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About Us

Mission & History

Our Mission

We believe in the human-animal bond and exist to support the animals and people of Central Minnesota by practicing and promoting quality animal care, offering compassionate customer service, and providing humane education. 

  • We Are An Open Admissions Shelter

    Open admission animal shelters like Tri-County Humane Society accept all pets that arrive at their doors, regardless of age, health, color, breed, temperament or "adoptability", with the exception of dogs or cats that have bitten and broken skin within the past 10 days unless they were previously adopted from our shelter.

Tri-County Humane Society (TCHS) operates an independent nonprofit animal shelter in St. Cloud, Minnesota. TCHS has been providing quality services to the people and animals of Central Minnesota since 1974.

Some of our services include care for homeless animals, pet adoption, pet lost and found, and humane education. We also provide knowledgeable answers to questions regarding pet care, behavior, and many other animal-related issues.

History and Growth of TCHS

  • The Beginning

    Before 1974, several concerned residents took unwanted pets into their homes, but they could not keep up with the need.

  • 1974 - Incorporation!

    TCHS incorporated on Dec. 11, 1974, as a nonprofit organization to care for homeless pets and to promote the humane care and treatment of animals.

  • 1976 - Our First Shelter
    1976 - Our First Shelter

    In 1976, community members and businesses rallied to provide donated materials and labor to remodel a vacant gas station and turn it into an animal shelter.

  • Against All Odds
    Against All Odds

    The building had 10 old-fashioned dog kennels, 12 puppy cages and 12 cat cages.
    And on occasion, it flooded.

  • 1989 - New Building
    1989 - New Building

    On May 15, 1989, TCHS moved into a new custom-designed animal shelter in its current location (8th St. NE, St. Cloud).

  • 1999 - Adding On
    1999 - Adding On

    In 1999, after years of planning and saving, TCHS built on an addition that provided more storage space, office space, a laundry room, expanded small animal and stray housing, separate dog and cat isolation rooms, and an examination/surgery suite.

  • 2008 - Training Building
    2008 - Training Building

    In September 2008, a new training facility was built behind the shelter for dog obedience, problem-solving, and tricks classes.

  • 2010 - Training Building becomes Surgery Building
    2010 - Training Building becomes Surgery Building

    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.

    With the “No Pet Left Undone” initiative in full swing by August 2011, TCHS became 100 percent compliant with spaying and neutering all dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and rabbits before adopting them out; a goal since inception.

  • 2010 - More New Initiatives Implemented
    2010 - More New Initiatives Implemented

    Lowered euthanasia rates by 52%.
    The TCHS Working Cat (or Barn Cat) program begins.
    Received grant to track rise of cats and kittens surrendered by using a GIS to identify target areas and then mailed target area an Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM) with information for low-cost spay/neuter mobile clinics.
    Started offering "Kitten Stress Breaks."

  • 2012

    Added cat portals to cages in cat room, thanks to a grant from the ASPCA.
    Received grant from the ASPCA to increase surgery equipment and switch disinfecting protocol to the new shelter and veterinary recommended Accel disinfectant.
    Started Return to Field program.
    First dogs transferred from Pasadena, California, to TCHS.
    Finished 2012 with a 79.94 percent adoption rate.

  • Our Great Work Means More Lives Saved

    And we go on and on.... The outstanding work of the shelter team continues to result in an incredible number of animals finding homes. Our placement rate continues to trend upward:
    2013 - 79.48% placement
    2014 - 83.89% placement
    2015 - 91.75% placement
    2016 - 94.03% placement
    2017 - 93.44% placement
    2018 - 95.6% placement
    2019 - 93% placement
    2020 - 94% placement
    2021 - 95% placement
    2022- 95% placement
    2023 - 94% placement

  • 2019 - Kitty Korner
    2019 - Kitty Korner

    Kitty Korner opened in June 2019, allowing for same-day adoptions of cats and kittens! It stayed open for a little more than a year, and more than 500 cats and kittens were adopted from that location.

  • TCHS broke ground on our new shelter in November 2019.

  • Tri-County Humane Society opened its new facility on Sept. 10, 2020, after two days of moving. The new animal shelter features twice as much square footage, and includes greatly improved housing/socialization areas for our animals.

  • July 2022 - TCHS Hosts 1st Free Microchip Clinic

    Staff microchipped 28 animals during our Gettin' Chippy Wit' It event. Since that inaugural event, we've chipped hundreds of animals for the public!

  • August 2022 - TCHS Opens Doggie Play Yard
    August 2022 - TCHS Opens Doggie Play Yard

    Thanks to Girl Scout Troop 636 out of Sauk Rapids, TCHS opens a doggie play area for its shelter dogs.

  • July 2022 -TCHS Board of Directors Names New Executive Director
    July 2022 -TCHS Board of Directors Names New Executive Director

    Marit Ortega will succeed Vicki Davis as executive director of Tri-County Humane Society when Vicki retires in February 2024. Marit  worked for Catholic Community Schools in various capacities in the past five years, most recently as its Director of Development. But she is not a stranger to TCHS: She was the shelter’s Animal Care Manager from 2002-2008; its Volunteer, Humane Education & Events Coordinator from 2009 to 2012; and its Director of Philanthropy from 2012 until 2018. Marit started working with Vicki in November 2023. On her new role at TCHS, Marit says, “It feels like coming home.”


2023 Facts:

  • Animals Placed


  • Number of Animals Transferred In


  • Total Surgeries


© 2024 Tri-County Humane Society

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