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Serenity Surviving Cat Program Details
At SAFE Haven for Cats we are frequently contacted by caring cat owners who are making plans for their cats in their estates. If there are no friends or family members who are willing or able to care for your cats, it is possible to include instructions for your executor to place your cats with a shelter such as SAFE Haven for Cats.
Not a week goes by that we are not contacted to take cats whose owners have passed away. This is so stressful and tragic for all concerned: surviving children, relatives and most of all, the cats.
But it does not have to be that way. Because SAFE Haven may be able to take these cats and find wonderful, new homes for them.
As you may know, SAFE Haven is a 25-year-old No-Kill animal shelter just for cats. We have a successful track record of providing specialized cat care and marvelous adoption services that have placed over 9,000 homeless cats to date.
What we do is simple but not easy! If it were easy everyone would do it, right? We rescue and shelter stray and homeless cats and kittens. We give them all the medical care they need and match them with new families. In addition, we specialize in individualized care for each cat including behavioral enrichment, low restraint handling techniques, socialization and playtime (we have over 100 volunteers per week!). We specialize in cats who are older, shy or scared or who may have medical issues. The average cat at SAFE Haven only has to wait for about four weeks for their new home.
Our number one goal is to reduce needless euthanasia of cats in our community and that is why we created the Serenity Surviving Cat Program. If you are like me – older, with no relatives who can take your cats – this program will ease your worries.
Through your estate plan you can arrange now for SAFE Haven to care for your cats and find them new homes if something unexpected should happen to you.
Serenity Surviving Cat Program FAQ’s
What is the Program?
With acceptance into the program, which includes payment of a fee per cat, SAFE Haven agrees to take ownership of your cats if the need arises.
What happens then?
SAFE Haven is a highly successful adoption agency for cats and a licensed animal shelter. We will begin working immediately to find a new home for your pets.
What about on-going specialized care?
Just like you, we will take care of all your cat’s needs. Of course there will be food (prescription, if needed), shelter, mental stimulation and playtime.
What about medical care?
SAFE Haven employs a full time experienced Veterinarian. She is also on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SAFE Haven is very experienced in giving daily medications, has our own surgery suite and uses the services of the NCSU Veterinary School, and veterinary specialists in dentistry, cardiology, ophthalmology, and orthopedics.
Where will my cat be housed?
SAFE Haven uses a variety of enclosures in the shelter. There is a combination of colony (multiple cats for those that like it) or single housing. All enclosures follow the guidelines of the Association of Feline Practitioners and provide a separate area for eating, resting (including a higher shelf), and a litter box.
What if I want my cats adopted as a pair?
We adopt out many pairs of cats yearly. All you have to do is let us know. Or the reverse – sometimes people tell us that two cats are not the best of friends.
How will you find a new home for my cat?
Each potential adopter at SAFE Haven has to fill out a three page application. You can see an example of one on our website at safehavenforcats.org. People then come to our shelter and meet with an experienced and trained adoption counselor. We start a conversation with them at this point, helping to guide them to the type of cat that will be the perfect fit for their home, schedules, family members and expectations. We are constantly educating about the best and newest trends in cat care. Once a cat is chosen the new adopter signs an adoption contract. We follow up with our adopters three times in the first year and are always available to them if they have questions.
How long will it take to find a new home for my cat?
Last year, SAFE Haven found homes for 864 cats and kittens and the average length of stay was 3 weeks.
In general, older cats tend to stay a little longer – between 3 and 6 months.
If I don’t want my cat adopted to a new home can you keep it at your shelter for life?
No, SAFE Haven does not provide any lifetime sanctuary care. We are an adoption agency and are not equipped or licensed as a sanctuary.
Can I come and see the shelter?
Absolutely! This is a requirement!
Can I just put SAFE Haven in my will and have someone call you if something happens?
Every cat must apply and be accepted into the Serenity Surviving Cat Program for us to take them. As you can imagine, we stay very full at SAFE Haven with a waiting list of homeless cats waiting for a space to come in. With your acceptance in the program, you have a written contract that we are going to take your cat as soon as we can arrange to pick them up or for them to be brought to us.
By enrolling in our program in advance both you and SAFE Haven know what our responsibilities are and you can have peace of mind knowing everything will be taken care of. In addition, you have a guarantee that should the fees for the program increase, you are locked in now.
How much does it cost?
The minimum is $15,000 per cat and this is due when we assume the care of your cat. These funds may be provided by your Will or Trust or by designating the proceeds of an IRA, Certificate of Deposit or life insurance to SAFE Haven for Cats. If you pay this fee now, when you are accepted, there is a significant discount. In addition, cats adopted from SAFE Haven also have a discount.
If I become incapacitated before I pass away, what then?
Check with your attorney, but you can designate your Power of Attorney to an individual to act on your behalf. We would accept your pet at that time, if needed.
Who will let you know the time has come for the cats to be transferred to SAFE Haven?
You will appoint an interim caretaker. They may be a family member, the executor of your estate or your pet sitter.
If my cat dies, can this be transferred?
The admission fee (either pre-paid or the established amount at the time of enrollment) for the deceased cat can be used toward the new cat. You would have to apply for that new pet individually to see if they would be accepted.
What happens if I pre-pay and all my cats pre-decease me?
SAFE Haven will maintain the donation and consider it a general charitable donation.
Do you accept dogs?
No, just cats.
I am interested in joining the Serenity Surviving Cat Program. What do I do next?
Contact Pam Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.582.7834. Then come for a tour of SAFE Haven and tell us about your cats.