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Our Mission is to Change Their World,
One Rescue at a Tim


S.A.F.E. (Spay/Neuter, Adoption, Foster and Education) Animal Haven is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal rescue group located in Matthews, North Carolina. Our purpose is to serve as a community resource for information about companion animals and their care, the importance of spay/neuter to reduce the shelter population and to provide rescue for homeless dogs and place them in foster homes where they will be provided the love and care they need to become happy, healthy, adoptable pets. 


Ready to meet your new best friend?


Fostering provides a taste of the "good life" these pups have never known.


We are 100% volunteer-run. Community volunteers are always welcome.


Everyone can play a part, big or small.

Let's Get Social
Please join our Facebook Page so you will be up-to-date on all the great work our group is doing for the animals in the community.
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Joy Jubilee flyer (1) 2.png

Join us for the Joy Jubilee on December 9, 2023
Benefiting Bright Blessings
1150 Crews Rd., Matthews NC

Your time is the most precious thing you can donate to S.A.F.E. Animal Haven. We need volunteers to:

  • Participate and assist with various public events

  • Help by fostering an animal in your home

  • Coordinate and assist with fundraisers/sponsors/donation drives

  • Assist with educational programs

Can You Help?
Image by Stainless Images

An Open Letter From Cayley's Adopter:

Nine years ago, on February 19, 2014, a miracle galloped into our family. 


We found Cayley and her story on-line, posted by S.A.F.E Animal Haven. This little dog had been doused in hot motor oil and shot with BBs.  Her deep burns stretched from the top of her head, down her back, to the base of her tail. She was taken to a high-kill pound to be euthanized. The pound director saw a uniquely happy and loving spirit in a deeply damaged body. The director was "won over by her hugs and kisses," and gave Cayley a 24-hour reprieve. The call went out to rescue shelters and in hour 23 - the final hour - S.A.F.E claimed her. They got her to a hospital and raised thousands of dollars for her medical care. S.A.F.E. foster parents loved and nursed her and started basic training skills. 


We had lost our previous dog six months before and had every intention of waiting before we adopted again. Then we happened to see Cayley on-line. The photo showed a unique face with a pumpkin hat covering her head burns and a harness helping to keep the long body bandages on her wiggly, itchy, healing torso. While there are so many precious dogs with so many stories of human cruelty, something about this face and spirit said, "You might not be ready for me, but I sure am ready for you." Somehow, we knew this was our dog. We applied to adopt her. 


By the time Cayley came to us, her bandages were gone but there were large, life-long scars on her head and back. Wonderfully, her spirit didn't have a single scar on it. Exuberance is an understatement for Cayley. Hey joy and excitement were boundless. When she ran to you, she actually ran into you - she didn't understand that you and she could not occupy the same physical space. My husband said she was a "bowling ball."  Though she lived and loved with abandon, she was amazingly, perfectly house-trained. Never once did she ever have an accident. Some years ago, when a hurricane hit, she absolutely would not go out in the rain for three days. Her bladder was legendary. 


For 8 1/2 years, Cayley loved us with all her might. She learned so much, so fast. She did everything she could to make us happy, unless a rabbit was nearby, then all bets were off.  Out on walks, on our travels, at the vet, and even on Facebook, folks would comment that she looked like "a little old man." A talker rather than a barker, Cayley vocalized in low, varying tones when she needed to make a point. That's how we communicated, and she knew without question she was one of us. She was a true character, for sure. 


Cayley passed away from liver cancer in September 2022. Those who deeply love dogs, know what a big, big hole her absence leaves in our hearts and in our lives. 


S.A.F.E. Animal Haven specializes in rescuing dogs who might not easily be adopted.  When they saved Cayley, they saved a courageous spirit who had the capacity to heal and love and abundantly give back to her loving people. Truth is, most dogs are like that. They just need a chance. 


We are boundlessly grateful to S.A.F.E and to all the donors who made Cayley's medical care possible. And we encourage others to support S.A.F.E Animal Haven and other caring shelters in your community.


You just might be saving somebody's much-needed miracle. 

Thank you for Cayley. 

Deborah and Larry


Tell us what's on your mind

S.A.F.E. Animal Haven Rescue
Serving Matthews, NC, Charlotte, NC
& surrounding areas within an hour of Charlotte

PO Box 3206

Matthews, NC 28106

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