On April 14, 1897, the Kalamazoo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Children was created as the first animal welfare agency in Kalamazoo County. In 1937, we opened our first animal shelter on West Michigan Avenue. The same year we changed our name to the Kalamazoo County Humane Society – which has remained to this day.
From 1937 to 1979, KHS operated a shelter for animals. In 1979, the shelter was closed to refocus the mission of the organization from one of sheltering (and often euthanizing animals) to one of prevention. Humane education and pet population control became the major focuses of the organization.
In 1960, our mascot “Nipper,” was donated by Bud Green, the owner of a local television sales and service company. The six-foot dog quickly became one of our most visible and best loved images traveling throughout Kalamazoo visiting the lobbies of area libraries and local businesses.
After a series of moves spanning several decades, in 1997 we purchased the building on South Westnedge Avenue that is our current home. In 1999, a highly successful campaign raised enough money to pay off the mortgage and update the office computers and phone system.
In 2002, Operation Fix-It, a low-cost spay and neuter program was born. After three years working with a private mobile clinic, the Kalamazoo Humane Society purchased it’s own 30-foot state-of-the-art mobile clinic complete with pre/post operative holding room, surgery prep area and surgery suite.
In 2004, KHS began meeting at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation with representatives from several other local animal organizations to discuss ways to collaborate on a new animal care facility. During 2006, monies were raised for an animal care facility floor plan and a feasibility study to determine the community’s support level for such a project. Currently, the Kalamazoo Humane Society and Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement are working on the necessary documents needed for a feasibility study.
Today, with more than 200 volunteers and a staff of twelve, we support the efforts of Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement and their animal shelter, education programs to the community, help those requiring low-cost spay and neuter services for their pets, and maintain a variety of health care and pet-related services.