TCHS is not a government agency. We are a not-for-profit organization that is supported primarily by shelter income, donations, fundraising events, and the support of our friends.
TCHS is an independent organization that is not a branch any state or national humane organization. TCHS does not receive state or government funding.
Not “The Pound”
Many people think the animals at the humane society are all strays. That is not the case at all. Only about 15% of the animals surrendered are strays, the rest are surrendered by people who can no longer keep their animal for one reason or another. Many times the reason for surrender is not due to any fault of the animal. Some of the most common reasons include: moving, can’t afford to keep, not enough time for, and allergies.
Because many people mistake us for the pound and bring strays to us from areas that do not contract with us, it is important for us to communicate to the public the various places they need to contact in order to locate their lost pet or determine where a found animal should go. The best place to start is with your city hall, township officials, or local sheriff’s department. Municipalities are encouraged to contract with an agency like ours or with a veterinary clinic to house their strays, and it is their responsibility to cover the fees for advertising the stray and housing it. Some municipalities do not have a plan for their stray animals. In those cases, we will take in those strays, but we will ask the finder to make a donation to help us pay for the advertising and housing expenses if they are able. There is also an impound fee for any stray that is claimed from our facility.
History and Growth of TCHS
- Prior to 1974, several concerned citizens took unwanted pets into their homes, but could not keep up with the need.
- TCHS incorporated on December 11, 1974 as a non-profit organization to care for homeless pets and to promote the humane care and treatment of animals.
- In 1975, community members and businesses rallied to provide donated materials and labor to remodel a vacant gas station and turn it into an animal shelter.
- On May 15, 1989 the Society moved into a new custom-designed animal shelter located on 8th St. N.E. in St. Cloud.
- In 1999, after years of planning and saving, the Society built on an addition that provided additional storage space, office space, a laundry room, expanded small animal and stray housing, separate dog and cat isolation rooms, and an examination/surgery suite.
- In September 2008, a new training facility was built behind the shelter for dog obedience, problem solving, and tricks classes.
- In October 2010, the decision was made to stop dog training classes and turn the training facility into a surgery suite for spaying and neutering shelter animals.
Each year, an average of 4,500 animals find comfort at TCHS. The majority of pets we receive are cats, followed by dogs. However, we also receive many small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, gerbils, chinchillas, ferrets, birds, reptiles, etc…
We offer a safe, welcoming place for people to bring the animals they can no longer care for. Without TCHS, many of these animals would be abandoned to face certain starvation, illness, and loneliness. The shelter provides a second chance for these animals to find new homes.
Lost and Found
Whether a person has lost or found an animal, TCHS can assist them. Not all lost animals come to the shelter, but our staff can connect them to the various locations where lost animals may be claimed. All lost animals that are sheltered at TCHS are checked for tags, tattoos, and microchips. State law dictates that stray animals are held for five business days. After the holding period, strays are evaluated for adoption.
At any given time, we have approximately 75-100 animals waiting to be adopted. Our knowledgeable staff and volunteers assist our customers in finding the perfect match for their household. We offer potential adopters all of the information that we have on the animals available for adoption, including a detailed questionnaire filled out by the previous owners, information from the temperament and behavior assessment performed by our staff, and any medical history. We want adopters to be fully aware of all of the animal’s needs before making a lifetime commitment.
Every animal is evaluated individually. There is no set time for an animal’s stay at the shelter. The vast majority of animals euthanized at TCHS are non-rehabilatable within our means – they suffer from health or behavior problems, or their placement would pose a danger to public safety.
Humane Education Tours
We offer shelter tours to community groups in which we teach about humane and compassionate pet care. We can tailor our presentations to specific subjects such as safety around animals, pet overpopulation, selecting an appropriate companion animal, and preventing animal cruelty.
Humane Education Birthday Parties
We host birthday parties, catered to children between the ages of 5-12 years of age. Party groups will receive an educational tour of the shelter and will learn about needs and proper care of a variety of pets. Party groups will also be treated to hands-on experience working with adoptable pets; either helping socialize animals by playing with them or helping us make them more adoptable by bathing and brushing them. An animal related craft project is also included that each guest may create and take home.
The TCHS shelter is open to the public during the following hours:
Monday - Thursday 12-6pm
In the Community
- TCHS provides off-site adoptions at Petsmart and Petco.
- TCHS provides educational shelter tours to school and community groups
- TCHS provides therapeutic pet visits to senior care facilities.
- TCHS provides education animals for the Paws to Read program held at the St. Cloud Public Library from 10:30-11:30am the last Saturday of every month, where children can practice reading to animals.
- TCHS provides service learning projects to student groups or individuals.
- TCHS provides community service projects to adults needing to fulfill their obligations.
On the World Wide Web
TCHS’s web site (www.tricountyhumanesociety.org) provides photos of adoptable animals, information on current events at the shelter, pet care tips, and much more!
Running an animal shelter is not cheap (utility bills run over $3000 a month!), and adoption fees are one of the many ways we can keep our doors open to animals in need. We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover, and fees are due at the the time the animal is adopted.
Our adoption fees range from FREE (adult cats for seniors/veterans/military personnel) to $500 - although this price is VERY rare. Pocket pets such as hamsters, gerbils and mice, start at $5. Puppies, kittens and animals more in demand are priced higher to help offset the costs of caring for harder to place animals. When we are overflowing with kittens during the warmer months, we offer promotions such as adopting two for the price of one.
Adoption Fees Include:
- Basic Examination
- Behavior Evaluation
- 24 Hr Petwatch Micro-chip
*We also administer treatment for earmites, fleas, ticks, lice, mites and infections as necessary.
Stray Animal Fees
Stray animal fees are covered by the municipalities that contract with us. However, for people wanting to bring in stray animals that are found in municipalities that do not have stray contracts with any facility, we ask that they help us by making a donation if they are able.
We will never turn an animal away, but we ask that they pay us a small fee to surrender their pet. The cost to surrender an altered dog is $15, an unaltered dog is $25, an altered cat is $10, and an unaltered cat is $20. For litters of puppies or kittens there is a cap of $50 to surrender the entire litter. Small animal surrender fees vary depending on the species and whether or not we need to provide a cage for them.
We offer a wide variety of high quality pet products, including food, treats, supplements, rawhides, toys, leashes, collars, training tools, crates, grooming supplies, flea and tick preventative, and small animal supplies. Our prices are often times less expensive than local pet supply stores, and all proceeds of merchandise purchased at the shelter benefit the shelter animals.
TCHS relies heavily on monetary and in-kind donations from private citizens and corporations to meet the expenses of the shelter and the needs of the animals. A current list of needs can be found on our website at: www.tricountyhumanesociety.org.
Automatic Gift Giving
For individuals who want to help on a more regular basis, we have automatic gift giving via credit card. It is safe, convenient, and documented for tax deductions. Without thinking about it, one less coffee or dinner out automatically deducted from your account will save, protect and help many lives.
The Kennel Sponsorship Program provides a great opportunity for families, communities, group organizations and companies to make sure our homeless animals have the best care and stay at the shelter. Annual sponsorships provide the shelter, handling, kennel needs, and basic medical and vaccine expenses of our animals. A personalized plaque will display your generosity for an entire year, and will also encourage others to consider their own sponsorships. It is a great way to publicly recognize your commitment to helping homeless animals in the community. Sponsorships come in two categories, a small plaque for $300 or large plaque for $500.
Another option for people wishing to donate money to TCHS is to leave a bequest to the Society in their will. Interested persons should contact the Executive Director.
TCHS has numerous fundraising events during the year, such as the Companion Walk, Pose Your Pet with Santa Paws, Holiday Gift Wrapping, Administrative Professional’s Day Flower Delivery, Wine, Kibbles & Bids Dinner and Silent Auction, etc... All proceeds from these events go towards the care of the animals at the shelter.
TCHS has paid full and part-time employees responsible for the daily operations of the shelter.
Volunteers are essential to everything we do. They assist with customer service, daily care of animals, newsletter mailings, animal photography, website updates, animal transportation, building and grounds maintenance, examinations, surgeries, fundraising events, off-site adoption events, and much more. Wherever people’s talents lie, TCHS welcomes their involvement.
Board of Directors
TCHS is governed by a board of directors (up to 18 members) who are elected at the annual board meeting. The Board determines policies, strategic planning, and financial management to ensure that TCHS is operating in accordance with the mission statement and meeting the needs of the community.
Pet Overpopulation Problem
The need for the services TCHS offers has grown over the years. We wish it would be the other way around, but as the community grows, so will its needs. According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 6-8 million cats and dogs are surrendered to shelters yearly. Of those animals, 3-4 million cats and dogs are euthanized. We strive to educate the community about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets to reduce
the number of homeless animals, and we are leading by example by spaying and neutering all dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, and rabbits before adopting them out. With help from our community, we hope to reduce the number of unwanted and neglected animals needing our assistance. Thus, we will eliminate the need to euthanize animals due to overpopulation, medical issues, or behavioral issues that, with adequate resources, we could afford to rehabilitate or treat.
Tri-County Humane Society endorses THE FIVE FREEDOMS:
1. FREEDOM FROM HUNGER OR THIRST by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor
2. FREEDOM FROM DISCOMFORT by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
3. FREEDOM FROM PAIN, INJURY OR DISEASE by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
4. FREEDOM TO EXPRESS NORMAL BEHAVIOR by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind
5. FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND DISTRESS by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
The Five Freedoms are a compact of rights for animals under human control, including those intended for food or which act as working animals. The Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee was created to monitor the livestock production sector. In July 1979, this was replaced by the Farm Animal Welfare Council, and by the end of that year, the Five Freedoms had been codified into the recognizable list format.