Rescue Shelter Spotlight: Animal Haven

Animal Haven - Animal Shelter

Rescue Shelter Spotlight: Animal Haven

Part of our mission at Rescue Pop is to share the stories of the rescue shelters and organizations that truly make a difference. Enjoy the first in our series, an interview with Tiffany Lacey, Executive Director of Animal Haven.

About Animal Haven

Animal Haven is a nonprofit organization that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the Tri-State area and provides behavior intervention when needed to improve chances of adoption.  Founded in 1967, Animal Haven operates a rescue shelter in Manhattan. Additionally, the shelter offers programs that enhance the bond between animals and people.

Animal Haven Shelter NYC

Animal Haven is one of NYC’s most respected shelters. Their downtown Manhattan location engages visitors from all over the world who are committed to animal wellbeing.


How did Animal Haven come about?

Animal Haven was founded by a group of women in Flushing Queens who saw a need to help abandoned animals in their community. In the last fifty years, Animal Haven has become a respected animal welfare organization with a modern, open concept shelter implementing best practices to meet the critical needs of animals in our care.

Animal Haven Rescue Shelter

Animal Haven, the NYC shelter founded in 1967, strives to enhance the bond between animals and people, giving pets and pet parents extra care with every fostering or adopting opportunity.

What sets Animal Haven apart?

What sets Animal Haven apart is our commitment to each of the animals in our care. We welcome every dog or cat and work with them until they are successfully placed with new adopters and in new homes. Sometimes this happens quickly, but if they are with us a little longer, we work with each one until they are successfully placed.

Animal Haven is unique because we have a small staff and an army of volunteers. Together we meet the day-to-day needs of each individual animal – including wellness exams and vaccinations, medical care, behavior training, and modification, daily walks and feeding, and specialized socializing for the scared or nervous animals. We also focus on promoting the animals on our website and also on social media.

Rescue Shelter NYC Animal Haven

Check out Animal Haven’s Instagram for the latest in adorable pets for adoption or foster.  An army of volunteers and a team of dedicated staff members are on board to care for the animals in this exceptional shelter, from daily walks to top-flight veterinary attention and careful transport.

Is there a mantra/a mission statement that defines Animal Haven?

We have two: 

1) Adopt don’t Shop.

2) Animal Haven inspires the public to adopt, promotes humane education and community engagement, and protects animals in danger through rescue and rehabilitation

Rescue Shelter Animal Haven NYC

Adopt Don’t Shop, that is Animal Haven’s mission statement. Dedicated to helping animals through rescue and rehabilitation. #adoptdontshop

How does Animal Haven enhance the bond between animals and people?

Most people visit Animal Haven to visit one of our dogs and cats, and so our most popular program is our Adoption Program. We provide intensive support through counseling about finding the right animal, and we remain committed to helping each adopter through the process.

Senior Dog Rescue Shelter Animal Haven

Here a hand-off in the COVID-19-challenged times of a senior dog to a loving family showing us how Animal Haven finds the right animal for the right family.

Adoption for Animal Haven is a considered process. Counseling and commitment guide each pairing of pet and parent.  Meet Bo, a senior pug, who found the best forever home imaginable thanks to Animal Haven’s hands-on guidance.

Animal Haven Animal Shelter NYC

Hello Bo!! Such a handsome boy!

When it comes to matching pet with pet owner, how can you tell what makes a good match?

We’ve seen a lot of adoptions over the years, and the ones that stand out are the ones in which there is a combination of hope, happiness, and understanding. Those are the best matches and what we want for each of our dogs and cats.

Actress Kate Walsh (formerly Grey’s Anatomy) found bliss with her beautiful Animal Haven pup, Rosie. Just one example of a bonded pair, wonderful testimony to Animal Haven’s ability to make a great match. 

Annually how many dogs and cats are found forever homes?

We assist about 1,000 dogs and cats each year. During the current emergency, our Adoptions Program remains active – people are contacting us daily to meet our animals. Unfortunately, we are closed to the public for health and safety reasons, so adoptions are by appointment only.

Animal Haven Dogs for Adoption

Meet Tatertot. One of the cutest pups at Animal Haven presently up for adoption. This precious 10-year-old boy deserves all the love in the world. Take a closer look at this fur baby here.

What is the most important thing you can teach a pet under your care?

Each animal comes to us with a different past – some we don’t even know. I imagine that some of these dogs and cats experienced the feeling of love from people, but probably some have not. So that is what I hope they experience at Animal Haven, and we can share with them that feeling of peace and trust.

Animal Haven Cats for Adoption

Each animal that comes to shelter at Animal Haven has a different past.  Some have known love from their owners, many have not. Animal Haven strives to give each and every one of the pets in their care a feeling of peace and trust.

What is the most important thing you can share with a pet parent to be?

Be open with your whole heart.

Animal Haven Pet Adoptions

Accepting an animal into your life means you need to be, says Tiffany Lacey, Executive Director of Animal Haven, “open with your whole heart.”

What is Animal Haven’s most rewarding success story?

Every day we see success stories, so it is hard to only have one.

Edith, a small mixed older dog – maybe Chihuahua and Dachshund, came to us last summer after she was abandoned in a dog park. She was rough around the edges a little – she would only let a few people touch her, but when you were in her circle of trust, she was like a teddy bear that could melt your heart.  She was sensitive to touch, guarded and she also had a few medical issues. At least in the beginning, when people would try and meet her, she was unpredictable.

For some of our dogs who are here the longest, we have them with us in the offices and Edith held her own with the staff. She had a few favorites, and the behavior team really worked hard to see what drew her to each of these people. Well, in April, someone decided they would like to foster her, and the match proved to be successful. Edith was adopted in May by the foster family, and we just received the perfect picture of her on the beach looking so happy. So, that is a successful Animal Haven adoption!

Rescue Shelter Pets

Meet spunky little Edith, a remarkable success story from Animal Haven.  Adopted and happy now, she arrived guarded and unwilling to let many into her circle of trust.  It took intuition, observation, and kindness from the AH behavior team to help her find a family who fell in love with her.

What are the biggest myths about shelter pets?

I guess the biggest myth is that shelter pets aren’t as good as pets from breeders or pet stores. I don’t know if we can change perceptions. Still, we are increasingly showing that our animals are great pets – more and more people are championing our animals on social media, and more and more people are reaching out to adopt an Animal Haven dog or cat.

Championing animals on social media, Animal Haven celebrates one adorable pup with his new pawrent. This sweet boy is eager to learn and loves to cuddle, he’s a playful fellow, and his new owner is grateful for all the love and care he received at Animal Haven.

What does Animal Haven want us to understand about animal wellbeing?

Look out for each other – and this includes people and animals. We are all in this together!

Rescue Pet Adoptions - Animal Haven

Together is better.  These two have each other’s back.  Mutual caring strengthens the bond between humans and their companion animals, especially the furry friends found at Animal Haven. #adoptdontshop

Are there tips you can share about adopting from AH?

If people are interested in adopting from us, know our process and be prepared to provide some basic information. We are deeply committed to our animals, and because of that dedication, we want to take the necessary time to ensure a great match.

Animal Shelter Animal Haven

There’s a pup who is a perfect match waiting for you at Animal Haven.  Take a look at their dogs for adoption below.  Contact Animal Haven to check on hours and opportunities to meet pups up for adoption, 212 274 8511, or go to their website.  This cutie is named Crinklecut.

Pets Available for Adoption at Animal Haven

How can people help Animal Haven if they can’t adopt?

We welcome volunteers to help in this important work (but during COVID, we are not able to accept traditional volunteering). In addition, we are hoping more people can make financial donations. A dollar at Animal Haven goes a long way – the financial support will provide critical care for the dogs and cats.

Animal Shelter Volunteer

Volunteering at Animal Haven is a great way to help.  Volunteers socialize with the animals, walk them, play with them, nurture them to they can better adapt to human companionship when they find a foster or forever home.

How does Animal Haven work with celebrities to fundraise in these socially-distanced times?

Last month we held a virtual gala, and several celebrities participated to showcase the animals they have adopted. We welcomed Jon Stewart, Vincent D’Onofrio (who was completing his adoption), and Martha Plimpton, who announced she was a foster fail and was adopting the two dogs in her care. I will say that celebrities are great, and we are so grateful for the support and publicity they give us, but everyone is a celebrity to their own animals – you don’t have to be a superstar to adopt and be celebrated!

What lies ahead for Animal Haven?

We are so grateful to be here and help dogs and cats and have genuine support from our community. Animal Haven has really stepped up to respond to calls for help in the last few months – in fact, we did not close one day. While things have changed a little – like we are not open to the public right now, it has made us work more intentionally. We are more focused than ever to help these animals and help in really tough situations – both the COVID cases and for people who lost their jobs and can no longer keep their pets. We are here – and we are here to help.

Animal Haven Pet Rescue

Animal Haven is working more intentionally these days focused on helping to rescue animals who are themselves “victims” of Covid-19, surrendered by people who can no longer keep their pets. Their particular mission during these uncertain times is to help these animals find forever homes.



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