Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is your Internal Revenue Service exempt status? 

The Spokane Humane Society, Federal Tax ID 91-0565011 is recognized as exempt from federal income tax under section 501c3 of the internal revenue code of 1986.

2. What is your total budget for 2016?

The Spokane Humane Society operating budget for 2016 is $1.6 million generated without local, state or federal tax funding. More than $0.70 out of every dollar we receive comes from donations and fundraising.

3. How many employees does your organization have? How many volunteers?

The Spokane Humane Society has 28 employees dedicated to providing care to more than 3,100 needy animals 365 days a year. We have an active core of 500 volunteers that routinely assist with animal care and enrichment. Additionally, we have 689 volunteers that assist with foster care, community outreach, special events and other special projects. Our volunteers log nearly  30,000 hours caring for critters annually.

4. What is the relationship of the Spokane Humane Society to local animal welfare organizations, government entities and national groups such as Humane Society of the United States or ASPCA?

The Spokane Humane Society receives no funding from local, state or federal taxes or other national groups, nor are we governed by or affiliated with Humane Society of the United States or ASPCA or any other national animal welfare group. We are a local nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to taking care of the animals here in our community. The only way to help local homeless, unwanted, abandoned and abused pets is by making a donation directly to the Spokane Humane Society or other local animal welfare and rescue organizations.

5. What is an Animal Welfare Organization?

In its simplest form, animal welfare refers to the relationships people have with animals and the duty they have to assure that the animals under their care are treated humanely and responsibly; the “Human Animal Bond”. There’s broad agreement among animal professionals and the general public that people should treat their animals humanely and we at the Spokane Humane Society prescribe to animal welfare best practices to ensure that the animals in our care are comfortable and healthy.

The Five Freedoms:

  • Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  • Freedom from Discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to Express Normal Behavior – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  • Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

6. Is the Spokane Humane Society a Government Agency?

No. The Spokane Humane Society is a public, non-profit organization supported by tax deductible donations.  In addition to our advocacy and many services we provide on behalf of animals, we also accomplish our mission through the operation of a low-income Spay and Neuter Clinic.

7. Is the Spokane Humane Society a “No-kill” Organization?

There are other organizations that call themselves “no kill” shelters, but we believe the term is misleading. Our organization is more accurately defined as “limited admission” shelter, because we take in only what we can humanely care for without overcrowding.

The Spokane Humane Society will never euthanize for time or space and never turn an animal away because of their looks, age, breed or non-contagious treatable health condition based upon available space and intake policies. The staff and our extensive community of volunteers work hard to give second chances to every healthy or rehabilitatable animal.

There is no set time limit for how long an animal can remain in our Adoptions Program. As long as an animal maintains general good health, a sound temperament, we’ll keep a pet for months in our shelter, and even longer in our Foster Care Program. Sick animals that have a good prognosis for recovery are treated and then placed into our Foster Care Program for recovery where they remain available for adoption.

We do not euthanize healthy adoptable cats or dogs and we do everything we can to avoid the euthanasia of sick or injured animals. We do euthanize aggressive animals that are determined to be a threat to themselves and the community, and those sick or injured animals that are unrehabilitatable and are not responding to treatment.

Our goal is to save the lives of all adoptable dogs and cats in our community, and to accomplish this we are:

  • Increasing the number of shelter animals transferred in from local area shelters and rescue organizations
  • Encouraging responsible pet ownership through expanded public awareness and humane education
  • Supporting pet owners through low cost spay and neuter services and shot clinics, placement guidance and behavioral counseling
  • Involving ourselves proactively in humane issues through legislative processes


Spokane Humane Society

The Spokane Humane Society is a 501c3 non-profit local public charity dedicated to the welfare of companion animals. Since 1897, we have acted as a refuge for animals in peril by providing care, shelter, and placement for tens of thousands of lost, neglected, and unwanted animals in the greater Spokane area.

The mission of the Spokane Humane Society is to enrich the lives of companion animals through support, education, advocacy and love.  We are committed to making Spokane a more humane community in which animals are treated with compassion and respect proudly serving the two and four legged residents of the Inland Northwest since 1897.

We have a sustained an adoption and placement rate of more than 95%; we treat each animal in our care as individuals and their fates are not determined by rigid policies but by a balance between head and heart. Animals entering our adoption program remain in our care until they find a loving home. We are committed to treating most medical conditions, giving more pets the opportunity for their second chance at happiness.

The number of animals we serve has varied over the years based upon our mission and role as animal control or in our current role as a companion animal adoption shelter. We place between 2500-3500 animals annually through our adoption program and we reach out to tens of thousands of individuals promoting the importance of animals in our lives and the need to reduce the surplus animal population through spay & neuter programs.

Since 1897, the Spokane Humane Society has extended the hand of kindness to stray and unwanted animals in the greater Spokane Area. The Society shelters and cares for companion animals, transfers stray animals from animal control when they are out of space, operates a low-income spay and neuter clinic and educates the public about humane issues and responsible pet care.

The Spokane Humane Society operates independently of all other animal organizations and humane societies. While we are not affiliated or funded by any local or national humane organizations we work closely with them to provide consistency of messaging as it relates to the compassionate care of companion animals, bite prevention and the need to reduce the number of unwanted animals through spay and neuter programs.

SHS is Much More Than a Shelter… It’s a Place Filled With Unconditional Love.


Mission Statement:

Working together to enrich the lives of companion animals through Support, Education, Advocacy and Love.

Vision Statement:

Committed to creating a humane community in which animals are treated with compassion and respect, resources are readily available to those who require support for the animals in their lives.  Engaging and educating the community by reducing the intake of animals through spay/neuter programs and creating an environment where the animals and the organization thrive.

Vision Points:

  1. Consistently increase adoption of companion animals in permanent loving homes
  2. Provide a superior level of compassionate care, rehabilitation, education and support services for the animals in our community.
  3. Engage and educate the community of the importance of companion animals and the enrichment they bring to our lives
  4. Reduce intake by providing low income spay and neuter services, micro-chipping and working with the shelters and rescue missions in the pacific northwest, to stop overcrowding and place more companion animals in permanent homes.
  5. Actively advocate for animal welfare, and humane legislation and policies.
  6. Build and maintain a financially secure organization that thrives from community support and involvement
  7. Attract, retain and develop capable, caring, diverse and quality paid and volunteer staff.

Core Values:

  1. Care, compassion, and respect for all living things.
  2. Promotion of the human-animal bond.
  3. Collaboration with others in pursuit of our vision.
  4. Accountability for the resources entrusted to us.
  5. Recognition of staff and volunteers as a vital resource.
  6. Humane interaction with people and animals. 

The six passions of the Spokane Humane Society:

Animals; Stewardship; Education; Volunteerism; Spay/Neuter & Micro-chipping; Adoptions

Fast Facts:

  • Founded in Spokane, WA 1897: 118 years of compassionate care & placement
  • Board President, Janelle Brennen, Executive Director, Dave Richardson, 12 Community Board members
  • 2015 Budget 1.4 million which is supported entirely by donations and fees for services
  • 501c3 Public Charity-Funded through donations No Local, State, or Federal Tax Funding
  • Handled over 4,000 animals in 2014. Owner surrendered and 1500 transfers in from other area shelters 98.6% save rate
  • Animals are sheltered for as long as needed until permanently placed -no overcrowding, no time limits
  • Adoption fee includes spay/neuter, 1st shots, microchip, complimentary vet check, and 30 days of free pet health insurance


Programs and Services

Adoption Center: On and offsite pet adoptions, including requests for specific breeds for society members, discounted fees offered to seniors; we provide shelter to animals for as long as needed to insure permanent placement with priority on enrichment to maintain physical and mental health of the animals. We place thousands of animals annually-97% placement rate in 2015; active foster care and volunteer programs help reduce overcrowding and provide rehabilitation for animals in need of extended care.

Volunteers: The volunteer program is a very important part of providing our animals the quality care and enrichment we strive for. In 2015, 525 volunteers logged more than 30,000 hours enhancing productivity and quality of care. Volunteers are actively involved in the general care of the animals including feeding, exercising, socializing, grooming, and cleaning kennels, as well as being involved in special projects, humane education, pet intake, adoptions, health care, the offsite outreach program and in-home foster care.

Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age or 10 years old with adult supervision. Prospective volunteers attend a two-hour orientation program and receive an orientation tour to become familiar with our staff, facility and our animals.

Veterinary Services: A low income spay/neuter clinic and microchipping services for low-income pet owners, as well as owner-requested euthanasia and cremations. All of our animals that are adopted come with a 30 day free pet insurance policy; they are spayed or neutered and micro-chipped. They also receive applicable immunizations including rabies, and through partnerships with the local veterinary community they receive a free health check.

Community Outreach/Education Programs: Provides bite prevention education to local area schools, and informs the community on proper care and humane issues. Supports humane education with resources for teachers and children, as well as campus tours.

Pet Food Bank: Provides food and pet supplies distributing more than 25,000 pounds of food in 2015 to families in need.