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About Us

Our mission is to make a difference for animals and the people who love them.

Founded in 1879, the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) has been saving the lives of animals in need for generations. WHS is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and operates animal shelters in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Door, and Brown Counties, as well as a spay/neuter clinic in West Allis. Our Federal Tax ID is: #39-0810533. 

WHS annually serves more than 40,000 animals and their families. We receive no general government funding and we are not part of any national umbrella organization. As the largest shelter in the state of Wisconsin, WHS offers the following services:

  • An adoption program that matches 13,000+ animals with new families each year; we do not euthanize animals to make space in our shelters, and animals in our adoption program have as long as it takes to find a new home
  • Stray/lost animal and law enforcement holding services for municipalities in Door, Brown, Ozaukee, Racine, and Kenosha Counties, which reunite thousands of  pets with their families each year
  • Intake support and services for surrendered animals from Door, Brown, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha Counties
  • Affordable vaccines, microchips, and spay/neuter services open to the public
  • Pet food pantries that provide pet food, treats, and cat litter, etc. to bridge gaps in accessing these important resources
  • Community outreach programs that connect families with resources for their pets       
  • A foster program for animals who need extra support or a break from the shelter
  • Dog training classes for dogs and puppies, as well as online pet support tips for behavior concerns
  • Youth programs to engage and inspire the next generation of animal lovers
  • Retail merchandise at our Animal Antics stores at each campus, and online
  • The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which provides rescue, rehabilitation, and release for roughly 5,000 wild animals annually at our Milwaukee Campus.

Core Values

Compassion, respect, and kindness. We are compassionate, respectful, and kind, in every interaction with every person and every animal.  In a world where rancor is often seen in public discourse and in the animal welfare community, our commitment to compassion, respect, and kindness sets us apart.  

Positive approach.  We are authentically, sincerely, positive.  We love this work and are inspired every day by the difference we are able to make and the people and animals we meet.  We know there is still sadness and tragedy for many animals, but we believe we are most able to change those conditions when we find ways to feel authentically optimistic.  

Innovation.  We are trailblazing, progressive, innovative, ever-improving, forward-thinking people, proud to be a role model for the best in animal welfare work.  We’re willing to try new things and rethink old ways.  We are each committed to learning and growing every day of our professional lives.

Professionalism.  We are animal welfare professionals, and our standards are really, really high.  We believe in strong processes and a focused, strategic, flexible approach to challenges.  We know that our mission is real only when we can effectively make it happen.  

Equity. We believe we can achieve our mission only when we welcome all people to join with us. We strive to recognize the forces that have created inequity in our communities and our field, and respond to the impact of that inequity on animals and the people who love them.




State Licenses

Wisconsin DATCP Dog Seller and Dog Facility Operator Licenses

Milwaukee Campus – License 267013 
Ozaukee Campus – License 286367
Racine Campus – License 284731
Green Bay Campus – 468759
Door County Campus – 468760
Kenosha Campus - 267257

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