Our mission is to provide adequate protection and care to small animals, primarily dogs, until placement in a loving permanent home. It is through education and training that we strive for the prevention of cruelty to animals. We offer programs in public awareness, government advocacy, shelter, animal services and placement.
After several years of rescuing dogs abandoned close to our farm, and discussing what to do about the situation, we decided to close our business in Lubbock, retire and begin a rescue for abandoned, neglected, abused dogs. We realized early on we could not save every dog in the world, but we could change the world for every dog saved.
We closed our bridal shop after owning and operating for twenty-one years, in February, 2008. On April 11, 2008 we rescued nine two week old puppies. Their mom was feral and she had chosen an unsafe place for them to spend their early life. Fearing that they would be crushed by scrap metal salvaging, we received a call to help with the litter. We made six attempts during the next week to capture the mom. She would have no part of being rescued. Our task for the next few weeks consisted of feeding puppies goat’s milk and baby rice cereal every hour and a half, clock round. It didn’t take us long to learn that food in, poop out was the total agenda of these initial little residents of ours. Their first safe place was a #9 washtub I had salvaged from my grandmother’s house years earlier.
During the hectic days of being a puppy nanny we began working with a local impoundment to provide a safe place for some of the unfortunate captives. We made the decision to provide “owner care” NOT “shelter care” for all the dogs we rescued. Until such time that a safe suitable home can be found for them they are ours. The landscape around our home changed rapidly from cotton rows to temporary out door 10 X 10 chain link kennels with dog houses, water bowls, and feeding dishes. Plans for a permanent facility were underway.
The dogs from the impoundment were sprayed for ticks and fleas, then taken straight to our vet’s office for a check up, shots started, tests run for Ehrlichia, distemper, parvo, heart worms. Many of our new babies were healthy, but some were very ill. For those old enough, their “personal surgery” of being spayed or neutered was scheduled. During the first ninety days our numbers grew rapidly, but unfortunately so did our sadness. We established a Pet Cemetery, Journey's End, to provide a safe final resting place for those too sick to save. Those we lost had three things in common; they had been given a name, they had been loved, and they had a home. Many of the little ones died from parvo after being treated for days with IV fluids and medicine. Out of ten with parvo we lost six, four recovered and were adopted. Two had advanced heart worms and had to be put to sleep, one died from leukemia that resulted from tick fever not being treated for a number of months before she was relinquished. Maggie was only four years; her death really changed the way dogs are received into the facility. A prescreening exam is now required. Each dog is tested prior to acceptance into Safe House. We have chosen to be a Safe House not just a rescue. We will accept dogs that are ill with a treatable illness as long as it is not contagious and does not jeopardize the health of the other residents.
Some dogs will never be adopted for one reason or another, but they will live out their lives in a SAFE environment and be loved and taken care of. We are a “No Kill” facility.
Other dogs have overcome great odds to recover and learn to trust again. Poncho was one of those. At four months old he suffered third degree burns over most of his little four pound body from a chemical poured on him. He was rescued from a local impoundment and not until arriving at the vet’s office did we know the full extend of his injury. He was on pain meds and antibiotics for eight weeks. During that time he received hydro-therapy twice a day to promote the healing. It was during the “shower time” that he learned to trust us and realize we were helping him. He is now a playful, happy fawn Chihuahua that is healthy and well, even though he bears the scaring of the burns.
We have cried tears of sorrow as well as tears of joy. We cry when an adoption takes place because we are so pleased they have a real forever home and will get more attention one on one than we can give them. Miss them, yes, but the results - two lives saved- the one adopted and the space for one to enter the Safe House.
September 7, 2008 all dogs were walked from the temporary out door kennels to the state of the arc facility. Morris Safe House Foundation completed the first building on the ten (10) acres deeded to the Foundation by William and Sallie Morris. The facility is climate controlled with individual indoor/outdoor covered runs connected with a Mason-Pittsburg dog door. The valve watering system allows easy filling of water bowls. Concrete floors wash and drain into a channel draining into the septic tanks sewage system both inside and outside. A food preparation area doubles as preparation and medication area. Monthly all dogs receive both Heartgard to prevent heartworms and K-9 Advantix to prevent fleas and ticks. A laundry area assures bedding is clean and dry. Double sinks make it possible for bowls to be washed and sanitized after each feeding. A separate building houses a restroom for volunteers’ use, a shower room to bath the dogs and a storage area for the hot water system and well pressure tank.
Kennel Kids, grades 6-12 was organized in early July, 2008 as a means to offer training to young volunteers in basic dog handling, which included correct approach of a new dog, how to walk a dog on a leash, how to do basic grooming, the importance of vaccine immunizations for dogs of all ages. The Kennel Kids met three afternoons a week during the summer. During school months they come each Saturday afternoon. The Kennel Kids MUST keep their grades up or they have to miss coming on Saturday until grades are up. This encourages responsibility both with school work and with their pets at home
August, 2008 Morris Safe House began sponsorship of “ Pet Talk”, a local talk show based on educating listeners on various topics ranging from importance of spay/neuter to helping find lost pets. Oklahoma State University Vet Med School conducts weekly phone interviews on topics to help educate the listeners. Local vets appear on the show to provide further education. Reviewing City ordinances and State laws regarding animals have allowed significant changes in some of the area impoundments.
To date all funds required for the rescue, protection, welfare, population control, housing, medical needs, and feeding have been provided by William and Sallie Morris. The need is tremendous both for funding and for continuation of the projects started.
In order to expand, funds are required to hire a staff of kennel keepers, to educate and train a staff of passionate people, to continue to educate the public and to complete the building of additional space and a much needed play area.
Adopting a friend
Morris Safe House feeds only Science Diet Food!
If you are interested in adopting, please contact us by email, call us, or come and visit. Driving directions: Hwy 114 toward Levelland, LEFT at Hwy 2130 (if you see a sign SMYER, you have gone too far). Cross RR tracks, stay on pavement until it ends. Continue straight onto the dirt road for 1/2 a mile and turn RIGHT at the white mailbox on the right (3240 is on it). There is a sign to mark the drive to the kennels. If you get lost or need to make an appointment, please call Sallie Morris at 806-239-0156. Please call before you make the drive to make sure we will be there and not at the vet's office or at an adoption event.
Walking dogs, loving a dog, cleaning runs, washing food bowls, baking cookies (we can email you a recipe), help with mailings, working at PetsMart adoptions on Saturday or Sunday (Canyon West location), helping with landscaping the grounds, driving tractor to help with landscaping and helping organize fund raisers. Talk to your neighbor about being a responsible pet owner, talk to your local government and stress the importance of spay and neuter. Remember...."Caring People Do What They Can....Caring People Do What They Must."
Monetary donations help pay vet bills and food needs, as well as providing Heartgard and Frontline for each dog. Tractor Supply in Lubbock will honr a 50% discount when food is purchased for the Safe House (just tell cashier). We will pick up your food donation, dog biscuits and raw hide treats. Please leave your name and address so we can send you a contribution letter for your IRS, We use Pedigree Small Bites for the one year and older and Science Diet Puppy Small Bites for under a year.
Other ways to help us: donate bleach, paper towels, blankets, towels, raw hide treats, dog biscuits, "go dog" indestructible toys, leashes and stainless steel bowls.
Morris Safe House Foundation 3240 Nightingale Road