Giving Animals the Gift of Tomorrow

Help us build today for a brighter tomorrow for animals!

***MARCH 2018 UPDATE***

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. Our critically important work of serving senior and special needs animals will continue into the future through our existing Rescue, Hospice and Education programs.

We also want you to know that ALL of the sanctuary animals are safe and are 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—you can read them here .

Thank you again for your generosity and support. Together we can give the gift of tomorrow to many more wonderful animals and carry on our important work.

Thank you for helping us to help more animals! With your continued support, we can  make 2018 a wonderful year for them.

We wanted to let you know that the Santa Rosa sanctuary property is in escrow now. We continue to move forward with our ongoing Shelter Animal Rescue, Animal Hospice / Critical Care and Animal Hospice & Holistic Education programs.

We're also 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.

Please read the below October 2017 Update for more details.


BrightHaven wants to thank each of you for your financial support and friendship. Your generous and loving contributions recently helped us raise nearly $60,000 in efforts to sustain the BrightHaven sanctuary.

Those funds enabled us to keep paying the mortgage, keep the sanctuary doors open and keep the animals fed and cared for--for the time being. Sadly, it is 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 have made the decision to sell the Santa Rosa sanctuary property and seek a new way forward with the net funds from the sale.

No matter what, our animals are our top priority and we will find loving homes for them if needed. Also, absolutely NO animals will be euthanized as part of moving forward if we no longer have the sanctuary property.

BrightHaven's New Way Forward
Our future may not include a physical sanctuary, although we are exploring 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.

These parties would form a consortium where we would work together and pool financial resources and years of experience and knowledge for the benefit of animals. If you would like to learn more about this exciting opportunity, please email Richard Pope at [email redacted].

Again, the BrightHaven organization is NOT going away! We have cared for unwanted and abandoned animals for the last 30 years and we will continue serving senior, disabled and chronically ill animals, and the humans who love them.

Please rest assured that any remaining funds from your contributions to our campaign will be added to our net funds from the property sale and be used to serve animals with our ongoing programs:

1) Shelter Animal Rescue
BrightHaven Shelter Animal Rescue will continue to specialize in the rescue, foster care and fospice, rehabilitation and adoption of senior and special needs animals most at risk for euthanasia. This program has always been run out of private homes and is not dependent on a physical sanctuary location.

2) Animal Hospice / Critical Care
BrightHaven animal hospice provides animals with specialized holistic hospice care. Gail will continue to provide this service for our existing critically ill and hospice residents in her private home.

3) Animal Hospice & Holistic Education
BrightHaven will continue to offer and expand our comprehensive educational program, based on knowledge and core expertise gleaned whilst caring holistically for senior, chronically ill and disabled animals, and for animals with a short life expectancy. This program is not dependent on a physical sanctuary location.

If you have any questions or concerns about our new direction, please contact Gail at [email redacted].

We are truly grateful for your generous support, and we will be sending out more updates as our strategy takes shape.

Together, we will continue to give the gift of tomorrow to many more precious animals and carry on this important work.

***MAY 2017 UPDATE***
Help us secure our animals’ future and serve more animals in need!

We are so amazed and grateful for the astounding outpouring of love, honor and respect for the work of BrightHaven. Caring, compassionate people like you are coming forward to help restructure our operations and initiate new streams of revenue; AND, in a relatively short time, over $55K has been raised! As a result, the sanctuary will remain open.

HOWEVER, to secure the future for our existing animal residents, and to allow us to serve more animals in desperate need of help, we still have a lot of work ahead. Your help is essential for our success. 

To honor this exciting new phase, we have changed the name of our campaign to "Giving Animals the Gift of Tomorrow” from “Save the BrightHaven Animals”.

We truly appreciate your care and support!

Losing BrightHaven's one-of-a-kind animal sanctuary due to unexpected financial challenges would be a great loss to the community and the many more animals who would have been served by our work, in addition to the significant negative impact closure would have on current animal residents!

Since 1990, unwanted, old, disabled and chronically ill animals have found love, acceptance, family and a safe haven for life at BrightHaven (

We have saved over 1,000 senior, disabled and chronically ill animals by giving them the gift of a loving and dignified home for life—however long or short that life may be. BrightHaven has also rescued and helped thousands more animals through its various programs.

Why We Need Your Help
After nearly 30 years of taking in and helping the most vulnerable beings among us in their time of need, the BrightHaven sanctuary is now in dire need of its own. 

BrightHaven’s Northern California sanctuary is in serious danger of closing its doors soon, as a major donor who generously paid the property mortgage since 2014 is no longer able to do so. We need help to make these payments.

Also, without additional funds, BrightHaven will be unable to make essential repairs to the sanctuary property to keep it in proper working order for the animals.

Our animals share what BrightHaven means to them: 

With your generous help, BrightHaven can keep our doors open and continue our work to save defenseless, priceless beings like Bailey and Talya, who would not be alive today without our sanctuary.

Bailey, a BrightHaven Favorite

Bailey is our special world traveler, who came to us all the way from the streets of Taiwan! A lovely couple rescued him from almost certain death in 2009 and contacted BrightHaven. Bailey has touched the hearts of many since he arrived at his new home.

Bailey has a broken back, most likely from being hit by a car while living on the streets, and his hind legs are paralyzed. When he’s not in his wheelchair, Bailey’s favorite place is on the sofa where he can keep an eye on all of the activity going on around him.

Bailey also loves to feel the wind in his fur as he zooms fearlessly around in his cart. Look at him go!

Talya the Invincible 

Born in 2007, Talya’s back was broken when, while nursing from her mother, she was hit by furniture thrown from an apartment window above. Talya suffers occasional and serious bladder and kidney trouble, but her spirit remains strong and tough!

This beautiful girl can best be summed up by adjectives such as strong, vibrant, feisty, loving and passionate. Many visitors to BrightHaven have been charmed by and lost their hearts to this incredible monkey with her inherent sweetness and surprising gymnastic ability as she scoots faster than most can walk, climbs the highest cat trees, adores her life with a passion and never hesitates to bite if she feels her wishes are not being respected.

See for yourself what Talya can do!

If we all work together we can give the gift of tomorrow to many more precious animals and carry on this important work.

Please contribute to our cause and share our plea with your networks.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.“
—Helen Keller

We are forever grateful for your generous support!!!

(BrightHaven is a 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. BrightHaven's Tax ID number is 33-0576248.)

Meet Our Animal Family
Meet Our Team & Board of Directors

“The energy at BrightHaven is almost indescribable. As soon as you enter the house, you know you are someplace magical. The love is present everywhere. When I die and come back, I want to be a cat living with Gail and Richard and all the wonderful people and animals at Brighthaven!”
—Jenny S.  

“Gail and Richard are a Godsend, not only for the animals but for us too. The work you do is such a contribution, it merits no measure.”
—Candy G.

“As I left I realised how apt the name BrightHaven is for this special, one of a kind animal sanctuary. It is a haven for these animals no doubt, but the love, care, hope and dedication shines a light so bright that it could not help but move my heart and affect me in a profound way. As I continue to learn more about BrightHaven, its forward vision and the stories of the animal residents I feel truly blessed I was able to visit such an inspiring thought provoking institution.”
—Carolyn T.

More About BrightHaven

BrightHaven ( is a 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization providing rescue, hospice and holistic education, with an emphasis on senior, disabled and chronically ill animals. We have operated for nearly 30 years on self-funding and public donations.

Since 1990, BrightHaven has evolved into a unique holistic healing arts and education center. Our rescue arm helps shelter animals most at risk for euthanasia.

Co-founders Gail and Richard Pope received the Jefferson Award for public service in July 2013 in acknowledgement of their service to the vulnerable population of senior, disabled and chronically ill animals and for providing sanctuary to animals facing certain death.

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  • Ann Kaplan 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Jennifer Renee 
    • $20 
    • 56 mos
  • Tina Ellenbogen 
    • $25 
    • 57 mos
  • Barbara Shuman 
    • $100 
    • 57 mos
  • Belinda Chambers 
    • $30 
    • 58 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Gail Pope 
Santa Rosa, CA
Richard Pope