Our Vision

Mission Statement

Sylvester’s Haven is dedicated to the well-being of dogs. Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, train, rehome and provide sanctuary to dogs in need of help. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, no-kill organization.

Our Vision in Detail

Sylvester's Haven is a non-profit organization (501 (c) 3) dedicated to the well-being of dogs. In the long term we are looking to establish a dedicate no-kill rescue and sanctuary center in Southern California, with the capacity to rescue, rehabilitate, train, re-home and care for up to five hundred dogs at the same time. We envision this facility to include the following:

Site of our future facility
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Rescue Facility: We will accept all German Shepherd Dogs regardless of demeanor or health condition. Rescue is just the first step in our vision.

Rehabilitation Center: All dogs coming to our rescue will be rehabilitated, trained and certified as Canine Good Citizens by an AKC evaluator before deemed ready for adoption.

Holistic Veterinary Services: All dogs coming to our rescue will receive a thorough medical checkup and all necessary treatment right at arrival. We will spay and neuter arriving animals, provide necessary vaccinations and will do everything within our power to assure full medical recovery if at all possible. We will have full holistic veterinary services on site.

Holistic Nutrition: Our rescue animals will receive optimized, organic food and supplementation, specifically formulated for German Shepherd Dogs to ensure good health and speedy recovery.

Training Center: Acknowledging the special needs and capabilities of German Shepherd Dogs our facility will include training facilities that allow German Shepherd Dogs to thrive and develop their full potential. In addition to the Canine Good Citizen training, the specialized capabilities will include facilities for herding, tracking, agility and protection training.

Socialization: One of the biggest downsides in regular shelter environments is the isolation of dogs, which are very social animal. Rehabilitation and restoring the dog natural balance will allow us to create dog parks for supervised socialization and play for all our rescue dogs. Our goal is for our rescue animals to hang out together for the most part of day and as much as possible also sleep together as a pack.

Adoption: After rehabilitation and Canine Good Citizen certification we will allow and encourage the adoption of our dogs by qualified dog owners. German Shepherd Dogs are wonderful, loyal companions for the right families but they are not for everyone. These dogs need competent handlers, space and sufficient time and exercise with their owners to thrive. Adopting dogs from our rescue will come with contractual responsibilities to their nutrition, health, exercise and treatment, as we want to ensure that our dogs never have to suffer another day in their lives ever again. We will evaluate each interested adopter and also offer people training to qualify for adoption. We encourage adoptions but want to ensure the continued well-being of our dogs. For this reason we will stay involved after adoption in similar ways many breeders do with their dogs.

Sanctuary: Dogs which can't be cleared for adoption for any reason will have a lifelong sanctuary at Sylvester's Haven and remain with us to live out the remainder of their lives in a loving, caring environment surrounded by their own kind under the care of dedicated behaviorist, vets, nutritionists and animal lovers.

In the interim, while we raise the funds to bring our vision to life, we want to help as many German Shepherd Dogs as possible. For this reason we formulated a long term, multi-phase plan that allows donations to immediately help German Shepherd Dogs in need while also contributing to the larger goal as well.

Phase 0 - Laying the Groundwork: Before we can focus on the actual mission, we need to lay the foundation. We need to legally form the organization, file for formal non-profit status with the IRS, develop organizational procedures, build a website, setup bank accounts, find volunteers and start raising money to cover all of these initial costs. We are currently in phase 0. Here is how you can get involved:

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Personally Volunteer time and expertise We currently need:

  • Advisors to help develop our procedures and advise in general
  • Web designers to help build our website
  • Fund raisers to help us get donations
  • Lawyers to create legal forms and contracts and advise on and manage possible legal issues
  • Architects to help design our facilities and create 3-D models for the website
  • Behaviorists willing to help with rehabilitations and advice
  • Foster homes willing to help with rescue

Phase 1 - Individual Dog Rescue: We will set individual fundraising goals for one dog at the time. Half of all donation will be set aside towards the larger goal (phase 4) while the other half will immediately benefit a German Shepherd Dog's rescue and rehabilitation. We will document the selection and rehabilitation of this dog on our website so all donors can follow the impact their donations. The individual fundraising goals will be set to cover adoption fees, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, medical bills, food and supplementation, housing at a foster home, rehabilitation work and the costs of finding him/her a new forever home.

Phase 2 - Expansion through Foster Homes and Additional Behaviorists: Once we have defined our processes and procedures through the experiences of phase 1, we want to scale our capabilities to help multiple dogs in parallel. In this phase we plan to create rehabilitation teams, each comprised of one foster home and one behaviorist both dedicated towards one dog from rescue over rehabilitation to re-homing.

Phase 3 - Creating sustained Income beyond Donations: While traditional fundraising and individual donations will always remain one of the most important sources of funding for any rescue organization, we plan to significantly increase our financial resources through the development of German Shepherd Dog specific products that Sylvester's Haven owns, markets and sells domestically and internationally. These will all be products that Sylvester's Haven itself needs and uses to fulfill its mission but that also have broad appeal to German Shepherd Dog owners worldwide and as such can create sustained income for the organization. All proceeds will directly benefit the mission of Sylvester's Haven.

Phase 4 - Establishing the Sylvester's Haven Rescue, Rehabilitation and Sanctuary Center: Once the required funding is secured we will decide on a cost-effective and practical location, buy property and build the Sylvester's Haven facilities. As we are moving through the phases, we will create detailed plans for every aspect of the center, so once we have the funding, we can move immediately. The detailed costs of the facility will emerge as we move through the process. Given the scope and scale we envision, we estimate the initial setup costs of Sylvester's Haven to be around $6 million dollars and annual operating expenses to be about $1 million.

Phase 5 – Scale Up: With the facility and sustained funding in place we will increase our rescue efforts to the maximum extent possible. The facility is planned to be able to accommodate up to 500 dogs at any given time. Our expanded rescue efforts will start in kill-shelters in Southern California, expand to Northern California and if feasible possibly to other states as well. We might take the occasional dog from other no-kill shelters in special circumstance but we want to have the maximum impact possible and as such will focus on wherever we see the greatest need.

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