2016 Annual Report

As the leading animal welfare organization in the Upper Midwest, Animal Humane Society is transforming the way shelters care for animals and engage their communities.

From innovative medical and behavior programs to investments in outreach and advocacy, we’re advancing animal welfare and creating a more humane world for animals everywhere.

For the second year in a row, we surpassed a hard-fought goal — saving 90 percent of the animals that come through our doors. This year we placed 95.2 percent of the animals in our care, up dramatically from 59 percent just a decade ago.

Your support has fueled our progress. Over the past 12 months we’ve continued to invest in expanded behavior programs, advanced medical treatments, foster care, and post-adoption support to help even the most challenged animals get a second chance.

We’ve also made strategic investments in programs and infrastructure that will help us serve even more animals beyond our shelter walls. In addition to expanding outreach and transport, we’ve integrated Kindest Cut and its staff into the operations of AHS. We’re now providing spay/neuter and wellness services directly to pets of people in need.

But that’s not all we have to celebrate. This report includes highlights from each of our program areas — and you’ll find accomplishments and aspirations worth cheering throughout.

Your support makes it all possible. Thank you.

About the Animals


More than 95 percent of the animals in our care were placed in homes, reunited with owners, or released to other animal welfare organizations.

Over the past decade, Animal Humane Society’s placement rate has improved dramatically, from 59 percent in FY07 to more than 95 percent in FY16. Placement rate is determined by using the Asilomar Live Release Rate formula, which is calculated by dividing total live outcomes (adoptions, transfers, and returns) by total outcomes (total live outcomes plus euthanasia). Companion animals that remained in our care and those surrendered for end-of-life services (owner requested euthanasia) are excluded from this calculation.



TOTAL: 23,473

The number of companion animals in our shelters increased by 401 animals in FY16.

Companion animal intake by reason for surrender

Companion animal intake by species


TOTAL: 22,104

The number of companion animals placed increased by 1,257 animals in FY16.

Companion animal placement by type

Companion animal placement by species


TOTAL: 1,108

The number of companion animals euthanized decreased by 910 animals in FY16.

Euthanasia by reason*

Euthanasia by species

*AHS is committed to taking in every animal in need. Unfortunately, some animals come to us with severe or untreatable illnesses or behavior issues that prevent us from placing them in the community. If we cannot help an animal become healthy or suitable for placement, humane euthanasia is the most compassionate alternative. AHS has not euthanized a healthy animal for any reason since 2011. There is no time limit for animals in our care. More information about these statistics.

Program Accomplishments


Animal Humane Society helps thousands of dogs, cats, and critters in need find loving homes each year —and no animal is ever turned away. We take in every animal surrendered to us regardless of its health, age, breed, or behavior. This commitment to open admission guarantees shelter and care to thousands of animals that would otherwise have no safe refuge.

Although many animals can be placed in our adoption programs as soon as they are vaccinated and sterilized, others require specialized care to overcome health and behavior issues. AHS provides extensive medical treatment, surgery, behavior modification, and foster care to those with special challenges, ensuring that even the most difficult-to-place animals have a chance at adoption.

The success of an animal shelter placement program is reflected in three key measures: the total number of animals admitted for rehoming, the percentage of animals with live placements (placement rate), and the average length of stay in shelter. AHS continues to achieve strong results in all three categories.

In the year ended June 30, 2016:

  • 23,473 companion animals came into AHS facilities.
  • 22,104 animals – more than 95.2% – were placed in homes, reunited with owners, or released to other animal welfare organizations.
  • The average length of stay for animals in shelter
    was 9.5 days.

Robust medical and behavioral programs contribute to this continued success, including:

  • 13,062 animals received spay/neuter surgeries prior to adoption and 12,975 more were sterilized for pet owners and other rescue groups through Kindest Cut.
  • AHS Behavior Modification and Rehabilitation programs readied 1,549 shy or fearful cats and dogs for placement.


Animal Humane Society offers programs to serve all stages of an animal’s life, including:

  • Kindest Cut, a spay/neuter and wellness clinic that performed 12,975 spay/neuter surgeries and treated 3,437 patients in their wellness clinic, all at reduced costs for people with limited means. Kindest Cut operated in partnership with AHS until June 2016, when its operations merged with AHS.
  • More than 70 family-friendly pet training classes each week, along with one-on-one training and socialization sessions, therapy animal courses, playgroups, and rabbit agility classes. 1,225 pets attended classes through AHS’s Training School.
  • Peace-of-mind pet boarding at Animal House in Golden Valley, which served 3,338 pets.
  • A free Pet Helpline (952-HELP-PET) that handled 74,302 incoming calls, providing caring advice and resources to help with everything from solving behavior problems to finding pet-friendly housing.
  • Compassionate end-of-life services and a weekly pet loss support group.
  • Online resources for pet owners, including a lost and found pet bulletin board and behavior resource library.


Animal Humane Society works with individuals and organizations across Minnesota to create a more humane world for animals. In the year ended June 30, 2016, those efforts included:

  • Outreach to underserved communities, including education programs and free or low-cost services that empower low-income pet owners and improve the lives of pets. These programs served more than 4,546 families in Frogtown and East St. Paul. As a result, 2,066 animals received free spay/neuter surgeries and 980 pets were served at free wellness clinics.
  • A partnership with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota that provided emergency care for 727 injured and orphaned wild animals.
  • Education programs that foster humane values and compassion for animals, including day camps, a youth club, and other activities for kids and families. AHS educational programs served 11,961 people, including 2,498 students through educational programs in schools and 989 in summer camps.
  • A Community Cats program focused on reducing euthanasia and providing alternative solutions for feral and free-roaming cats through Return To Field and Trap Neuter Return programs. This program served 1,479 cats.


Aiding animals in critical situations is core to our work. Animal Humane Society humane agents respond to reports of possible animal cruelty or neglect throughout Minnesota. They receive reports about individual animals that are lacking proper food, water, and shelter. They also participate in larger, more complex cases, aiding law enforcement agencies with on-site investigations and seizures.

During the year ended June 30, 2016, our Humane Investigations team received 1,715 requests for assistance and opened 446 formal cases. Follow-up investigation of these cases took AHS humane agents into 60 counties across the state of Minnesota. Those investigations impacted the lives of 5,304 animals.


AHS took in 8,304 animals from 111 other animal welfare organizations throughout Minnesota and beyond, finding homes for animals that would otherwise face euthanasia in overcrowded facilities.


The support of donors, friends, and advocates makes our work possible. This year our community shared its passion for animals in unparalleled ways:

  • A thriving volunteer program. Our 2,546 active volunteers provided more than 175,000 hours of shelter support, animal enrichment, and other assistance. Another 376 volunteers provided foster care for 3,047 animals prior to adoption.
  • Generous financial support. In FY16, 47,199 individual donors contributed more than $6.5 million to Animal Humane Society. In addition, donors who included AHS in their estate plans contributed more than $2.4 million in bequests.
  • Our most successful Walk for Animals ever. More than 7,000 people and 2,000 pets attended the Walk for Animals on May 7, raising more than $1 million to support AHS. Our two other signature events, Wine Dinner and Whisker Whirl, raised an additional $560,000.
  • New opportunities for young professionals. The Pack, launched in 2015, brings together young supporters to learn about, take part in, and advocate for the work of AHS while creating an environment for animal lovers to share ideas and build relationships.
  • Robust online engagement and advocacy. This support includes 4,169 Animal Advocates, 97,132 Facebook fans, 5,749 Twitter followers, 10,105 Instagram followers, and 4,233 YouTube subscribers.


Charities Review Council Standard

The Minnesota Charities Review Council’s Standards of Accountability state that at least 70% of an organization’s annual expenses should be for program activity with not more than 30% for management, general, and fundraising expenses combined. Animal Humane Society exceeded this standard by directing 74% of our expenses back into programming for the animals and our community.


For the 12 months ended June 30, 2016


Adoption fees and program revenue 5,543,402
Contributions 6,552,706
Wills and estates 2,448,230
In-kind contributions 339,377
Special events and promotions 1,089,824
Investment gain (loss) 513
Dividend and interest income 117,097
Other 474,512




Program services:  
    Rescue and outreach 1,339,236
    Adoption and surrender 10,742,614
    Pet services 861,981
Supporting services:  
    Management and general 1,397,661
    Fundraising 3,161,998
    Total supporting services 4,559,659






Tom Hoch, Chair
Carolyn Smith, Past Chair
Paul Kaminski, Vice Chair
Maureen McDonough, Secretary
Scott Schroepfer, Treasurer
Scott Aebischer
Dr. Trevor Ames
Dr. Bianca Fine
David Gutzke

Dick Hall
John Huber
Jodi Lux
Susan Palombo
Tim Taffe
Tina Wilcox
Donna Zimmerman

Janelle Dixon, President & CEO


Janelle Dixon, President & CEO
Eileen Lay, Chief Financial & Operating Officer
Lisa Bonds, Chief Advancement Officer
Kathy Mock, Chief Government Affairs & Community Engagement Officer


Animal Humane Society serves animals and people in the seven-county metro area and beyond from its facilities in Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, and Wright counties. The Humane Investigations team provides services throughout Minnesota.

Animal Tracks: Winter 2016

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline