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The New Year Brings a New Chapter for BrightHaven!

It’s a brand-new year, and BrightHaven is starting a brand-new chapter! The Santa Rosa (Northern California) sanctuary property has been sold, and our sanctuary is officially closed.

However, BrightHaven as an organization is NOT going away! We’ve been caring for abandoned animals since 1990 and we will continue our critically important work of serving senior and special needs animals into the future.

We also want you to know that ALL of the sanctuary animals are safe and settling into wonderful, loving new homes!

We understand that you may have questions about BrightHaven’s next chapter, and the sanctuary property sale and closure. We have put together this FAQ to address some of the key questions.

Q:       What does BrightHaven actually do now that the sanctuary has closed and all of the sanctuary animals are safe and settling into wonderful, loving new homes?

 A:        BrightHaven has always been more than solely a sanctuary! We have 3 existing core programs that continue to help animals, particularly those who are senior and have special needs:

1) Rescue
BrightHaven Rescue continues to specialize in the rescue, foster care and fospice, rehabilitation and adoption of senior and special needs animals most at risk for euthanasia. These animals are often seniors or have a medical concern that makes them most vulnerable as shelters reach capacity.

More facts about BrightHaven Rescue:

  • Since its inception in 2010, we’ve rescued more than 500 senior or special needs animals.
  • We specialize in medical rehabilitation, which makes us unique. So many of these animals would never have this opportunity elsewhere.
  • The animals live in foster homes while awaiting adoption and, yes, we are actively seeking more foster homes. Please let us know if you might be interested in becoming a foster parent by contacting us at

This program has always been run out of private homes and has never been dependent on the Santa Rosa sanctuary location.

2) Hospice
BrightHaven Animal Hospice supports our existing animals with specialized holistic healthcare.

Gail continues to provide this care in her own home in Southern California.

3) Education
Through BrightHaven Education we continue to offer and expand our comprehensive holistic healthcare and animal hospice educational program, based on knowledge and expertise gleaned whilst caring holistically for senior, chronically ill and disabled animals, and for animals with a limited life expectancy.

More facts about BrightHaven’s Animal Hospice & Holistic Education program:

  • BrightHaven is unique because of the way we work and the results we get. It’s all about living well, in an optimal state of balance, through the last breath! Our education program is designed to lead the user through BrightHaven’s Menu for Healing for the best quality of life at every life stage, including a peaceful natural death.
  • BrightHaven has been at the forefront of animal hospice for nearly 30 years—work that the veterinary industry and individual caregivers are just beginning to understand. By sharing our unparalleled depth of experience with the community, we can truly help a larger number of people help animals to experience the best animal hospice and end-of-life care possible.
  • Consultations, books and other publications and online learning are key components of our education program, as well as the Quality of Dying Checklist.

This program has never been dependent on the Santa Rosa sanctuary location.

Q:       Why should I donate to BrightHaven now that the sanctuary has closed?

A:        Because we are still serving animals in need. With your contribution, WE CAN HELP EVEN MORE ANIMALS through our Rescue and Education programs. The animals who are taken in by our Rescue program often need expensive veterinary care or surgery to become whole again. And the animals in our Hospice unit need ongoing support for food, supplies, etc.

Our goal is to expand both our Rescue and Animal Hospice & Holistic Education programs.

We are also committed to maintaining the same high level of care to our hospice/specialized care patients that they have always enjoyed.

Together, we can give the gift of tomorrow to many more precious animals! 

Q:       Why was the Santa Rosa property sold and the sanctuary closed?

A:        The 10-acre Santa Rosa property was no longer financially sustainable for BrightHaven due to substantial mortgage payments and maintenance costs. The decision was made to sell the property to build a brighter future for animals by improving the organization’s financial viability.

In other words, to continue our work and help more and more animals, we needed to focus on financial sustainability.

In 2017, BrightHaven’s Santa Rosa sanctuary was in danger of closing its doors, as a major donor who generously paid the property mortgage since 2014 was no longer able to do so.

We launched a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $60,000, thanks to the generosity of many donors, which helped us keep our doors open and continue to care for the animals on a short-term basis. However, this amount was not enough for the BrightHaven Sanctuary to remain open for the long term.

In order to ensure that there is a secure and sustainable future for the entire BrightHaven organization, we made the decision to sell the Santa Rosa sanctuary property and seek a new way forward with the net funds from the sale.

Q:       What is next for BrightHaven?

A:        In addition to continuing and expanding our 3 core programs so that we can help more animals, we are exploring the possibility of forming partnerships with like-minded individuals and organizations to share our expertise on a larger scale.

We’re currently investigating the possibility of partnering with 3-4 other like-minded individuals or animal welfare organizations, to create a specialized sanctuary and hospice for senior and special needs animals.

We are also exploring opportunities to partner with other like-minded individuals or animal welfare organizations regarding our Animal Hospice & Holistic Education Program, so that we can reach a wider audience with our one-of-kind expertise regarding animal hospice, holistic healthcare and natural dying learned from the animals over nearly 3 decades.  

Q.        What if I have additional questions about BrightHaven or wish to learn more about partnership opportunities?

A.        Please direct your inquiries to Gail Pope at

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