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About Us

Mission Statement:

To provide temporary shelter and care to stray, abandoned, and surrendered animals for the purpose of placing every adoptable animal in a caring permanent home. To promote the humane treatment of all animals and promote responsible pet guardianship.

Board of Directors:

Chairperson: Mary Petersen
Vice Chairperson: Judy Patrick
Secretary: Karen Orcutt
Treasurer: Judy Adamec
Carol Schaaf
Bonnie Lien
Cheryl Strande
Samantha Batzlaff

Staff Members:

Shelter Manager: Jaclyn Keenan, CVT
Lead Kennel Worker: Brandy Bouchard
Office Assistant: Samantha Hanson
Kennel Workers:
Cerise Peterson
Cindy Stramer
Jeff Borstad
Cassie Borah
Ellen Bradburn


If you are interested in joining a committee please contact the Humane Society.

Facility/Grounds/Maintenance Committee
Bonnie Lien
Carol Schaaf
Seth Dagoberg

Infection Control Committee
Jaclyn Keenan

Education/Public Relations Committee
Judy Adamec

Fundraising Committee
Volunteers needed

Newsletter/Publications Commitee
Volunteers needed

Finance Committee
Karen Orcutt
Judy Adamec

Personnel Committee
Volunteers needed

Policy/Forms Committee
Volunteers needed

Membership Committee
Carol Schaaf


Our History

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.

Above: The previous home of the Humane Society on
the grounds of the Regional Treatment Center.

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.

Above: The previous home of the Humane
Society on Pebble Lake Road.

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.

Above: The current home of the Humane
Society of Otter Tail Count


Our Partners

Minnesota School of Business, Moorhead - Veterinary Technology

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.

Minnkota Pawws
Minnkota Pawws provides low cost spays and neuters and other veterinary services to pets in Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas.







Protect your pet. ShelterCare Pet Insurance Programs