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SAFE HAVEN Program Summary

Humane Society of Southern Arizona


Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s SAFE HAVEN Program

In early 1998, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona created Tucson’s first and only program designed to specifically aid the animal victims of domestic violence. Since a battered spouse is less likely to leave an abusive environment if he / she has to leave the pets behind, it was important to give these victims a safe, temporary solution for the refuge and rehabilitation of their cats and dogs. The Safe Haven Program places the animal in an undisclosed site (not the Humane Society shelter) and will provide it with any necessary medical care, physical therapy, etc. This is a confidential program intended to provide the animal with as much security as a human shelter would offer to women and children. Descriptions of program protocols are as follows:

  • Other crisis foster care situations i.e., homelessness, hospitalization, etc., must be referred by an authorized agent OR the client must be able to confirm the legitimacy of the situation through an appropriate authority aware of the clients circumstances.
  • All clients needing crisis foster care must agree to all of the terms of the Safe Haven Foster Care Agreement.
  • All animals considered for crisis foster care must pass a complete health exam prior to being placed in foster care. This includes Feline Leukemia testing for cats. If necessary, the animal may be dipped or sprayed for fleas and ticks, or be given treatment for earmites.
  • All animals must be made current on their vaccinations unless the owner can provide proof of vaccination. These vaccinations include a rabies vaccination for both cats and dogs, the parvo / distemper vaccination, corona vaccination and an intranasal bordatella (kennel cough) vaccination for dogs and feline upper respiratory and feline leukemia vaccinations for cats.
  • Cats, regardless of the crisis situation, must always be fostered at a boarding facility for their own safety. There is a greater risk of escape or problem behavior with cats in individual home settings.
  • All crisis foster care animals must be signed in on the standard “owner release” form and made property of HSSA. Once approval is determined, the client or authorized agent must complete and sign the following forms:
    • HSSA Owner Release Form
    • Safe Haven Foster Care Agreement
    • Sterilization Consent Agreement (if necessary)
    • Behavior Fact Sheet

The animal(s) is then transported to the appropriate foster care facility. Upon arrival, the Animal Receipt and Release Agreement must be signed by the agent of the facility or the foster caregiver and an authorized agent of HSSA. Copes of ONLY the following forms accompany the animal to the facility or foster caregiver:

  • Behavioral fact sheet
  • Any medical records or medications necessary

The following forms stay at HSSA and are filed in the appropriate area:

  • HSSA Owner Release Form
  • Safe Haven Crisis Foster Care Agreement
  • Sterilization Consent Form
  • Original Behavioral Fact Sheet
  • Animal Receipt and Release Agreement
  • Original copies of any medical records

When the crisis foster care animal is picked up from the facility or foster caregiver, the “acknowledgement of release” section of the Animal Receipt and Release Agreement must then be signed and dated.

The Client or authorized agent must give 48 hours notice in order for a HSSA representative to pick up the animal from the foster facility or foster home.

When the client or authorized agent comes to HSSA to reclaim their crisis foster animal, the Return of Foster Animal(s) form must be signed and the animal is to be released only to the person who signed the Safe Haven Foster Care Agreement.

While the animal is housed at HSSA, there will be NO documents placed on the kennel identifying the animal’s owner, foster facility destination or status.

No information about the location of the animal will be released to the client or any other individual under any circumstance.

Courtesy of

3450 N Kelvin Blvd
Tucson, Arizona 85716
Shelter Phone: (520) 327-6088

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