A History of Compassion...On April 14, 1897, the Kalamazoo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Children was created as the first animal welfare agency in Kalamazoo County by two women. In 1937, we opened our first animal shelter on West Michigan Avenue. The same year we changed our name to the Kalamazoo County Humane Society – which has remained to this day. From 1937 to 1979, KHS operated a shelter for animals. In 1979, the shelter was closed to refocus the mission of the organization from one of sheltering (and often euthanizing animals) to one of prevention. Humane education and pet population control became the major focuses of the organization.
In 1960, our mascot “Nipper” was donated by Bud Green, the owner of a local television sales and service company. The six-foot dog quickly became one of our most visible and best loved images traveling throughout Kalamazoo visiting the lobbies of area libraries and local businesses.
After a series of movers spanning several decades, in 1997, we purchased the building on South Westnedge Avenue that is our current home. In 1999 a highly successful campaign raised enough money to pay off the mortgage and update the office computers and phone system.
In 2002, Operation Fix-It, a low-cost spay and neuter program was born. After three years working with a private mobile clinic, the Kalamazoo Humane Society purchased its own 30-foot state-of-the-art mobile clinic complete with pre/post-operative holding room, surgery prep area and surgery site.
In 2004, KHS began meeting at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation with representatives from several other local animal organizations to discuss ways to collaborate on a new animal care facility. During 2006, monies were raised for an animal care facility floor plan and a feasibility study to determine the community’s support level for such a project. In December 2009, construction began to renovate the Westnedge location into an on-site spay/neuter clinic as OFI began to outgrow the mobile unit, due to a need for more room for cats and to also begin surgery on dogs by our own OFI staff. Operation Fix-It has become a huge success in our community, altering over 50,000 cats and dogs between 2002 and 2014.
Today, we still support the efforts of Kalamazoo County Animal Services & Enforcement and their animal shelter, education programs to the community, help to those requiring low-cost spay and neuter services for their pets, and maintain a variety of health care and pet-related services such as our Emergency Pet Food Bank.