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TCHS in the News!

Our team works with the news media and digital partners to raise awareness of companion animal care and humane education. If you are a member of the media and wish to discuss this with us, please call 320-252-0896 or email us at 

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Fellow Friends of Animals,

As I sit in the chair that was once occupied by my incredible predecessor, Vicki Davis, I am filled with gratitude. It is not every day that a person can say they have landed their dream job! It's an honor to serve this community as the next executive director of Tri-County Humane Society (TCHS), as Vicki did so well these past 39 years. I'm eager to build relationships with all of you - our adopters, volunteers, supporters, community partners, and friends.

By way of introduction, I'll give you a summary of what led me to this position, followed by an open invitation to learn about you in return!

In 1998, I began working at TCHS as a part-time kennel cleaner, customer service staff, and exam tech while attending St. Cloud State University. I was hired by Jon Rand, who seemed to have a soft spot for passionate young dreamers wanting to make a difference in the world. I was trained by incredible mentors: Laurie Gerard, who could write the book on exceptional customer service; Bonnie Alexander, animal care technician extraordinaire who had a heart of gold that animals and people alike were drawn to; Lisa Brownstein, who taught me the importance of life-saving sanitation and cleaning protocols; Julie Anderson, who knew everything there is to know about small animals and loved to share her knowledge with others … The list goes on and on—and, of course, there was Vicki Davis, the best mentor of all, leading this organization to greatness with her unwavering belief in the human-animal bond. 

I graduated in 2002 with a degree in biology and all of the pre-veterinary requirements to go on to vet school, but I decided to take a one-year break before launching into more schooling. I took a full-time position at TCHS, and I loved it. One year turned into just shy of 20 years and a myriad of positions, including Animal Care Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Foster Care Coordinator, Humane Education, Events, Marketing & Communications, and Director of Philanthropy. Even more than the positions held were the adoptions of pets over the years. (Try working at an animal shelter and NOT adopting a lot of pets!)

Aside from a five-year hiatus fundraising for Cathedral High School and Catholic Community Schools, my career life has been with TCHS. It’s where my heart is, and I’m so glad to be back. And, just like when I started here, the staff and volunteers I get to work with every day are AMAZING.

I truly believe that people who love animals are among the best of the best, and I’m excited to reconnect with old friends, and build relationships with those of you I have not met. If you are on this mailing list, you have a TCHS story of your own, and I’d love to hear it. More than that, I want to learn from you. How could we serve you and the animals of Central Minnesota better? What are we doing well? What could we do better? How would you like to help? My door, phone, and inbox are open to you.

Please do not hesitate to reach out!

For the animals and the people who love them,

Marit Ortega
320-371-0871 (direct)

2023 Facts:

  • Animals Placed


  • Number of Animals Transferred In


  • Total Surgeries


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