Animal Humane Society receives $3 million gift from Ken Melrose

Ken Melrose

Ken Melrose

Generous gift is the largest in 142-year history of AHS


February 7, 2020

Animal Humane Society (AHS) has received a $3 million gift from former Toro CEO and chairman Ken Melrose. The gift — the largest in the 142-year history of AHS — was announced today by President and CEO Janelle Dixon.

“This generous gift recognizes the important place animals hold in our lives and our communities — and it will help us advance the way we protect and care for animals in need for decades to come,” Dixon said.

The gift from Melrose is an early investment in a planned capital campaign that will transform AHS to meet the changing needs of animals and people in Minnesota. The unprecedented contribution will support the eventual construction of a new, first-of-its-kind adoption and animal care campus in St. Paul.

“Animal Humane Society is one of the most sophisticated and forward-thinking humane organizations in the nation,” said Melrose. “I am excited to invest in their vision for the future of animal welfare.”

AHS, a Minnesota nonprofit, is recognized as both a national leader in animal welfare and a trusted local resource for animals and the people who love them. Its programs impact more than 100,000 animals and their people across the state each year.

“Philanthropic investment in AHS saves lives in Minnesota and fuels innovation that has shaped — and will continue to shape — the way shelters everywhere care for animals and engage with their communities,” said Dixon.

Melrose, a lifelong animal lover and longtime supporter of AHS, provided support for the organization’s first public spay/neuter clinic. His 2011 gift to establish the Melrose Animal Clinic in Golden Valley has helped AHS sterilize more than 90,000 owned animals and led to the development of two low-cost public veterinary centers that serve pets of people in need.

That work is just one example of AHS’s growing impact.

Every year AHS takes in more than 22,000 animals in need — more than every other animal welfare organization and municipal shelter in the Twin Cities combined. Its commitment to open admission guarantees safe refuge to every animal that comes to it for help. Today, thanks to innovations and investments in medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation, more than 94% of the animals entrusted to its care are placed in the community.

AHS also provides low-cost services that support animals and people throughout their lives, from pet behavior resources and family-friendly training classes to humane education programs, pet loss support, and outreach to distressed communities.

Melrose’s $3 million gift will help AHS continue its transformational work.

“No organization is more prepared, more driven, and more qualified to shape the future of animal welfare than Animal Humane Society,” said Dixon. “Together we can make the world a better place for animals.”

As a private animal welfare organization, AHS receives no government funding. All of its programs are funded by private donations and modest fees for the services it provides.

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