Supply of needy kittens always exceeds demand

Luckily, adoptions have been brisk. Five more Safe Haven kitties are on their way to great homes. But no sooner is that accomplished than we get a phone call about more cats in dire need.

Last Sunday we started out to rescue three cats. When we arrived we could see that the other seven cats couldn’t stay either. All needed medical care, and the owners didn’t have the financial resources.

Luckily there were three of us volunteers and we’d brought enough carriers to bring all ten back to our adoption center.

We were most worried about the thin mama cat and her four darling kittens. With so little body fat she had little milk to feed her babies. But she was alert, friendly and allowed us to handle the babies without issue.

We arrived back at Safe Haven late Sunday night, and called in another volunteer . She was already sleeping but arrived 10 minutes later, eager to help. Talk about dedication! Kitty condos had to be hauled from storage and set up with perches and platforms. We packed them with our softest, warmest blankets, and gathered food and water dishes. We examined each kitty, gave them a flea treatment and wrote up their paperwork, so Monday all could go the the vet.

Much of this work was done under the full moon with flash lights. Until we can afford a bigger location with enough space for our work, we must operate with what we have. We need a new adoption center with an intake room, quarantine area and nursery. But until we raise enough money to relocate, our rescue team works willingly and without complaints. They all have big hearts and great senses of humor , and we get the work done!

Five hours later, we finally finished. All ten cats were fed and settled in. Mama and her kittens were enjoying their soft pink blankets and baby formula. A volunteer stayed overnight to watch over them. The other seven kitties purred so loudly their room vibrated with a big happy purrrrrrrrrrr.

We stood back and looked at what we’d accomplished. tired but proud, and feeling so darned fortunate to do this work. We love saving lives and giving cats that were falling through the cracks the best medical care and loving homes.

Monday was their first vet visit. Ten cats. Yes, this will cost us plenty. They need everything! They will be examined, combo-tested, vaccinated, de-wormed and scheduled for spaying and neutering.

If you can, consider making a contribution to help pay for the medical needs for these 10 kitties? Or sponsor one or more, for $10 a month. Thanks!

Visit our Facebook for all the latest! Be sure to click the “LIKE” button below the cover photo!

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The long, strange trip of Pip

Note: Joyce’s Sentinel feature this week was shortened for space reasons. Below is the story in its entirety.

In January 2009, Safe Haven rescued a kitty named Pip. Since then, Pip’s life has taken twists and turns. As her devoted guardians, we’ve followed her every step of the way.

Pip-2Pip is a remarkable cat. Not just because she’s beautiful, with long, white wispy hair, bright green eyes and pink nose, but because she has an unforgettably gentle and sweet soul.

I (Joyce) have been personally involved with her since 2009, watching her life unfold. I’ve kept a watchful eye and ear to be sure she’s safe, happy, and healthy — because she’d tested positive for the Feline Leukemia virus.

She was rescued in January ’09 by two lovely young people in Portland. They had six kitties already and didn’t dare bring her home, so they actually rented a hotel room for this stray. That in itself is remarkable! From the beginning she had angels watching out for her!

I drove up to the hotel and they surrendered this thin street stray, dingy white from living in a dirt basement. Her face had scratches but her eyes twinkled, and her spirit and will were strong.

Taken directly to our vet after rescue, she tested positive for the feline leukemia virus. Our hearts broke. To add to her plight, she was pregnant and miscarried her litter.

After Pip was spayed, she entered foster care, where she regained her strength. Her scrapes and scratches healed. Her dingy gray hair turned white and fluffy. She was happy and healthy.

The young teacher who fostered her loved Pip. For several years everything was great until a new boyfriend had allergies to cats. Pip moved into the home of a older woman who’d suffered a stroke and was wheelchair-bound. But Pip was terrified by the sounds the wheelchair made. She hid and wouldn’t come out.

Then Pip’s foster mom realized she’d made a mistake and wanted Pip back. She loved Pip more than her new boyfriend!

Months later, the foster mom had to move away to live with her parents in the south. Because they already had cats, Pip couldn’t go with her. We ached for Pip. She had bounced so many times.

Next, Pip became the companion to a lonely, elderly woman. Pip was her friend until the woman passed on.

Pip is in our Assisted Adoption program, where we pay for all vet bills and any grooming to keep her healthy and happy. That means we must always know where she is. When the woman passed on, her family called to return her to Safe Haven ASAP.

That began a frantic 24-hour mission to find a new foster home for Pip. After hundreds of phone calls and networking, a home was finally found. When we called the family to tell them, they had given Pip away! The woman who now had Pip never returned our calls. This Safe Haven kitty was now lost to us.

We’d been so worried about Pip. Now it’s a year and a half later, I was reading the paper and there on AWS’s page is a white cat whose face I knew and loved. It was Pip! I called the shelter and after more investigating confirmed this was our Pip! I learned that the poor darling had gone to two more homes since she’d been given away, before being surrendered to AWS.

Pip will be coming back to Safe Haven. Being FelV+, she will remain in our Free Vet Care for Life program. Anyone who adopts Pip, or any cat with Feline Leukemia, will receive all necessary vet care paid for by Safe Haven.

We are looking for Pip’s FINAL and FOREVER HOME. She deserves it. She needs it. She is very sweet, very beautiful, very dear. She is healthy, too—she carries the virus but may never develop the disease. She needs to be an only cat or could live in a home with another FeLV+ kitty. Interested? Please call 207-229-8314.

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Adoption Event this Saturday

We hope you’ll come to St. David’s Episcopal Church, Rt. 1, Kennebunk, this Saturday (March 8) between 10am-3pm.

Meet Moxie!

Meet Moxie!

You’ll meet some of Safe Haven’s adorable adoptables, like Moxie here.

We appreciate St. David’s Carolyn Gowdy and her great love for animals to engage her congregation and hosting this event to help homeless kitties find great homes.

Carolyn is also the enthusiastic soul who keeps St. David’s thrift shop, The Budget Box, an active satellite location for Safe Haven’s kitties. Thanks to Carolyn’s diligence and passion, many kitties have found happy homes. Thank you, Carolyn!

Please come and show your support this Saturday.

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Community Suppers to Benefit Safe Haven

Tuesday, Jan 7 and Tuesday, Jan 14, please show your support for Safe Haven by attending a community supper at Robert’s Maine Grill, Rt.1, Kittery. Between 4pm and 8:30pm, enjoy a three-course menu for just $14, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Safe Haven.

Roberts specializes in Maine comfort food with an updated twist. FMI call Deb McCluskey at 439-0300 or visit

Mark your calendar for Jan 7 and Jan 14 — thanks!

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Another generous donation from Mittens for Kittens

Mittens for Kittens has done it again.

Kitties Bella and Barney and their hard-working mom (who refuses to let us publicly credit her) knitted and sold wool and fleece mittens and sold them at craft fairs around Maine and New England — then donated the proceeds to Safe Haven!

A donation of $2500 was received — and we thank Bella, Barney and their mom for all their hard work and generosity, and to all the customers who purchased these unbelievably warm and comfy mittens.

Each pair included a thank you note and Safe Haven’s website address.

Want to help? Donate wool sweaters and fleece jackets you no longer need or want to Safe Haven, and we’ll make sure they get to Bella and Barney. They’ll magically turn them into luxurious mittens (and money to pay for vet bills and kitty supplies).

Thanks, Bella and Barney!

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Counting our blessings…

… and they include YOU!

cat hatAt Christmas time we look around at the blessings that surround us. Safe Haven is still in our little cape, even though it’s been on the market for a year. We’re so thankful to still have a place to care for the animals.

It’s all because of you and your support, both financial and spiritual.

In 2014, our aim is to implement a strong capital campaign to help us be more financially prepared for moving and finding placement for our sanctuary kitties, our adoptable kitties, our rescue work and thrift shop. Eventually this building will sell and when it does, we’ll need a new home.

We’re developing a program to enable supporters to make monthly installments toward our next building. Different levels of giving will be marked by tribute bricks, memorial trees and memorial benches. There will be room-naming levels for those who wish to contribute large amounts toward our building fund. If you have land or a building to donate, naming rights are available as well.

We hope you have safe and happy holidays, and a wonderful new year!

For more frequent updates, visit our Facebook page!

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Sailor Need a New Home today!

photo-3 SailorSailor, adopted from Safe Haven 6 months ago, zooms and leaps and plays all day in his new home.  So..what could the problem be? His new home now is with a couple who say : “He’s just too much for us. It’s like sharing our home with a young lion cub, he needs a need home, this is a bad match”.

That’s a shame. We try very hard to match people to the right kitty but we aren’t perfect. He was a stray when he arrived and I guess we just didn’t know him well enough when he was adopted. So now we are looking for a new home for dear Sailor. Now we know more about this kitty. We know what he really wants.

He’s lovable. He loves people. He wants to interact with you. He’s smart. He needs stimulation. He isn’t a “sit in the window and just be cute all day kind of kitty”. He’s a kitty that is on a mission, that being to be a wild and crazy kind of guy!!! He’s fun!!!

He wants a BIG home, one without nicknacks and things that can get in his way of play.  A home where he can be uninhibited in motion. He wants a home with older kids or teens that can take his romping and leaping. No little toddlers, no older people on walkers, no little kids. He’s big and he’s strong. When he runs, he sometimes can’t stop and when he bangs into you, you’ll know it! :)!! He’s fun. He’s full of life. His current owner said one day he leaped up on her bathrobe and hung from it. That is how playful he is!

So you see, he needs someone with a big house, a big sense of humor and a big heart. If that’s you, give me a call at 207-229-8314. We’ll make the introductions!

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