MISCONCEPTION:
AHS makes money off the backs of animals

TRUTH: First, you have to remember we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is consistently given good marks by the Charities Review Council. We do understand that some are taken aback when they learn that our annual report reflects an annual operating budget around $12 million and net assets of more than $22 million. They speculate why we need that much and where it all goes.

In 2009, we took in 33,164 companion animals and 2,285 wildlife animals. When you consider that the average cost to care for one animal can be as high as $900 (depending on the species of animal, the time the animal spent in the shelter and any special veterinary medical needs it is provided), you begin to understand why we need to work with such a large budget.

It also takes a lot of people and space to care for and place tens of thousands of animals each year. It’s a full-time job and that is why we employ nearly 250 full- and part-time staff, accepted the help of 1,676 volunteers in 2009 and maintain five facilities throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

Each facility and the property it resides on are part of our net assets. The equipment we use to care for so many animals and the vehicles we own and operate, including two mobile surgery units where we perform much-needed spay/neuter and medical procedures for animals in our care and for other rescue organizations, are also part of our net assets. Our net assets also include working capital and investments, such as Now Boarding. This is not money in reserves available to the daily operations of Animal Humane Society.

Our adoption fees don’t cover the cost of care of each animal, so we work diligently to diversify funding streams to ensure consistent support for Animal Humane Society. Each year we raise funds through special events like the Walk for Animals and from generous contributions from our supporters. We also opened Now Boarding, an airport boarding facility, in 2009. Profits from the facility will be directed back to the animals at Animal Humane Society.