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
Bay Area Humane Society welcomes every animal in need. We turn no companion animals away and are defined as an "open admission" shelter. Although we are an “open admission” shelter, we may decline to take animals when we do not have the space.
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.
Thanks to our full-time vet, behaviorist and foster family network, we are able to treat most animals with issues and place them up for adoption when they are well again.
Starting 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 known as "Asilomar." You can view our reports below: