About Us

The Animal Haven, Inc.

89 Mill Road, North Haven, CT 06473
203-239-2641   Fax (203) 239-2649

Mission statement:

The Animal Haven’s mission is to provide a temporary, safe, caring and humane refuge for homeless, adoptable cats and dogs, and to subsequently place these animals in quality, adoptive and permanent homes. We advocate responsible pet ownership, follow a mandatory spay-neuter policy, prohibit euthanization of our animals, and work in our community to fight animal cruelty through education. The Animal Haven enlists and promotes public involvement in the humane treatment of animals, and is committed to principles of justice and compassion for all animals. Since 1948, The Animal Haven has been celebrating the special friendship between people and their animal companions.

How we survive

The Animal Haven is self-supporting and receives no annual income from town or government sources. Funding comes from membership dues, private contributions, entry and adoption donations, and many fund raising projects.

Many homeless pets really need your help for a second chance of life at The Animal Haven, so please donate generously.

Animal Haven Facts:

• The Animal Haven is dedicated to taking in adoptable homeless cats and dogs, and finding them well-matched loving homes since 1948!

• The Animal Haven is a private, nonprofit, and charitable organization exempt from federal and state taxation under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and related Connecticut laws.

• The Animal Haven is a no-kill shelter where the Greater New Haven community can relinquish orphaned animals for a small donation.

• The Animal Haven is a shelter that adopts lifetime companions to well matched, loving homes.

• A shelter that receives NO funds from town or government sources.

• The Animal Haven’s annual administrative costs are 3.2%.

• The Animal Haven operates by private donations, grants and numerous fundraising events.

• The Animal Haven has a small and dedicated staff of compassionate employees to care for our animals 365 days a year.

• Weekly, we receive over 250 phone calls and 75 emails regarding animal placement and adoption.

• Volunteers do the majority of administrative, financial and maintenance duties.

• 2,187 members reside in 81 CT towns and cities and 100 members live out of state.

• In 2013, The Animal Haven rescued 315 homeless cats/kittens and 125 dogs/puppies

• In 2013, The Animal Haven adopted out 248  cats/kittens and 118 dogs/puppies


The dedicated people that make it all possible:

Board of Directors
  • President – Linda Marino
  • Vice-President – Wendy Azukas
  • Assistant Treasurer – Donna Cifaldi
  • Membership Secretary – Elaine Keith
  • Financial Officer – Jeff O’Donnell
  • Recording Secretary – Jennifer Garafalo
  • Publicity Coordinator – Debbie Donofrio
Non-Board Positions
  • Petfinder Coordinator – Dana Oliver
  • Newsletter Editor – Chris Gagne
Shelter Staff
  • Animal Care Coordinator – Michelle DeRosa

Check out this video about us


This is a great article that was published in the New Haven Register

Animal shelter celebrates 65 years

        (Peter Hvizdak — Register)Jess L’Heureux (CQ), Animal Haven Assistant Animal Care Coordinator, with Scooby, a 6-month-old  shepherd mix, left, and Erica DeFazio, Animal Haven Kennel Assistant, with beagle mix Djama, 8, at the Animal Haven kennel in North Haven Friday, October 18, 2013.             


By   Michael Bellmore, New Haven Register

North Haven >> This past week, the Animal Haven celebrated 65 years of service to animals without homes. And it has been so successful that some animals love the place so much, they refuse to leave it permanantly — like GG, a cat that Animal Haven staff said has a “cat-titude.”“GG is the priciest cat I’ve ever met,” said Brianna Salamone, a kennel assistant. “She’s a moody little girl. She’s been adopted six times and returned six times.” And then there’s the old black cat named Toofus with one long tooth that juts up from his bottom jaw and is affectionately known as “the old man of the shelter.”Salamone said he’s not going anywhere, and that’s OK.Charlotte Timberman, co-president of the Animal Haven, said despite the few lifers that seem to take a shining to the shelter, about 300 animals were rescued and adopted last year, and the organization is on track for another year of similar numbers.On Thursday, a familiar scene played out that has played out in the shelter hundreds of times before. A man met a dog — a dog that might one day be his.Jay Hirsch, a Hamden resident, was trying to win the trust of Summer, a 2 year old female Labrador mix.Jess L’Heureux, the assistant animal care coordinator at Animal Haven, led the dog up a path behind the kennel. Summer eagerly hopped up on L’Heureux, but skirted Hirsch, barking when he reached out his hand.“It has to be a mutual thing, I think. Especially when they’re older,” Hirsch said. “Puppies you can mold a little better, but you have to work a lot more. It’s like having a little kid.”Hirsch said he’s been through the adoption process before. He has three cats and a dog and only recently had to put one of his beloved pets to sleep. So, he thought it time to adopt again.Sitting in a fenced-off patch of grass, L’Heureux sat with Hirsch while Summer traipsed around without her leash. Hirsch tempted her to come closer to him with bits of freeze-dried liver and while she remained skittish, she finally ate out of his hand.“This is my favorite part of the day. When we come in, its basically just cleaning up poop for four hours,” L’Heureux said with a laugh. “Doing laundry — for 12 hours. So, it’s nice to actually get outside and help people and interact with our animals. And hopefully, get them a home.”Inside the shelter, a tabby kitten was curled up asleep on a stack of documents on the staff desk. The ashes of cats that lived out their lives at Animal Haven — a nonprofit, no kill shelter — sat on a top shelf in small tins.David Richards of Hamden was there to pick up his new cat. He described him as a tabby, an American short-hair, a plain old cat. He said if the cat felt well enough, he’d be able to take him home that day.“We had just lost a cat we had had for 19 years, and we went looking for a cat to replace her, and this one decided he wanted to get our attention,” Richards said. “He picked us, we didn’t pick him.”Timberman said Animal Haven, which is nestled away in a residential neighborhood on Mill Road, has survived for 65 years because of very dedicated people — not to mention the funds raised and grants awarded to help pay for veterinary bills.“No rescue organization wants to be in business,” Timberman said. “We would love it if we didn’t have abandoned animals or animals that had to be given up for one reason or another. We would like to be put out of business.”But, for the time being, for better or worse, business is good.Hirsch said he would be back to meet with Summer again and that, hopefully, they’d “click.”Jennifer White, a kennel assistant, said this is what Animal Haven is all about. She said it’s easy to fall in love with the animals that come, but the goal is for them to leave.“You want to see them leave. You don’t want to see them here forever,” she said. “I think, at first, I was kind of like that. But you don’t want to see them be here.”

About the Author

         Michael BellmoreFollow Michael on Twitter: @bandango.