2017 Annual Report

July 1, 2016 ‒ June 30, 2017

Once again we've made history together. On June 30, Animal Humane Society celebrated the end of its most successful fiscal year to date, with a recordsetting number of adoptions and our highest placement rate ever. Together, we placed more than 96 percent of the animals entrusted to our care, helped 23,565 animals find new homes, and served thousands of Minnesota families through free and affordable programs for people and pets.

AHS continues to transform the way shelters everywhere care for animals and engage their communities. In 2017 we invested in expanded behavior programs, advanced medical treatments, foster care, and postadoption support to help even the most challenged animals get a second chance.

We’ve also made strategic investments in groundbreaking new programs and infrastructure that will help us serve even more animals beyond our shelter walls. The integration of Kindest Cut into the operations of AHS in 2016 has expanded our direct impact on animals and people in underserved communities by delivering low-cost spay/neuter, wellness, dental, and specialty veterinary services to thousands of pets from incomequalified families and animals in the care of nonprofit rescue organizations.

Our new Animal Transport Alliance with Chicago’s Anti- Cruelty Society and the Wisconsin Humane Society works to transport dogs and cats from the southern United States to shelters in Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. These and other partnerships across the country help us meet the needs of our community while assisting other organizations with resources and options that were previously unavailable to them.

We have so much more to celebrate. This report includes highlights from each of our program areas — and you’ll find record-setting accomplishments and aspirations worth cheering throughout.

Your support makes it all possible. Thank you.

Puppy over shoulder of AHS staff person

Adoption and Surrender

Animal Humane Society helps thousands of dogs, cats, and critters in need find loving homes each year — and no animal is ever turned away. AHS takes in every animal surrendered 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.

The success of Animal Humane Society’s shelter program is reflected in three key measures: the total number of animals admitted for rehoming (intake), the percentage of animals with live placements (placement rate), and the average length of stay in shelter. AHS continues to achieve strong results across all three metrics.

In the year ended June 30, 2017:

24,490 animals arrived at AHS

20,062 animals adopted (highest in AHS history)

+ 998 animals reunited with owners

+ 1,103 cats returned to field

+ 1,402 animals transferred to partner organizations

23,565 animals placed

96.6% placement rate

10.1 DAYS

Average length of stay for animals in shelter

To prepare the animals for adoption, we rely on our expert behavioral and medical staff.

  • 14,082 animals received spay/neuter surgeries prior to adoption and 11,627 more were sterilized for pet owners and other rescue groups through Kindest Cut.

  • AHS Behavior Modification and Rehabilitation programs readied 1,607 cats and dogs for placement.

Hospice dog

Hospice Adoption Program

A new hospice adoption program helps dogs, cats, and critters diagnosed with terminal illnesses spend their remaining time in loving homes.

The program, piloted for eight months in Coon Rapids before rolling out to other sites, placed 28 animals during FY17.

About the Animals

Companion animal outcomes

Over the past decade, Animal Humane Society’s placement rate has improved dramatically, from 59 percent in FY07 to more than 96 percent in FY17. 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.

More than 96 percent of the animals in our care were placed in homes, reunited with owners, or released to other animal welfare organizations.

placement rate graphic

Placement rate over time

placement rate over time

Companion animal intake
Total: 24,490

Companion animal intake by reason for surrender

Companion animal intake by reason for surrender

Companion animal intake by species

infographic 3

Companion animal placement

Companion animal placement by type


Companion animal placement by species


Companion animal euthanasia

Euthanasia by reason*

Euthanasia by reason

Euthanasia by species

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. For information about these statistics, please see animalhumanesociety.org/stats.

Community Engagement

Animal Humane Society works with individuals and organizations across Minnesota to create a more humane world for animals.

outreach photo


Our Community Outreach program aims to increase the overall health and well-being of animals by empowering people who live in under-engaged communities through education and resources.

  • These programs served more than 6,019 families in Frogtown and East St. Paul. As a result, 1,862 animals received free spay/neuter surgeries and 981 pets were served at free wellness clinics.
  • Thanks to 114 free in-home training sessions that took place our Outreach community, dozens of animals are showing off new manners (and getting lots of treats for it)!

Education photo


Our education programs foster humane values and compassion for animals through day camps, classroom programs, in-shelter tours, and other activities for kids and families.

  • AHS educational programs served 12,489 people, including 1,888 students through educational programs in schools and 1,110 in summer camps.


A partnership with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota that provided emergency care for 444 injured and orphaned wild animals.

Community cats

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 1,796 cats.

Pet Services

Animal Humane Society offers more than just adoption. Our programs serve all stages of an animal’s life.

Kindest Cut

Kindest Cut delivers low-cost spay/neuter, wellness, dental, and specialty veterinary services for pets of people in need at Melrose Animal Clinic and 27 mobile clinic locations.

  • Kindest Cut spay/neuter and wellness clinics performed 11,627 spay/neuter surgeries and provided 4,182 wellness exams and procedures, all at reduced costs for people in need.
  • Kindest Cut’s mobile clinic was on the road 220 days this past year traveling to 27 Minnesota communities to provide spay/neuter services to animals in need.
Kindest Cut


We offer more than 70 family friendly pet training classes each week, along with one-on-one training and socialization sessions, therapy animal courses, play groups, and rabbit agility classes. 1,512 pets attended classes through AHS’s Training School.

Pet helpline

Our free Pet Helpline (952-HELP-PET) handled 72,149 incoming calls, providing caring, compassionate advice and resources to help with everything from solving behavior problems to finding pet-friendly housing.

Animal House Pet Boarding

We provide pets with a home away from home through affordable boarding at Animal House in Golden Valley. Our boarding facility served 1,177 families and 3,191 pets.

End-of-life services

AHS provided compassionate end-of-life services, including owner requested euthanasia for 2,151 pets and a weekly pet loss support group.

Humane Investigations

Our humane agents investigate possible animal cruelty or neglect throughout Minnesota.

Humane Investigations

From reports of individual animals that are lacking proper food, water, or shelter, to larger cases of aiding law enforcement agencies with on-site investigations and seizures, their work takes them across nearly every inch of the state.

  • During the year ended June 30, 2017, our Humane Investigations unit received 1,758 requests for assistance and opened 501 formal cases. Follow-up investigation of these cases took AHS Agents into 63 counties across the state of Minnesota. Those investigations impacted the lives of 6,156 animals.

Critical response team

Our Critical Response Team provides specialized expertise to support humane cases that result in the seizure or surrender of animals. Animal Humane Society removed 806 animals from dangerous or unhealthy conditions.


Animal Humane Society proudly partners with other rescue organizations to help even the most challenged animals get a second chance.

The Animal Transport Alliance

Animals that experience high stress in shelter and display fearful or aggressive behavior at AHS will often flourish with rescue groups that can provide a non-shelter environment.

  • Last year, we placed 1,402 animals — about 5.9 percent of our total placements — with our 97 local rescue partners.
  • AHS also works with rescue groups from other areas of the country where resources for animals are scarce and adoption rates are low. Last year, AHS took in 8,949 animals from 108 other animal welfare organizations throughout Minnesota and other states, finding homes for animals that would otherwise face euthanasia in overcrowded facilities.
  • The Animal Transport Alliance hit the road for the first time in FY17, logging more than 100,000 miles to bring more than 2,500 dogs and cats from southern shelters to find homes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Community Support

The support of donors, friends, and advocates makes our work possible.


Our 2,478 active volunteers provided nearly 172,000 hours of shelter support, animal enrichment, and other assistance. Another 398 volunteers provided foster care for 2,946 animals prior to adoption.

AHS Volunteers

Generous donors

Generous financial support. In FY17, 49,135 individual donors contributed more than $7.1 million to Animal Humane Society. Donors who included AHS in their estate plans contributed more than $3.2 million in bequests. Fundraising events raised another $1.1 million.

Online engagement

This support includes 2,035 Animal Advocates, 109,908 Facebook fans, 6,402 Twitter followers, 14,205 Instagram followers, and 4,612 YouTube subscribers.

Walk for Animals

More than 8,000 people and 5,000 pets attended the Walk for Animals on May 6, raising more than $1 million to support AHS.


financials chart

Animal Humane Society statement of activities

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2017

Support and revenues

Adoption fees and program revenue: $7,813,581

Contributions: $7,109,304

Wills and estates: $3,268,092

In-kind contributions: $444,880

Special events and promotions: $1,054,562

Investment gain (loss): $576,376

Dividend and interest income: $137,959

Other: $118,862

Total support and revenues: $20,523,616


Program services:

     Rescue and outreach: $2,973,646

     Adoption and surrender: $11,732,994

     Pet services: $1,035,702

Supporting services:

     Management and general: $1,070,034

     Fundraising: $3,022,851

     Total supporting services: $4,092,885

Total expenses: $19,835,227

Change in net assets: $688,389

Charities Review Council logo

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 79% of our expenses back into programming for the animals and our community.

The mission of Animal Humane Society is to engage the hearts, hands, and minds of the community to help animals.

dog kissing staff person

FY17 Board of Directors

Paul Kaminski, Chair
Maureen McDonough, Secretary
Scott Schroepfer, Treasurer
Tom Hoch, Past Chair
Dr. Trevor Ames
Kaywin Feldman
Dr. Bianca Fine
Greg Foster
David Gutzke
Dick Hall
Lisa Hannum
John Huber
Jodi Lux
Jennifer McNeal
Stacy Pagano
Kelly Palmer
Susan Palombo
Carolyn Smith
Tim Taffe
E.J. Tso
Tina Wilcox
Donna Zimmerman
Janelle Dixon, President & CEO

dog wearing cone


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

Area served

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.

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

Contact the Pet Helpline