Our Past & Our Future

Canyon County Pet Haven was founded by Helen Wilson in 1972.

Helen G. Wilson was 10 years old when she opened her first dog hotel behind her house in a feed shed, taking in 6 stray dogs and providing each of them with beds, water and food. 

Not only did she try to make sure that the stray dogs who came to the “hotel” were protected and taken care of to the best of her ability, she also turned the small shed into a haven for caterpillers who were being abused by mean acquaintences.  The room was filled with jars and the licorice weed that the caterpillers munched on.  When they turned into moths, she set them free. 

At the age of 31, she became a college teacher at the Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa and since dogs could not live in the dormitory she took in a stray cat left on campus.  During the next 14 years she learned to appreciate cats, and took this love with her when she moved off-campus and was able to have a dog again. 

In 1972, at age 58, she organized the first Humane Society in the Canyon County.  In the beginning, Pet Haven, Inc. (a.k.a. Pet Haven) mainly housed dogs and boarded stray cats at willing veterinary clinics, but in 1996 with the help of charitable contributions, she was able to purchase our own building, which now only board and house cats.


“We receive no Governmental funds”

Due to its size, we are only able to house cats.  Contrary to popular belief, The Humane Society of the United States does not contribute to local shelters so we receive no governmental funds, and operate totally from adoption fees, donations and from the sales of goods at our Thrift Store.

Approximately 2,500 cats pass through our doors each year to new families. We have cats at Petco and PetSmart in Nampa.

We receive no governmental funds so we operate totally from adoption fees, donations and from the sales of goods at our Thrift Store

In 2020, we officially changed our name from Canyon County Pet Haven Inc to Pet Haven Inc.

Note: Image from Little old lady in tennis shoes