A Little History

Since 1950

Incorporated on December 26, 1950 by Cañon City businessman and animal advocate, Ralph J. Wann, his wife Hazel, and close friend Grace Green, the Humane Society of Fremont County (aka Cañon City Humane Society) was established as an independent, nonprofit organization with a mission to "provide refuge for the hurt and homeless, to prevent neglect and cruelty, to promote humane education and, by doing so, to enrich our own lives."

Thanks to the generous support provided by Mr. Wann during his lifetime, and later through the Ralph J. Wann Foundation, the Humane Society of Fremont County has been able to provide shelter and care to thousands of homeless and stray animals since 1950.

The shelter was founded in memory of Mr. Wann’s dog, Tippy, who lived to be 21. Tippy became depressed and refused to eat during a trip Mr. Wann took to Europe. Distressed, Mr. Wann cut short his trip and returned home. The idea to build an animal shelter took root during that time frame.

Who We Serve


The Humane Society of Fremont County is an independent, private, non-profit agency. We are an open-admission animal shelter providing animal-services to Fremont County and Custer County CO, the cities of Canon City and Florence, and the towns of Williamsburg, Rockvale, Coal Creek, Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, CO. We are not a division of the Fremont County government or the city of Cañon City, nor are we operated by or receive a single penny in funding from the National Humane Society of the United States. We are an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a board of directors.

Funding Sources

Animal Services Contracts and Community Support

The Humane Society of Fremont County is funded by four main sources:

  • Animal service contracts maintained with Fremont County, Custer County, the cities of Cañon City and Florence, and the towns of Coal Creek, Rockvale, Williamsburg, Silver Cliff and Westcliffe, CO. Each municipality contracts with the Humane Society of Fremont County separately to enforce local animal ordinances in their respective areas while picking up (and bringing into the shelter) stray and injured animals from their area. Municipal contracts only make up around 19% of our annual budget. The remainder of the budget is raised through the areas below. 
  • Individual donations, memorials, gifts and fundraising events (e.g., Rescue Runway, Annual Yard Sale, Dogs for Dogs, Hot Winter Nights, etc). 
  • Fees generated from services provided though adoptions, owner surrenders, micro-chipping, vaccinating, animal reclaims, and cremations, to name a few.
  • The Ralph J. Wann Foundation provides the shelter with annual support through monthly distributions. 

The Humane Society of Fremont County cannot survive without community support and fees generated from the services we provide to the community. If you would like to donate to Humane Society of Fremont County, you can do so online (below), or in person at our office during normal hours. The animal's thank you for your support!

Accountability to the Animals and to the Community

Checks and Balances

Having accountability, as well as being honest and transparent is very important to us... as it should be to our community.

Firstly, the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) run by the State of the Colorado performs unannounced shelter inspections and audits throughout the year. According to PACFA’s website, “PACFA is a licensing and inspection program dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of pet animals in facilities throughout Colorado…” This all means that our facility is regulated by the Colorado Department of Agricultures Pet Animal Care Facilities Act program. You can find more information about PACFA at https://ag.colorado.gov/ICS/PACFA.

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) also inspects our shelter during unannounced visits.  DORA is a State run organization that regulates several industries and professions in the State of Colorado, one being animal shelters. 

We welcome unannounced inspections of any kind. These type of inspections make our shelter a better place for the animals and for our community. 

Fremont Humane also has a local accounting firm that audits our finances on a monthly basis. This firm reports financial information to the Board of Directors, such as, the shelters financial performance, financial position, and cash flows. They also file the shelters annual taxes; among handling other important items throughout the year for the shelter. 

We also have a local attorney that keeps the shelter well-informed on legal changes and updates in the animal sheltering industry and how that may impact our shelter.

In addition to all of the above, it is essential to our Board of Directors that we are responsible stewards of the funds granted to the shelter from the Ralph J. Wann Foundation. So our accounting firm, with our Executive Director, completes a rather extensive "Follow-up report of Grantee" for the Wann Foundation annually. This report describes how the shelter used the funds granted to the shelter in the previous year. The Wann Foundation accounts for approximately 36% of our entire annual budget, and pretty much allows the shelter to keep its doors open year to year. The Board of Directors and staff can't be more thankful for the Foundations financial support. 

All of the above forms of accountability have been in place at the Humane Society of Fremont County for decades and will remain in place for decades to come.

Animal Save Rates (2021)

Where Every Life Matters

To be fully transparent, our shelter reports two sets of save rate numbers. One set INCLUDES owner requested euthanasia, while the second set EXCLUDES owner requested euthanasia. Our save rate includes the old, the very young, the sick, the very injured, and every animal in between. We do not calculate our save rate off of only adoptable animals. Instead we calculate our save rate after considering 100% of the animals into the shelter (no matter what condition they may be in on intake).

For 2021 our save rates are as follows: 

INCLUDES Owner Requested Euthanasia...

Cats: 97.88% 

Dogs: 99.02% 

Others: 95.45... one bunny passed in foster :-(

Combined Save Rate including owner requested euthanasia: 98.59% 

EXCLUDES Owner Requested Euthanasia...

Cats: 98.18%

Dogs: 99.16%

Others: 95.45%..one bunny died in foster :-(

Combined Save Rate excluding owner requested euthanasia: 98.78%

The 98.78% in 2021 is the highest year end save rate in Fremont Humane's long history. Many thanks to the community for helping us save so many lives year after year, but especially in 2021. No way could we do what we do for the animals and for our community without the community's life-saving support.

Humane Society of Fremont County Services


Humane Society of Fremont County has pets that need a forever home!

Help Humane Society of Fremont County keep these pets safe & Healthy!