Our History Is Rooted In Compassion
In 1897, concern over the mistreatment of cows prompted Cora Meiser and Nora Gause to gather 100 people and pass a hat. Each person tossed in a silver dollar, and an organization to prevent cruelty to children and animals was born.As the years passed, other groups took on the needs of children, allowing the renamed Kalamazoo County Humane Society to focus on animals. In 1937, it built its first shelter — later destroyed by fire — and a second on Stadium Drive in 1949, where it operated for three decades.
By 1979, the Humane Society shifted its focus from sheltering to prevention, launching its first spay/neuter assistance program. Named “Operation Fix-It” in 2002, this program has greatly reduced the number of unwanted animals in our community.
Now known as the Kalamazoo Humane Society (KHS), we’ve operated from a former bridal shop since 1997. Despite cramped conditions, KHS has continued to grow its services to include a thriving emergency pet food bank and other supportive services for people and pets in crisis. And still the needs are growing in our region for expanded partnerships and greater access to our many services.
We're eager to meet that need.
The need is great.
Compassion Is At The Heart Of Our Work
Results Guide Us
The passion to protect children and animals is as alive today as it was in 1897 when citizens created the organization that became known as the Kalamazoo Humane Society (KHS). Although we now focus on animals thanks to laws protecting children, we’ve never wavered from our commitment to protect the vulnerable.
Shelters are populated with unwanted dogs and cats, and strays roam our streets for a variety of reasons including financial hardship at home. Unwanted, neglected and abused animals are in personal danger and can pose a public health and safety threat by biting, spreading disease and damaging property. To make the greatest long-term impact for the benefit of animals and our community, KHS tackles the root causes of pet overpopulation, neglect and abuse and tracks results.
By providing education and access to low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, emergency lodging, and pet food assistance, we reduce unwanted litters and help keep pets safe and in their own homes.
- Officially launched in 2002, our “Operation Fix-It” spay/neuter program reached a milestone of 50,000 surgeries in 2014 and continues to grow through our successful prevention education and outreach.
- KHS has a long history of providing temporary lodging for pets in homes with domestic unrest or violence. The safe haven we provide gives pet owners peace of mind and the courage to leave unsafe circumstances.
- KHS’s Pet Food Bank helps families in financial straits feed and keep their pets — an average of 500 pets each day
We serve as a vital central community resource in ever-changing ways. Pet owners turn to us when they don’t know where else to turn. We respond in the spirit of compassion, which drives everything we do.