Five things everyone should know about Animal Humane Society


1. Animal Humane Society is not a national organization.

You read that right! It’s a common misconception that AHS is part of or affiliated with national animal welfare organizations such as The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). While we all love animals and work to create positive experiences for them, AHS is completely independent of HSUS, the ASPCA, or any other national organization.

We also don’t receive government funding of any kind — city, state, or federal. We’re completely self-supporting — which is why we’re incredibly grateful for our generous donors and passionate volunteers.

With four locations in the Twin Cities metro area, AHS primarily serves animals and people living in Minnesota. Our independence allows us to act locally and work directly with our neighbors to help animals in need, and provide better care for pets who live right here in Minnesota.


2. Animals are never euthanized for space.

The animals in our care call AHS home until they are placed through our adoption program or with a rescue partner. Animals are never euthanized due to space or length of stay.

AHS is an open-admission shelter. That means we accept every animal that comes to us — the old and young, the healthy and sick, the shy and outgoing. No animal is ever turned away.

We’re committed to creating the best lives possible for animals and humans alike, which means AHS staff sometimes face the difficult decision of humanely euthanizing an animal — either to prevent further suffering from an untreatable illness or to keep people and other animals safe from untreatable aggression. But we never make these tough decisions without deep consideration of the animal’s best interest.

We’re proud of everything we do for animals every day. For the past several years, AHS has reported a placement rate of more than 90% each year. Learn more about what placement means at AHS.

3. Adoption fees don’t cover the total cost of caring for animals.

One of our main goals at AHS is to provide safe refuge and necessary medical treatment (including spay/neuter surgery) to all animals in our care — not to turn a profit. The total cost of caring for and rehoming animals amounted to more than $12 million last year. Adoption fees help offset these costs, covering just 39% of the total.

Adoption fees are set on a variable fee schedule that considers the animal’s age, breed, and size. Some animals are less common and therefore have increased demand. These animals are assigned higher fees, which ensures we have the funds to provide for other animals in our care who may have special needs or a more difficult time finding a new home.

Learn more about how our adoption fees are set and what they cover.

Rescue Readers

4. AHS does so much more than just adoption!

We’re most well-known for adoption, and while that’s a big part of what we do, AHS does SO MUCH MORE! We want to help animals and the people who love them through all stages of life. Want to know why your dog won’t stop barking? We can help! Looking for a pet-friendly place to live? We can help with that, too. Do you need to board your cat while you concentrate on your homework? (Just kidding, but we know all about their love of laptops.) Call AHS!

And in addition to all that, we offer:

Have a question about your pet? Our website is a good place to start, and our Pet Helpline representatives are standing by to take your call.

Animal House Cat
Volunteer and dog

5. AHS truly is a happy place that is full of life.

While it may sadden you to think of an animal in shelter waiting to find a home, so many of the dogs, cats, and critters that come to AHS instantly find themselves in a better place. Volunteers and staff pour their heart and soul into helping animals feel valued and loved. Some of the animals we see have experienced suffering for most of their lives. We do everything we can, including life-saving medical intervention — to change that. For all animals in our care — both healthy and recovering — there is no shortage of kisses, hugs, playful activity, and calming cuddles at AHS.

You can help us continue to make AHS a positive place for animals and people alike. There are multiple ways to get involved such as volunteering — either in shelter, at events, or as a foster family — attending events (like Whisker Whirl or the Walk for Animals), or supporting animals with a monetary gift.

Want to know more?

Animal shelters often get a bad rap, but AHS has and continues to transform the way shelters care for animals and engage their communities.

If you ever have a question about how we work, the animals we serve, or the numbers we share, please reach out to our staff through the Pet Helpline or contact us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter). Together, we can do more for animals.

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

Contact the Pet Helpline