1990 – Our Vision Began with Eight People.

In 1990 a small group of citizens in Oshkosh, WI, concerned about the conditions at the animal shelter, met with City officials to offer suggestions for improving the quality of life of the animals and the facility. The group, called Friends of the Shelter, actively participated in the shelter’s improvements and raised funds for new equipment. After the group was officially designated as a 501c3, the City offered Friends of the Shelter a contract to take over shelter operations. In 1998 the name of the organization was officially changed to the Oshkosh Area Humane Society.

Efforts to offer new programs and services to the community were hindered by the space limitations of the former 2,600 sq. ft. structure. A new building was needed in order for OAHS to become the community resource staff and volunteers envisioned.

Using OAHS monies, the annual interest from the Kay Wilde Endowment Fund at the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and capital campaign funds, OAHS purchased a 13,000 sq. ft. former one-day surgical center on the north side of Oshkosh. The building was renovated to become a fully-equipped center for both animals and people. March 2005 OAHS began operations at the new 1925 Shelter Court location.

In May of 2009 OAHS made a pledge to be a Life Saving organization. No healthy, treatable animal would be euthanized for any reason including length of stay or capacity constraints. New programs were put into place to make the pledge a reality . The Life Saving pledge required dedication by staff, volunteers and the community. This level of dedication is ongoing and funding support to sustain life-saving programs is essential. As a non-profit, 501(C)(3) organization, OAHS does not receive any city, state, federal funding or United Way fundraising dollars. OAHS relies on the financial support of private citizens, area businesses and grants.

Each year OAHS serves an average of 2,600 animals and touches the lives of more than 180,000 people. From animal adoption and assisting families in crisis to pet therapy visits in nursing homes, OAHS provides essential and valuable community services. With progressive practices, high ethical standards and a live release rate averaging 96%, OAHS is a well-respected organization both locally and nationally. With the support of our community we’ll continue to be a vital part of the future for both people and animals.

We invite you to join us.