Duke’s Animal Haven is a real Haywood ‘haven’

By Carol Viau | May 19, 2014
Photo by: Carol Viau photos STATE-OF-THE-ART — Duke’s Animal Haven opened its new indoor/outdoor kennel in February, providing a state-of-the art “haven” for animals and temporary housing for Sarge’s transport dogs. Pictured below, Duke’s employee Leslie McClure plays with Bruno in the Astroturf-covered outdoors play area.

Haywood County is blessed with people who help animal rescue efforts in many ways. Duke’s Animal Haven Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded by volunteers in 2012. The rescue pulls animals from the Haywood County Animal Shelter. Duke’s focus is to work with the animals in three ways. First, it focuses on the dogs and cats needing extra care due to either a more advanced age, a medical condition that needs rehabilitation, or a breed sometimes overlooked.  Secondly, Duke’s a cage-free cat sanctuary. Finally, Duke’s houses dogs that have been pulled and are awaiting transport to Northeastern states by Sarge’s.

Duke’s has cats available for local adoption at all times.  Dogs are available at times also. Animals may be seen at Duke’s facility by appointment only or the available cats and dogs may be seen on Petfinder  (www.petfinder.com/NC853.html).

It is the transport opportunities that created the third facet of the Duke’s Animal Haven’s efforts. A longtime relationship with Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, and an understanding of the need for housing transport animals, prompted a group of anonymous donors to build a kennel facility specifically to provide Sarge’s designated transport dogs a “safe haven” as the dogs await their trip north. The building is owned by Duke’s Animal Haven, Inc., and represents a labor of love for the volunteers and employees.

The state-of-the-art facility, which was designed with the input of a state inspection officer from the beginning, includes 14 indoor/outdoor runs for dogs and two cat rooms. It features independent ventilation systems to help eliminate the spread of airborne diseases. Adult dogs are housed in four rooms of three runs each and the puppy room has two runs. The halls and interior of each room is tiled and finished with other non-porous materials to make cleaning easier. Each run has a door to let the dogs outside, plus employees and volunteers take the dogs outside each day to play in an Astroturf area. This ground cover allows for easy cleaning and disinfecting the surface. Cats have their own free-roaming rooms, one for adult cats and one for kittens.

“Sarge's is extremely fortunate to be provided with this haven facility,” said Sarge’s board member and Sarge’s transport program coordinator Jim Ray. “The folks who constructed and operate the facility are close friends of Sarge's, and have supported the transport program with their time and donations for years.” Ray added, “Besides financial help for Sarge’s, the new haven frees up foster homes and kennels at Sarge’s adoption center so we can pull more dogs from the shelter. The timing could not be better — our new rescue partnerships have resulted in a first quarter increase in Sarge’s transported animals of 58 percent above 2013.”

Duke’s Animal Haven is a new asset in Haywood County’s rescue efforts. Animals are truly in the hearts of all the Duke’s people.

Duke's Animal Haven Inc. is near Clyde, at 5 Tracy Lane in Waynesville. Visit www.dukesanimalhaven.org or call 734-0267.

Duke’s animals are only pulled from the Haywood County Animal Shelter. No animals are accepted from the public.