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PurrHaven, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Spay, neuter and vaccinate the breeding cats and kittens living outdoors in Washington County Maryland to end needless euthanasia at the county shelter.

Results: 605 outdoor breeding cats from November 1, 2011 through December 1, 2017

Target demographics: spay, neuter and give basic medical attention to the outdoor breeding cats in Washington County Maryland

Direct beneficiaries per year: 112 cats

Geographic areas served: Washington County Maryland

Programs: Free spay/neuters and vaccinations in Washington County Maryland for any cat living outside with the ability to produce offspring.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4 Janice11

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I finally bought a place with a barn, folks were telling me that I needed to get barn cats for pest control. Two people told me about PurrHaven and their amazing founder Liz. I called her and told her that I have never owned cats, but here is my situation. She came out to the farm, saw the barn, suggested how we could set up cat appropriate shelter/food and then invited me to meet the cats. She had a few in mind (I wanted two). When I visited, I was the center of attention for a few minutes, then the cats went back to their normal day . . . except for two. To my surprise, one jumped in my lap and the other would circle back every few minutes. It turns out that these were the two she thought would be great for me! Boy, does she know her animals. They are Tabby/Siamese brothers that were part of a larger family that Liz had caught, vetted and neutered. They were used to being together and outside. They are part of my barn family, now, and are wonderful. Besides being great for pest control, they are wonderful bundles of love. They come when called, ask for ear rubs and belly pats and get along wonderfully with the draft horses. They have transitioned to loving barn cats and bring me a love token rat or mouse with pride. Liz is an amazing woman. She feeds and traps feral cats to get them spayed/neutered, gives assistance to local cat owners to feed their cats living outdoors, and does it in all kinds of weather -- 365 days a year. PurrHaven is a very worthy organization to support with donations of money, cat food or your time! I sing PurrHaven's praises at every opportunity. Great job, Liz!

Mike D M.

Client Served

Rating: 1

I know this is a long post. I ask you to please bare with me and take the time to read the entire post and please share with your cat loving friends, especially those who live in Maryland.

As most of you know I adopted 3 kittens from PurrHaven back in September. Part of the adoption agreement was PurrHaven would have them spayed and neutered when the were old enough. I said I would have it taken care of by my own vet when they were old enough but Liz insisted they have it done by their vet. Well, they picked up my cats for the surgery and now they are REFUSING to bring them back to me, claiming I voided the contract! Here’s the story...

Over the last 3 months Liz and I have stayed in contact. I kept them informed on the cats growth, diet, etc. This past Thursday one of the cats had started vomiting. I informed Liz of this news since it was just days away that they were going to have surgery.

This past Sunday Liz came and picked them up to have the spay and neuter done. We agreed via text message they cats would be picked up on Sunday and return on Wednesday.

Liz informed both my mother and I she would be arriving with the return of the cats on Wednesday between 2:00 and 2:30 pm. I attempted to call her twice and my calls were never answered. At 3:30 I sent a text to her informing her of my phone calls and asked if she had an eta.

At this point Liz responded and started to be condescending and talked down to me. She had an issue with the type of raw food I was feeding them and that I was advised by them as to what type of raw food to feed them. This is a false statement. Liz advised me on CANNED food, not RAW food. Yes, raw food is mentioned in the contract be we never had a verbal conversation about it.

She said “they” were dehydrated from puking. Again, I informed her of “his” (only 1) sickness. There was only ONE sick cat when she received them. She asked why I hadn’t taken him to the vet. I told her he had just started getting sick right before she came for them. To which she basically called me a liar.

She continue to lecture me via text. I tried to call her on the phone so we could have a verbal conversation but my phone call was ignored. I was not going to have this conversation via text and I was not allotted the opportunity to explain myself.

20 minutes later I sent her a text that read “So what now? You can read the messages for yourself in the screenshots. This way I cannot be accused of bending the truth or trying to hide anything.

After the last message where I asked if we were going to sort this out I received the following email...

Mike,
Since your text yesterday got rude, I felt that me calling you to have a conversation about the kittens would not be a good idea.

After giving this much thought, we are declaring your adoption agreement of Sabrina, Hercules and Tabitha null and void effective yesterday 11/28/2018.

The terms of adoption that you have failed to meet are:
1. " On a daily basis, the feline will be provided a diet of high quality canned food two times per day which is to be supplemented with a grain free dry food for felines. If at all possible, supplementing a raw diet like the "Furry Foodie" would be great for kidney and overall health. She is eating that now."

In addition to Hercules (Jack), Tabitha(Misty) also threw up the raw dog food patties here. All 3 kittens refuse now to eat that food. The vomiting is what prompted me to call the store Dogalicious yesterday afternoon that sells this food which is when I found out it is formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs - not cats.

2. "Feline will have constant access to clean, fresh water." I looked at the water bowl on Sunday and it was not clean (I dumped some of the slime out) which means you have not been providing fresh water every day.

In addition, you left without having Hercules ( Jack) vetted even though he had been vomiting the raw patties. He was also dehydrated, had gingivitis, and conjunctivitis. You didn't even consider that perhaps he may not have been a good candidate for surgery.

Tabitha(Misty) also threw up the raw dog food patties here as did Jack. All 3 kittens refuse now to eat that food. The vomiting is what prompted me to call the store that sells this food. I thought it was raw cat food but the packaging

Your windows remain covered so the kittens can't even enjoy looking outside. You comment to me my first visit was that you were painting. Two visits later the windows still remain covered. Personally I think there is much more going there with you considering the hand gun on your night stand the first visit and this last time a rifle/shotgun leaning up in the stairway going upstairs. If you are that fearful that you are going to be robbed or harmed then I don't want those kittens with you. In addition, you are away from the house 14 hours a day plus away on weekends often and this is not the environment good for these kittens.

I gave you the food that was healthy for them and the name of the raw diet the were on. You have chosen to do something totally different which has now adversely affected their health.

We will be mailing you a refund check for the adoption fees.

Elizabeth XXXXXXXX
PurrHaven


I’d like to address these issues one at a time.
Was I rude? Absolutely. My attitude is a reflection of yours towards me.

The terms of adoption:
1. When the kittens were first brought to me Liz also brought me CANNED food. I was not provided with the raw food Liz claims the cats were currently eating, nor was it discussed.

What Liz refers to as “raw dog food patties” is what my local pet store suggested I feed them. Yes, the raw food is marked as dog food but they are aware of my situation of having 3 young cats the told me it would be OK for them.

I do not know what prompted Jack to get sick initially, but the claim that all 3 cats refuse to eat it? Isn’t it possible they’ve been traumatized by the travel, new surroundings and pain from surgery???

As of now I have not been able to contact Doglicious myself to verify her story. I am a regular customer (nearly weekly) at the store and they know me by name and my order as soon as I walk in the door.

2. Yes, I admit the water bowl is dirty. BUT, was Liz does not know is I leave a fresh bowl of water in the kitchen sink twice a day. These cats stay up my butt all the time, especially in the kitchen. I feed them in the morning and they eat while I get ready for work. By the time I’m done they’re done eating. I clean their bowls in the sink and leave one with fresh water. Same in the evening. As soon as I come home from work I feed them. By the time I’m done cleaning their litter boxes they’re done eating and once again, I clean their blows leaving one with fresh water.

I left without having Jack vetted? She was informed of his situation and still took possession of him along with his ailments. She could have suggested we reschedule and I take him to the vet.

Gingivitis and conjunctivitis... and we’ll throw the ear mites in here too. Gingivitis... am I supposed to be an oral expert on cats? I never knew cats could even get it, especially at a young age.
Conjunctivitis... a pretty common ailment in cats caused by many different things. Jack already had one eye removed because of an infection. Could it be that he was never fully treated to begin with?
Ear mites... yet another common condition in cats, especially young cats. The following quote is from PetMD.com...
“This type of mange is common in young cats, although it may occur at any age. It is known for being highly contagious, frequently passing from parent to newborn, and between animals of different species (this mite does not affect humans). The mite also commonly spreads out to other parts of the body.”
Highly contagious? Frequent passing? Once again, could it be possible they were originally brought to me with this condition? Once again, maybe they were never fully treated to begin with? A very close friend of mine is a vet tech and groomer. She came to see the cats shortly after they arrived. She cleaned their ears for me then and was astonished how dirty they were considering they were just brought to me from a rescue that is now accusing me of improper care.

I didn’t consider he’d be a good candidate for the surgery? Ehem, see above.

My windows remain covered??? Please reference the pictures. Did you notice the cat perch in the window that is NOT covered? The window in the kitchen, a window in my bedroom and both windows in their room (yes the cats have an entire room just for themselves) are ALL open!

“Personally I think there is much more going there with you considering the hand gun on your night stand the first visit and this last time a rifle/shotgun leaning up in the stairway going upstairs.” Ummmmm... Am I being judged because I own guns?? So your opinion of guns doesn’t line up with my opinion. That doesn’t make me a bad pet owner. And, again, it’s hunting season.

“In addition, you are away from the house 14 hours a day plus away on weekends often and this is not the environment good for these kittens.” She was aware of my work schedule before I ever adopted the cats. Which is also another reason why I opted for more than one, so they can keep each other company while I’m away. Away on weekends? I took one weekend away to go hunting! Again, am I being judged? If I do go away I have 7, yes seven, family and friends who come take care of them twice a day. They are not neglected just because I take a little time for myself.

Again with the food... I was doing what my local pet store suggested.

I do not want a refund check. I want my cats back!

This woman has been condescending to me since the moment I met her. Now I’m being accused of neglect. Honestly, I think it’s more like I’m being judged. I think her personal beliefs are clouding her judgemen

Lynn M.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

We were looking to adopt a kitten for my disabled fiancé for when i'm working to give her companionship while home alone. We found a kitten through Purr Haven in MD and filled out their application and were approved, but at the same time there was a second kitten around the same age and inquired about adopting both of them. It's a five hour drive for us so we were planning on being able to get these two kittens. Then Liz at Purr Haven starts telling us that this one not compatible with that one and you need to take this one with that one because this one has one eye and that one is mothering her now. They are three month old kittens and she doesn't believe that the two that we inquired about would be a good fit. We have email now where she is be very rude and not willing to let us adopt the kittens in our home. Looking at their reviews it looks like she is in a pattern of changing peoples requests into taking other cats and kittens that they weren't inquiring about. Now we will be looking through another avenue of being able to adopt a cat or kitten due to all this disappointment. The mission of this adoption agency is to have cats and kittens get adopted into good homes were they are of the streets and being loved by their new parents which keeps them from getting euthanized which is the other goal of this agency too.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My then-boyfriend had his heart set on adopting a Maine Coon Cat, so I searched rescue groups on the internet. We found a gorgeous kitty on Purr Haven's site. We traveled to to Purr Haven to meet this special kitty. Once there, we were immediately impressed with Liz and all the happy cats we saw. During our time there, Liz suggested that it would be best for our feline of interest to be adopted along with one of her pals. One of the gals, now Lucy, was outgoing and friendly without being 'clingy.' I fell in love with her. Liz traveled the 2 1/2 or so hours to my home to make sure it was suitable for Lucy and her friend. In February 2014, Liz brought the girls here. She followed up with emails every few months to make sure we were all doing well together. Then I'd hear from Liz about twice a year. This past November (2015), Lucy developed an abscess on her neck. Long story short, 4 months later my vet's office couldn't get a handle on the problem- even after surgery! I emailed Liz, not knowing what to do. I met her at her vet's office and Lucy stayed at Purr Haven for 6 weeks during her treatment. Now my happy kitty is healthy and back home! I can't say enough good things about the wonderful support and sensible advice I've gotten from Purr Haven from my initial contact over 2 years ago!!! I'd recommend Purr Haven to anyone looking for a lap companion:)

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am responding to the review posted in February 2016 with negative comments about the lack of communication from PurrHaven. Obviously, something went wrong here and someone dropped the ball. As you can tell by other reviews, PurrHaven has a great track record saving cats and helping the community manage the feral cat population. I wonder if you would be willing to give PurrHaven another chance to help you. I do apologize that you have had a negative experience and we would like to do what we can to solve any problems that may have existed. Thank you for your consideration and your activities saving community cats!

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

PurrHaven is amazing. They have saved the lives of hundreds of cats and prevented many unwanted pregnancies with their spay and neutering work. But they go so far beyond that: they get medical care for cats in peril, they find amazing homes for socialized cats and community members to care for colonies of homeless cats after they have been spayed and neutered. They educate the public on the importance of spay and neutering and most recently had a holiday event where they gave away free quality food for community members in their catchment area who are caring for homeless cats. They always provide some service where requested even if it is advice as to where to find services and help in other geographical areas of Maryland. I'm honored to be associated with PurrHaven.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I have never been so disappointed in an animal shelter before. I have been emailing PurrHaven since the beginning of January and for weeks did not receive a response. I then went and messaged their Facebook in hopes of getting some sort of response. Someone did respond and told me they would email me an application. Two days later the application came, I filled it out and not long after it was sent I returned it to them fully filled out. It has now been almost a month and I have not heard back from PurrHaven. I have followed up several times over Facebook Messanger where they will read my message but not respond. It is honestly very sad that this happened because they are missing out on great people who want to adopt and give a cat a forever home. You would be better off going somewhere else - this was a very fishy and disappointing experience.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For over a year now I have been caring for a feral colony behind where I work, Back in May I started looking for someone to help me with the cost of TNR'ing my colony and came across a site for Purrhaven. I contacted Liz and she quickly got back to me and was very willing to help me! She provided me with traps and walked me through the process of what I needed to do. I was very fortunate to find her and even more Blessed to have her help in paying for them to be spayed and neutered. I was only able to get a part of the colony at that time and when I picked them up was told that 2 of them were lactating which meant my colony was about to get bigger, which it did and we now have 7 new little ones. Over the past few months the little ones were getting a little too curious and decided the parking lot of my very busy restaurant was their new play ground, Not a good thing!! So my husband and I decided to convert one of our outdoor buildings into a shelter so we could move my colony to safety, We spent about 6 weeks putting up insulation, new walls, put 3 windows in, patched the roof, ran electric to it, a new floor and filled it with beds, toys, cat trees and litter boxes and even had someone donate an outdoor enclosure so they can still enjoy the fresh air ( We had a village of friends that were a huge help in donating things to make it all possible)!! And that's where Liz comes in Again, I contacted her to borrow some traps so that I could begin moving my colony and she was right there to loan them to me. It took me 11 hours but i was successful in moving my whole colony to safety! One was being a little contrary in wanting to get in there but Liz cheered me on and gave me lots of advice on how to get him in the trap, Fried chicken worked! :) I can't Thank Purrhaven enough for all of their help!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I learned of 3 ferals abandoned at a nearby home, Purr Haven immediately provided assistance by lending 2 humane traps so that I could trap and transfer the cats to my home for fostering. Liz quickly arranged for all 3 (mom and 2 “sons”) to receive check-ups, shots, and spay/neutering and handled all the transportation to/from the vet. Liz had previously provided fencing to make an enclosed outdoor area for other cats I had fostered earlier this year, and this was helpful in giving the ferals an opportunity to get familiar with their new location safely before I released them. They’ve adjusted well to their new situation and the boys are becoming well socialized. I’ve continued to depend on Liz for advice and help. Purr Haven does an outstanding job in saving cats in Washington County, thanks to Liz’ dedication and hard work. Not only is she helping the kitties, she also shares her extensive knowledge and experience with everyone who contacts Purr Haven for assistance.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I reached out to Liz/PurrHaven after speaking with a friend who had taken some barn cats to the spay/neuter clinic and she made the recommendation. Liz provided everything we needed to trap and take the cat and kitten to the clinic. Quiet an eye opening experience to go to the clinic and witness the vast amounts of feral felines being brought in. What a huge difference the folks who run the clinic and organizations like PurrHaven are making - helping to reduce the numbers of feral felines, starvation, disease suffering, and negative impacts on wildlife. If we come across more feral felines in or near our farm (which I'm sure will happen) we will be contacting PurrHaven again.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I began feeding a few stray/abandoned cats and in a short time found myself with a colony of feral cats. I had been trying to trap, spay/neuter and release on my own but was ill equipped to do so. The colony was growing by leaps and bounds. Another spring had arrived and with It more litters of kittens. I was truly at my wit's end when an angel in form of Liz from "Purr-Haven" rescued me. She has spent the spring and most of summer helping me trap the cats and get them to a group of vets who care and will do low cost spaying/neutering. The foundation she runs also paid the vet fees. Liz has also put me in touch with a wonderful caring lady named Josett who has taken many of the kittens and is adopting them out to screened pet lovers. She fosters these kittens in her home while trying to find new home for them. Liz and Josett have also helped me with feed and litter. I don't know how I would have survived without them. They have ask nothing in
return but deserve so much. Almost all the adult cats are done and I have a few kittens
that are a bit to old for pets that will need done in another month and I know I can count
on Liz to be there for me. I hope all who read this will be inspired to help this worthy foundation with a generous donation to help pay for the many abandoned cats still in
need. Liz is very dedicated and caring and deserves many blessings in return for all the help she gives.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We found Purrhaven through the Petfinders site, when I was searching for someone to adopt after losing a wonderful cat who died at age 20. It was not only the kitty advertised who caught my eye -- Purrhaven's mission and acomplishments really got my attention. And subsequent contact with Liz affirmed every positive impression.

The application process is thorough and thoughtful, but not burdensome. After Liz reviewed the application, and set up an appointment with his foster mom, we drove to PA to meet the kitty and the truly wonderful foster home Liz found for him. That too was a great affirmation of Purrhaven's diligence in caring for the rescued cats, because his foster mom was outstanding -- kind, compassionate, loving -- and I am certain gave him the foundation he needed. Our Purrhaven kitty is an exceptional cat! Despite his unhappy beginning, he is warm and cuddly, and willing to trust and love us.

We're indebted both to Liz and to Donna for rescuing him, caring for him, and matching him with us. He's made himself at home with our other cats, and is exactly what we were hoping to find. We think we're what he was hoping for too. All in all, an outstanding experience with Purrhaven and a happy outcome. Thank you, Liz and Donna!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Reviews? They're done by everyone, everywhere, for just about everything we buy, use and do.
Cat adoption? Very different with responsibilities and demands that will test most decisions you make for material things.
A successful adoption, that will give you a long term dedicated and loving companion, requires three basic tenants. The Adoptee, The Cat and The Agency. The focus is always on The Cat. The others must adapt to The Cat!
The Cat is already prepared. The preparation for The Adoptee and The Agency is not all that difficult. However, both must individually prepare in different ways and remember that The Cat is unable to negotiate its terms. (It will, as the companionship grows between you, develop a communication that is easily understood).
The Adoptee must prepare in the normal basic format of food, shelter, love, care and family atmosphere. First and foremost, beyond the basics, understand your expectations and responsibilities rest with you and yours once the process is completed.
The Agency has a basic format that has developed through experience and an unending love for those they represent. That experience, too, is a product of facilities, regulations, good business management AND a genuine reputation for consumer trust; and being there for you.
Contact PurrHaven.
purrhaven@gmail.com or 301-788-6687
Liz Stefanik will see you through this process; start to finish AND with some great cat lover friends who will share (after the adoption) the joys of your new Cat. WE DID and Merci represents why we didn't need to judge another agency.
I haven’t put together the usual string of adjectives; you don't need them and they don't do much for the process anyway.

Enjoy!!
Don & Cindy;

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I were looking for 2 cats to adopt after we lost our guy of 14 years. We reviewed PetFinder.com and found 2 sponsored by Purrhaven that looked like a good fit. After talking with Liz, she thought there were 2 others that would be more compatible with us. Thus came Cleo and Chloe into our home. She brought them to Pennsylvania to visit and she did, indeed, hit the nail on the head.

She worked with our schedule, our dog and was clear to explain personalities, habits and expectations. We have a much happier home all the way around. Liz 'knows her stuff' and works well with tentative forever homes. Many thanks to Liz and Kate and Ellen from us and all our 4 legged family members.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first spoke to Liz from PurrHaven after my step-daughter found a stray kitten and asked me to catch it for her. She kept an eye on the kitty, built his confidence with her which gave me the opportunity to catch him. My husband and I brought the kitty home, but I was worried about diseases and him not being neutered and he already only had one eye. I emailed PurrHaven about having kitty neutered and his shots given. I received a quick response from Liz asking him some questions about kitty and then giving me a few options to set up an appointment so the little guy could be neutered, tested, and inoculated. Within a week, Rocky was a healthy neutered boy who was then able to mix in with my indoor cats. He adjusted well and is happy and healthy.

Thanks to Liz and her quick response and caring nature, I was able to get Rocky taken care of. She went out of her way to make sure he was safe and comfortable on the trip to the vet and let me know how he did throughout the day. It's difficult to find sincere, caring people especially pertaining to cats, however I felt very comfortable with Liz. She has the animal's welfare at heart. I would definitely refer anyone to PurrHaven and will continue to be connected to PurrHaven.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Two years ago, I was nearing the end of a temporary business
contract in Hagerstown, MD and would not be returning. I was frantic
because I had been feeding a large feral colony daily and could not
just abandon them to fend for themselves . I was desperately
seeking an organization that could help these cats but options were
few! Of the few rescues I could find in Washington County, PurrHaven was
the only one that even called me back!
PurrHaven was a dream come true! All 20 cats in the colony were
spayed/neutered, vaccinated and relocated to a farm sanctuary
together where they will be forever cared for!
Liz, the founder of PurrHaven, is passionately committed to helping
cats. She not only agreed to help me , she taught me how to
successfully care for feral colonies.
I had so much anxiety and guilt about not being there for the
precious cats anymore and then I found Liz. Without PurrHaven, they
would still be roaming that area--trying to find food, shelter,
safety. Or they would have been euthanized or hit by cars. Instead
they are together in a wonderful sanctuary.
I can't praise PurrHaven enough and Liz who passionately cares and is committed to helping all cats in need.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Purrhaven came to our rescue when my dad, who operated a private rescue, died, leaving my elderly mother to take care of over 30 cats. While my husband and I did what we could to help Mom with litter, food and physical labor, we were stretched to our limit. Enter Purrhaven. Purrhaven not only helped with litter and food, perhaps even more importantly, they provided a ear to listen to our concerns and a plan for the cats who needed medical help too. I can't say enough about the assistance Purrhaven provided - they truly threw us a lifeline.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to know Liz, founder of PurrHaven, several years ago and became interested in her mission to provide spay and neuter assistance to outdoor and community cats in Maryland's south Washington County. One group of cats she helped was known as the Gapland nine (actually there were many more than nine) which were being deliberately starved in an effort to make them leave the property. She trapped the cats, fed them back to health and then spayed, neutered and vaccinated them. I knew nothing about "barn" cats but Liz helped me to successfully rehome two of these cats to a shed on my property where they are thriving. This is just one example of her tireless efforts to help cats in all circumstances. I am amazed by Liz's energy and her ability as one person to make a difference in the quality of life for so many cats.