continued to thrive at Camp Underdog with the help of our Rehabilitation & Training staff, and a few have even found local homes nearby!
4. A New Vehicle
Thanks to the incredible support behind our Camp Underdog initiative, we were able to purchase a state-of-the-art transport van! Not only will our new vehicle allow us to transport dogs to and from Camp Underdog, but it’s also at the ready for medical transports, animal pickups, and emergencies. Our dogs give it two paws up!
3. Saving Todd
One of the most critically important initiatives at Animal Haven is our Rehabilitation and Training program. Our in-house behavior staff – alongside our professional partner trainers – work to identify and address the specific behavioral needs of each and every dog. When Todd arrived at Animal Haven, he had experienced serious trauma and was extremely fearful of handling around his neck. This made collars and attaching leashes very difficult, not to mention affecting his chances of adoption. After months of targeted work, Todd gradually became much more comfortable with handling. We’re proud to share that he recently went HOME! Technically his adoption happened in 2023, but the dedicated work and care from our team spanned across 2022, with the support of our Animal Haven donors. Thank you for helping us rehabilitate Todd!
2. Redeye Gets a Family
In an ideal world, no animal would remain in the shelter longer than a few days. Unfortunately, some animals take much longer to find homes. Redeye was one of them. After spending more than two years at Animal Haven, where we worked on Redeye’s behavior, manners, and socialization, Redeye’s people came along. It was love at first sight. Redeye is now a beloved family member and enjoying the “adopted” life!
1. Opia is Home!
Over her nearly three years at Animal Haven, Opia became a viral sensation! She came to us from the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, where she had been paralyzed from the waist down in an accident. Everyone instantly fell in love with her spicy, spunky personality and her adorable quirks. But finding homes for animals with special needs can sometimes prove difficult. Thanks to her story getting a ton of attention on social media, Opia’s new family saw her and had that special feeling. They began by fostering and after several months of training on her care and acclimation with their other cat, they made it official!