Safe Haven Wildlife Refuge Center, Inc. was founded in 2000 in Marengo, IL, to serve the needs of wildlife displaced by habitat loss due to urbanization. We provide wildlife rescue, veterinary care, direct contact for emergency care, referrals to other facilities, and community support and education.

Safe Haven became a nonprofit corporation in March 2000, and was approved for 501(c)3 tax exemption. We are funded solely by donations, fundraising and grants. We receive assistance requests from concerned citizens, law enforcement, veterinarians, and state and federal agencies. Safe Haven provides trained staff and holding facilities for animals in need, at no cost—including medical care, feeding, enrichment, rehabilitation and release sites. When Safe Haven was founded, we cared for approximately forty animals a year. By 2006, we were rehabilitating several hundred orphaned and injured animals annually.

To accommodate an increased need for placement space, Safe Haven moved in November 2006 to a 160-acre property in Imlay, Nevada . At that time, we changed our name to Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, and in 2015 we changed our name again, to Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary, which better reflects our mission. The move to a larger facility enabled us to offer permanent placement for more animals confiscated from the illegal pet trade and other critical situations in which they have been abused or neglected. The issues that we addressed in Illinois are no less vital in the American West, where wildlife are threatened by habitat loss and the degradation of native ecosystems.


Our primary goals are:

  • To provide lifelong care for as many animals as we can accommodate, decreasing the number that are euthanized in the U.S. each year simply because there is insufficient space in sanctuaries such as ours.
  • To rescue and rehabilitate indigenous wildlife.
  • To provide education and outreach services to youth groups, adult groups, and schools in underserved communities.
  • To maintain a "green" solar-powered facility that makes environmentally-responsible use of energy and other resources

The move to a much larger property enables us to construct more buildings and enclosures that comply with sanctuary accrediting standards. We hope eventually to expand to 320 acres. See our Expansion page to learn more about our progress on current projects.

Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary does not participate in breeding, buying, selling or trading of any animals placed in our facility, nor are our animals for hire.