2021 Annual Report

With your support, Animal Humane Society continues to advance animal welfare and shape the way organizations care for animals and engage their communities.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic reduced our program capacity throughout FY21, in a typical year we care for more than 23,000 dogs, cats, and critters in our shelters and provide programs and services that positively impact the lives of more than 100,000 animals across Minnesota. 

Henry the dog lays on a blue blanket while smiling at the camera

Adoption and surrender

Animal Humane Society helps thousands of dogs, cats, and critters in need find loving homes each year. Our commitment to open admission guarantees safe refuge to every animal that comes to us for help. Innovations and investments in medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation ensure that we can help animals with even the most significant challenges. As a result, in FY21 we placed 93.9% of the animals entrusted to our care, up from 59% in 2008. 

The success of Animal Humane Society’s shelter 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. Although our adoption and surrender programs were curtailed by COVID-19, AHS continued to achieve strong results across all three metrics. 

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 animals euthanized and died in shelter). Companion animals that remained in our care and those surrendered for end-of-life services (owner requested euthanasia) are excluded from this calculation.

In FY21, 93.9% of the animals in our care were placed in homes, reunited with owners, or released to other animal welfare organizations. The average length of stay for animals in shelter was 10 days.

Robust medical and behavioral programs contribute to this continued success.

  • 7,247 spay/neuter surgeries in shelter (Spay/neuter and other non-essential surgeries were prohibited by executive order for six weeks at the onset of the pandemic.)
  • 2,724 shelter animals enrolled in behavior programs
  • 12,086 diagnosed and treated conditions

Companion animal intake total: 13,126

Companion animal intake by reason for surrender

2021 Companion animal intake by reason for surrender

Companion animal intake by species

2021 Companion animal intake by species

Companion animal placement total: 12,072

Companion animal placement by type

2021 Companion animal placement by type

Companion animal placement by species

2021 Companion animal placement by species

Companion animal euthanasia total: 703

Euthanasia by reason*

2021 Euthanasia by reason

Euthanasia by species

2021 Companion animal 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. There is no time limit for animals in our care. More information about these statistics.

Scooby the Chihuahua after receiving care at AHS

Affordable veterinary care

Animal Humane Society’s Veterinary Centers provide low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and full-service veterinary care on a sliding fee scale, expanding care to animals whose options would otherwise be limited. In September 2020, we opened a new public veterinary center in St. Paul, Minnesota to expand these efforts.

  • 5,870 animals sterilized
  • 6,270 exams, wellness visits, dental, and specialty services provided to families seeking affordable veterinary care
  • 1,807 animals received end-of-life services at AHS at the request of their caregivers
An AHS camper holds an orange kitten

Community engagement

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

  • Outreach to under-engaged 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 9,976 families in Frogtown and East St. Paul.
  • Education programs that foster humane values and compassion for animals, including day camps, a youth club, and other activities for kids and families. Education programs were among those most severely impacted by COVID-19 ― we served 644 students through limited educational programs and day 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 1,172 cats.
  • A partnership with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota that provided emergency care for 13 injured and orphaned wild animals. 
  • A robust volunteer program that enlisted 569 active volunteers in providing animal enrichment, foster care, shelter support, and other assistance. Volunteers contributed 32,844 hours to AHS and provided foster care for 1,444 animals before adoption.
Three kittens cuddled together in an AHS cat colony room

Pet services

AHS offers programs to serve all stages of an animal’s life, including:

  • More than 100 family-friendly pet training classes each week, along with one-on-one training and socialization sessions, therapy animal courses, and playgroups. 1,301 pets attended classes through AHS’s training program and 2,321 calls to our free Behavior Helpline were answered.
  • A free Pet Helpline (952-HELP-PET) that handled 126,953 incoming calls, providing caring, compassionate advice and resources.
  • Compassionate end-of-life services, including owner-requested euthanasia for 1,807 pets. 
  • Online resources for pet owners, including a behavior resource library.
Baylor, a puppy, in a cone recovering from surgery at AHS


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

In FY21, our Humane Investigations unit received 2,109 requests for assistance and opened 670 formal cases. Follow-up investigation of these cases took AHS agents into 83 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Those investigations impacted the lives of 9,004 animals.

AHS took in 3,316 animals from partner animal welfare organizations in Minnesota and other states, finding homes for animals that would otherwise face euthanasia in overcrowded facilities.


Statement of financial activities

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2021


Adoption Fees and Program Revenue   $4,509,581
Contributions – Operating   $9,095,639
Contributions – Capital Campaign   $2,213,849
Contributions – COVID Relief   $0
Contributions – Wills and Estates   $2,527,215
Contributions – In-kind   $309,115
Special Events and Promotions   $554,587
Investment Gain (Loss)   $1,611,821
Dividend and Interest Income   $195,735
Gain (Loss) on Sale of Assets   ($40,946)
PPP Loan Forgiveness   $2,842,800
Other   $322,944


Rescue and Outreach   $3,980,316
Adoption and Surrender   $9,492,111
Pet Services   $478,499
Management and General   $1,613,499
Capital Campaign   $591,268
Fundraising   $3,588,266
TOTAL EXPENSES   $19,743,959

AHS exceeds standards of accountability

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 71% of our expenses back into programming for the animals and our community.

2021 Expenses by type

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

FY21 Board of Directors

Marianne Barnett, Vice Chair
Diana Purcel, Treasurer
Donna Zimmerman, Past Chair
Susan Blaska Lindahl
Lisa Erickson
Dr. Bianca Fine
Greg Foster
Mary Giesler
Sarah (Sally) Godfrey
Lisa Hannum
Heather Manley
Dr. Laura Molgaard
Kelly Palmer
Janelle Dixon, President and CEO


Janelle Dixon, President and CEO
Eileen Lay, Chief Operating and Financial Officer
Lisa Bonds, Chief Advancement Officer

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

Contact the Pet Helpline