The Animal Haven, Inc.

Saving lives since 1948

North Haven, CT   |


The Animal Haven is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to provide humane refuge for homeless, abandoned, and surrendered cats and dogs, while we strive to find them loving, permanent homes.

Ruling year info



Linda Marino

Main address

89 Mill Rd

North Haven, CT 06473 USA

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NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Every year, across the nation, hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs are born in the wild, surrendered to a shelter for a variety of reasons, or abandoned and left to survive on their own because the owners no longer want them, cannot afford to keep them, or merely tire of them. The Greater New Haven area is no exception. Many that are surrendered to a shelter are at risk of being euthanized, whether they are healthy or ill. The Animal Haven works tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, and socialize these unwanted cats and dogs, and find loving, permanent homes for them. We also offer life-long sanctuary to those animals that we take in that are unadoptable.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Pet Entry Program

The Animal Haven is a private, no-kill shelter to which members of the community can surrender cats and dogs, or bring abandoned animals they have found, knowing that they will be well cared for until a new, loving home can be found for them.  People from the Greater New Haven area and beyond surrendered many of the 287 animals that entered the shelter in 2020.  It is our policy to spay or neuter all animals if they have not been sterilized, and we do not euthanize animals except in rare instances of medical necessity.

Population(s) Served

After taking in animals and tending to their medical needs, The Animal Haven next seeks to find each cat and dog a permanent, loving new home. The Animal Haven staff and volunteers spend time with each animal in order to understand his or her personality and needs so that the staff can recommend the dog or cat that would be the best fit for any particular person or family.   We also make careful assessments of the potential adopters, to ensure that they will adhere to our policies regarding responsible pet ownership.  With these careful vetting processes, we increase the chances that the animals and adopters will be “friends for life."

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Animal Haven aims to reduce the number of homeless companion animals in the Greater New Haven area and beyond by providing them with humane refuge and the veterinary care that they need and then adopt them out to loving, permanent homes. We also aim to lower the incidence of new births of homeless and unwanted animals by practicing a mandatory spay/neuter policy for all animals we take in.

• We treat every animal we take in humanely, and provide them with the medical attention they need. The animals receive a complete examination and health assessment by a veterinarian and are vaccinated against disease. Ongoing problems are monitored and addressed.
• We practice a no-kill philosophy, prohibiting euthanasia except when it is in the best interest of a sick or dying animal or required by law.
• We adhere to an adoption policy that maximizes the success of placement into permanent homes: we do not do same-day adoptions, we require references, we do vet checks, and we conduct home visits as resources allow. We strive to find the best match for each animal and each adopter. The Animal Haven staff gets to know the personality of each animal, which helps us successfully match the dogs and cats with potential adopters.
• We practice a mandatory spay and neuter policy to combat animal overpopulation.
• Staff and some volunteers foster our youngest kittens at home, bottle-feeding them until they are old enough to eat on their own.
• We never give up on an animal. If cats or dogs are not adoptable for any reason, they will live with us at the shelter for the rest of their lives.
• We honor the human/animal bond: The staff and volunteers work with the cats and dogs to reinforce positive interactions and strengthen their bond with humans. We also seek to strengthen this bond by ensuring as much as possible that every adoption is successful. To do this, when necessary, we make home visits to help an animal acclimate to his or her new environment and provide training to help a dog adjust to life in a new home.

• A staff of two full-time and seven part-time shelter workers.
• A large volunteer force, including fosterers for very young kittens that require bottle-feeding, and volunteers who do most of the administrative work for the shelter.
• A recently expanded and renovated facility, including a new 1600-square-foot cat wing; a state-of-the-art HVAC system; isolation rooms for sick animals so we can prevent the spread of disease; upgraded, quieter, less stressful kennels for dogs; a renovated kitchen and laundry area; and tile or epoxy floors throughout the facility that make it easier to clean and sanitize the shelter. Our facility also includes a special meet-and-greet room for people when they are considering adopting an animal.
• We have a close working relationship with the Guilford Animal Medical Center, which provides veterinarian services to the shelter’s animals, including, but not limited to, physical examinations, medical testing, spaying/neutering, and other surgeries as needed, and refers us to specialists when necessary.
• We are located on a wooded, seven-acre parcel of land in North Haven where volunteers and staff can take the dogs on long, peaceful walks.

Our biggest accomplishment has been the recent (2017-2019) renovation and expansion of the shelter to create a state-of-the-art facility. We are in the process (as of Summer, 2020) of writing a 5-year strategic plan, and will resume our second year of work with a fundraising consultant who, in the last six months, performed an internal assessment of the shelter’s fundraising activities and is helping us maximize our donor outreach and develop a major gift plan.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The Animal Haven’s target population includes the people who are interested in adopting a companion animal, the people who need to surrender a dog or cat, those who are in need of finding shelter for an animal they have found or rescued, the shelter's donors, and of course, the homeless and abandoned dogs and cats in the Greater New Haven area and beyond. Our target population with respect to potential adopters is people who will be responsible, caring pet owners.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    regular outreach to donors and adopters by telephone and email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In response to negative feedback we received from a few donors regarding our gift acknowledgement process, and to help us increase the shelter's fundraising, in October 2021 we hired a part-time Development Manager. Rather than rely on 7 or 8 volunteers to enter all data regarding donations and to acknowledge these gifts, we now have centralized these functions, along with many other duties related to development, in the Development Manager role. Because of several negative comments we received from the public regarding difficulty using our website, in December 2021, we completely revamped and improved the website to make it much more user-friendly and to enable the public to easily fill out and submit online adoption applications, surrender forms, and volunteer applications.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    In preparing the shelter's five-year strategic plan, we asked our donors for their ideas regarding what would make the shelter outstanding in their view. This feedback was considered by the board in preparing the strategic plan for 2022-2027 and also is being used to inform the vision and long-term aspirations for the shelter.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,


The Animal Haven, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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The Animal Haven, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 1/2/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Linda Marino

Jeffrey O'Donnell

retired CPA

Arnold Cary

retired veterinarian

Maria Carofano

pharmaceutical data services

Courtney McCarroll

Yale University's fundraising and development office

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/2/2022,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


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Race & ethnicity

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