In 1996 Safe Haven started out as a not-for-profit when two people met in a fateful encounter. Cheryl Lange took a wrong turn in Elizabeth when she met Penny Heidenreich and this was the start of a humane society in Jo Daviess County. in 1997 they decided to officially make a go of it. It started with a meeting of six people and soon grew to group of 25. A name was chosen and founding legal work started. The group was incorporated and a board and committees were chosen and the group obtained it's not for profit (501(c)(3) status. The society moved forward with its first adoption in August of 1998. With no building, Safe Haven utilized foster homes to house its dogs and cats for nearly a decade.
Dedicated animal lovers hosted fund raisers to purchase a building site. In 2006 that dream became a reality with the purchase of the current building. Many years of fund raising for the building fund allowed Safe Haven to purchase and renovate the building so that it would be the temporary home for unwanted or homeless cats and dogs.
Like any charitable organization, financing is an ongoing and vital concern. Safe Haven faces the constant challenge of having enough income to meet operating expenses. No funding comes from the county or state; all income is derived from private donations, adoption fees, and fund raising events.