Southern Delaware
Safe Haven Board announces leadership change

GEORGETOWN – In response to its evolving needs and status as an open-to-the-public No Kill facility, Georgetown-based Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary in a press release Thursday announced a change in leadership, with Anne Gryczon no longer Safe Haven’s executive director.

Director of Operations and Medical Care Cindy Woods has been appointed as acting director, with current staff and board members also taking over some of the executive duties.

Safe Haven’s Board of Directors had announced Wednesday that Ms. Gryczon was no longer the executive director, a position she held since 2007.

“As the organization has transformed from concept to reality, we concluded that our needs are different now and Anne’s skill set does not match our current requirements,” the Safe Haven Board of Directors said in the statement. “But we want to stress Anne’s success in getting the building from concept to reality, achieving our financing and, of course instilling in us all, her dedication to the animals.”

As the changes at Safe Haven take place, the Board reiterated its commitment to a No-Kill philosophy, confidence in the hard-working staff to look after the animals, and deep appreciation to the hundreds of volunteers, supporters and donors who were instrumental in opening the doors at the shelter.

While Safe Haven opened to the public last fall, the organization has been ferrying animals to other no-kill centers or foster homes for several years.

Prior to opening, they were running spay/neuter programs, a pet food pantry feeding over 600 cats in County colonies and a life-saving foster system.

Now, the Board and staff intend to step up both spay/neuter and adoption programs, getting more animals into their forever homes, and taking action to curb the number of homeless animals in the area.

A primary focus will be to reduce the number of animals fostered for Safe Haven in other local facilities (although this is a standard shelter practice nationwide) and concentrate on sending those animals home with adoptive families.

Last year, Safe Haven christened the approximate $3.5 million modern complex on a 14-acre site off Shingle Point road between Lewes and Georgetown.

Built with geo-thermal and radiant flooring to U.S. Green Building Council standards, the complex at its “soft opening” last May featured four dog wings including a quarantine wing, fenced exercise yards and dog runs, a wing for cats, along with medical sections and operating rooms that include a spay/neuter area.

Safe Haven currently provides dog control services for Kent County through a contract with Kent County Levy Court, effective July 1, 2012.

In early December, Sussex County Council opted for a negotiated one-year contract with Kent County SPCA, one of two bidders, for $669,230 for its dog control services for the calendar year starting Jan. 1, 2013.

Safe Haven’s initial bid was higher, and both bids in fact were above Sussex County’s budgeted amount. Sussex County negotiated with both vendors reduced responsibility to try to lower the cost, based on responses and grading, County Council approved Director of Assessments Eddy Parker’s recommendation for the contract with Kent County SPCA.

For more information about Safe Haven and its adoption program, check out Safe Haven's web site.