Our mission is to offer the best possible care and future for companion animals in our community through leadership, placement, and outreach.
In the winter of 1958, a small group of dedicated men and women turned their passion into a purpose. They loved animals and wanted to make our community a safer, healthier place for pets and people alike.
In January 1959, The Humane Society & Animal Shelter, Inc., was created as a not-for-profit organization to promote the humane treatment of animals and provide protection, care and shelter for unwanted and homeless pets. Members met weekly at Hank's Sport Shop for people to bring pets for others to adopt. Shelter members were deputized officers of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, with authority to enforce animal humane laws.
In 1960, The Shelter's Saturday operations were moved to the Atlas Cold Storage warehouse. By the summer of 1961, The Shelter had found its first permanent home - the former Chase Animal Clinic on Broadway – and hired its first employees. The Shelter developed an education program to teach 4th graders throughout Brown County the responsibilities of caring for pets.
While on Broadway, The Shelter served some 1,300 animals per year and by 1969, demand for services had grown to an estimated 3,000 animals per year. Something had to change.
In 1970, The Shelter dedicated the Roy Empey building on Quincy Street. In its first years there, the Shelter cared for 3,328 animals and took over Animal Control programs. By the end of the decade, that number had grown to 4,300 annually.
In 1981, thanks to the efforts of a group led by Bette Anderson, The Shelter put its Lost and Found program in place - designed to get people to contact The Shelter about pets lost and found in rural areas.
Demand for Shelter services continued to rise throughout the 80s and into the 90s, growing to 5,381 by 1991. Once again, The Shelter was faced with a dilemma as the Empey Building was handling nearly twice as many animals each year as it was designed to serve.
By 1992, Linda McGuire, the first Executive Director, organized the first strategic plan, a Capital Campaign to raise funds for a new Shelter and changed the name to the Bay Area Humane Society & Animal Shelter. In July 1995, we moved to our current facility at 1830 Radisson Street, where we now serve more than 6,000 animals a year.
Under the direction of Stephen Heaven, The Bay Area Humane Society was again renamed to drop “Animal Shelter” and more appropriately define the mission statement. In 2009 the Humane Society hired a full-time vet to care for the animals we serve and increase animal health and survival rate.
In 2010, the Society started a low-cost spay/neuter program and vaccine clinic to help control the pet population and stop the spread of disease for people who may not otherwise be able to afford the services. To keep up with the need in the community, the Humane Society also started a behavior modification program in 2012 to treat animals who may have otherwise been euthanized for now treatable behavior issues.
After more than 50 years and thousands of tails, the Bay Area Humane Society is still operating with the spirit and inspiration of our founders. We love animals. And we're making our community a better place for both pets and people. With your help, we'll continue adding new chapters to the success story.
More About The Bay Area Humane Society
Pet overpopulation is no longer just a local problem but a national one. Shelters all over the country are working together to save tens of thousands of lives every year; lives that would have been tragically cut short if not for the growing network of mutual aid across the country. To these ends, the Bay Area Humane Society operates without geographical boundaries and strives to play its part in ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets in our nation.
Our first priority is stray or abandoned animals in our community, then animals from overcrowded shelters where they face imminent death. Because we do not euthanize animals for lack of space or for the length of time they have been at our shelter, we ask local pet owners who no longer want or are unable to keep their pets to work with us to ensure the best possible outcome for their animals. When our shelter is full, pet owners who want to surrender a pet are offered several options, including providing advice and resources to help deal with behavioral or financial issues so they can keep their pet, and alternatives for rehoming so the animal doesn’t have to enter the shelter at all. If these options don’t work, we offer a waiting list whereby owners are called to surrender their animal when space becomes available. We’ve found that by giving pet owners multiple options, euthanasia is decreased, the shelter doesn’t become overcrowded, risking the spread of contagious disease, and more pet owners are successfully learning to work through behavioral issues or are able to rehome their own pets.
The Bay Area Humane Society does not believe in euthanizing any animal that can be medically treated or successfully completes a behavior modification program. We believe if an animal is in excessive pain with a poor prognosis, or has an incurable condition which will be severely detrimental to its quality of life; the animal should be humanely euthanized to alleviate its suffering. We also believe any animal in our possession, which poses a threat to public safety, should also be humanely euthanized.
In 2009, we began tracking not just how many animals we took in, adopted, or euthanized, but also more detail about their physical and behavioral condition. This helps us evaluate our progress and understand where future resources need to be focused. We're reporting this information in a nationally recognized format known as "Asilomar." You can view our reports below:
- October 2013 Asilomar Report
- September 2013 Asilomar Report
- August 2013 Asilomar Report
- July 2013 Asilomar Report
- June 2013 Asilomar Report
- May 2013 Asilomar Report
- April 2013 Asilomar Report
- March 2013 Asilomar Report
- February 2013 Asilomar Report
- January 2013 Asilomar Report