If not you, then who? If not now, then when?
Who will save them?

You will, with your investment in The Safe House.

From our work over the last 17 years it is clear that to help the greatest number of animals in need we must be where they are, when they need us the most.

That is why we are launching an ambitious and inspiring campaign to open The Safe House in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Shelters in rural Appalachia struggle with so many animals in need and not nearly enough resources or adoptive homes to go around.

The Safe House property line

We ask you to join us now in a revolution of epic scope and critical urgency;  putting boots on the ground where it’s needed most to save the lives of homeless pets.  Complex threats currently put more animals than ever in jeopardy – the pandemic has resulted in tremendous economic uncertainty and fewer resources for animals in need.  More animals than ever find themselves lost and alone, hungry, scared, and struggling to survive.

What is The Safe House?

The Safe House is located in Floyd County, Kentucky and will assist the communities in surrounding counties as well.  It will be a safe place to house and care for at-risk homeless pets before they make their way to new lives and families to call their own.   Here, animals will receive housing and the care necessary for their physical and emotional well-being. Animals like Truly can’t wait another day for your help.

puppy lying in dog bed
cute puppy sitting outside

When Truly was discovered at an abandoned coal mine, she was just eight weeks old and six pounds. She was scared and alone.  There was no food, no water, no people around to help her.  She had large wounds on her back. She was weak, dehydrated and emaciated.  She was barely hanging on.

Her lucky break was being found by someone on an ATV ride.  Thanks to the support and generosity of our community, our Executive Director was in Kentucky at the time and Truly was brought directly to her.  She was in critical condition.

Truly was able to get immediate medical care and it was the difference between life and death for her. Today she is happy, healthy and home!


We take in animals who are starving, have broken bones, mange, serious illnesses… the list goes on. Whether they arrive social and good natured, scared and needing time, young or old, or with a variety of medical needs, The Safe House will empower us to continue saving animals who need it most.  With your help, we’ll be able to:


  • Immediately transfer in at-risk animals from overcrowded shelters.
  • Take in stray and abandoned animals while allowing owners to reclaim them.
  • Accept adoptable animals directly from their owners, helping alleviate overburdened shelters.
  • Provide all animals critical medical care and prepare them for transport.
  • Assist low-income pet owners with keeping their animals through resource assistance during hard times.
  • Provide access to affordable spay/neuter to reduce the number of unwanted litters being born.


Shelters in the rural, southern US are overcrowded and underfunded. This leads to stress, illnesses, and injury among the animals, and leaves the shelters no option other than to euthanize animals to open space.

In the Midwest there is a desire and demand for adoptable pets.  The Safe House will aid in our already bi-weekly transportation of animals to Safe Hands Rescue and other approved rescue and shelter partners.  This will help to reduce shelter euthanasia, abandoned and stray animals, and ultimately the number of unwanted pets being born while simultaneously providing adoptable family pets in the Midwest.


What's the plan?

We worked hard to raise money to purchase this property, which was formerly a veterinary clinic and animal holding facility. It’s got good bones and we’re getting right to work.


Our first priority is constructing an urgent medical ward for animals who are in need of immediate assistance. In the last 17 years we’ve encountered countless animals that can be saved if they receive proper care very quickly.


Our second priority is rehabilitating the existing buildings, starting with the barn which will become an animal holding ward. We’re constructing safe, sanitary, temperature-controlled kennel runs.


Looking to the future, we will be remodeling the vet clinic to provide low cost/affordable spay/neuter services  for the surrounding communities. This will help alleviate the problem at its source; fewer unwanted litters. Additionally, we’ll be building on to our property to create more space and separate adult dogs, puppies, and eventually cats.

Why us?

Since our founding 17 years ago, we strive to be bolder, to dream bigger, and to make a significant and sustainable impact. We partner with shelters and communities in rural Appalachia that have little assistance and few resources, then bring rescued animals up to the Midwest where there is a high demand for adoptable animals.

Safe Hands Rescue is committed to helping ALL adoptable dogs make it out of our partner shelters alive, because we believe all sentient beings deserve to be loved and cared for. Our holistic approach, which includes providing resources, training, and low-cost spay/neuter, sets us apart from other rescues. We know that to effect lasting change on animal welfare in the US, we need to do more than just rescue animals. We need to work alongside the people in these communities toward the common goal of fewer unwanted, neglected companion animals.


We are the right organization to take on this task! Our deep ties to the communities we partner with give us unique insight into how to treat the issue of companion animal welfare in rural Appalachia. Safe Hands has already made an impact, helping reduce euthanasia rates in our partner shelters from 98% annually to as little as 3%.

Since 2006 Safe Hands Rescue has:

  • Directly rehomed over 14,000 animals
  • Provided transportation to over 30,000 additional animal to our partner rescues and shelters
  • Brought a monthly low cost spay/neuter clinic to our first partner community
  • Reduced euthanasia from 98% to as little as 3% at our first partner shelter
  • Reduced annual intake at the same shelter by over 65%
  • Expanded to assist three additional shelters and communities


It’s still not enough.  With your help, we can do so much more. 

Safe Hands Rescue is run almost entirely by volunteers, with only 5 full-time staff members. Our staff has just told you why The Safe House is crucial to increasing animal welfare in our partner communities, but we want you to hear from the people that make our organization possible-- our volunteers.

“I started fostering for Safe Hands because they shared a vision not just for helping homeless animals in need, but also in providing solutions to address the underlying challenges where help is needed most. The Safe House is the culmination of what happens when a passionate and devoted group of volunteers commits to making a lasting difference in the communities in which we partner.”

--Anna P.

“The world has lost too many homeless animals in dire straits because it was too late. Too late for them to get the care needed to heal. Too late for loving humans to ‘catch them’ as they were falling. Too late by the time Safe Hands was able to reach them. The Safe House will help to take ‘too late’ out of the equation.”

--Courtney R.

“This Safe House will be the first step to a new life for every homeless animal that passes through its doors. If they need medicine, this place will provide it. If they need to heal, this place will provide it. If they need to mend their souls, this place will provide it. If they haven’t experienced love & light before, this place will provide it & ensure it never ends.”

--Meghan P.

Want to see a video illustrating why The Safe House is needed? Click below!