The primary mission of the Humane Society of Otter Tail County is to protect animals from cruelty, ignorance, and harm through public education and advocacy. We need more animal legislation, better enforcement of existing laws, and encouragement of pet adoption through Humane Society shelters.
Board of Directors:
Chairperson: Karen Orcutt
Shelter Manager: Jaclyn Keenan
If you are interested in joining a committee please contact the Humane Society.
Infection Control Committee
Education/Public Relations Committee
The Humane Society of Otter Tail County was started by Carol Schaaf and Pam Swenson. Stray animals had nowhere to turn and they created the solution. The first site was the Bob and Mary Swierzek farm south of Fergus Falls in 1979. The facility consisted of some dog houses and the use of a barn for shelter. The organization was formed and incorporated in the same year.
Shortly after incorporation the State of Minnesota leased to the Humane Society a small building and a caretaker's house on the grounds of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center. At that time the treasury consisted of $37.50, some donated materials, and dog food. All animal care was provided by volunteers. All funding was done through donations and fundraisers conducted by volunteers.
Gradual growth and monies from government funding sources such as Otter Tail County, and CETA allowed the hiring of employees. This kept the Humane Society running. In 1985 the State of Minnesota decided that the building was needed for another venue, making a new site necessary.
A veterinary clinic building on Pebble Lake Road became available. Mel Olson spearheaded a fund raising campaign that made purchasing the clinic possible. There was an addition built onto the clinic in 1988.
Soon the Humane Society outgrew this building. It was decided that building new was a better option than remodeling the existing site. Once again a successful fund raising campaign and a small loan secured funding. Our current facility was constructed and opened in May 1994.
The Minnesota School of Business Vet. Tech. program works with shelters across the Red River Valley to provide free vaccinations, blood tests, spays/neuters, and much more to the animals in our care. This saves the shelter hundreds of dollars each year and provides excellent practice for the students, who will be able to use their skills in their future careers to help more animals.