With no notice, the financially-strapped Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary in Georgetown closed its doors for good, two weeks earlier than expected.
In a very brief announcement, shelter spokeswoman Lynn Lofthouse says while the no-kill shelter was able to place the majority of its dogs through transfers to local partners, adoptions and out-of-state relocations, some had to be put down.
“Dogs with severe behavior issues were such a threat to animals or humans that they were unsuitable for adoption. These dogs were humanely euthanized,” Lofthouse said.
The euthanizations, however, go against everything the shelter seemingly stood for. Safe Haven’s Facebook page is now defunct, but on its website, the shelter’s no-kill ethic reads, “In a true No-Kill shelter, no cats or dogs will be put down unless they have untreatable and unmanageable medical conditions that cause pain which cannot be controlled.”
Last month, Safe Haven announced Nov. 30 would be its last day. Board member Beth West said at the time donations dried up after suspicions about poor care and putting down otherwise adoptable animals surfaced. Without donations and with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, West said closure was inevitable.
Remaining dogs were taken to shelters yesterday where they can be put up for adoption, according to Lofthouse.
Faithful Friends’ Executive Director Jane Pierantozzi says her no-kill shelter took in three dogs as did Delaware Humane Association, both in Wilmington.