Who We Serve

501(c)(3)

The Humane Society of Fremont County is an independent, private, and non-profit organization dedicated to providing essential animal services to the cities of Cañon City and Florence, the towns of Coal Creek, Westcliffe, and Silver Cliff and to Custer County, Colorado. Our open-admission animal shelter welcomes all animals in need, regardless of their background, breed or medical condition, and our mission is to provide them with the best possible care, compassion, and love.

As an independent and private organization, we operate separately from the Fremont County government or the city of Cañon City. We are not affiliated with the National Humane Society of the United States and do not receive any funding from them. We are an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a dedicated board of directors. This means that we are a non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.

Our independence allows us to provide specialized and tailored care for our animals in a compassionate and loving environment. We are committed to providing the best possible care for the animals in our shelter and to serving our community in a transparent, honest, and accountable way.

Open-Admission Animal Shelter

As an open-admission animal shelter, we are dedicated to helping every animal in need. We never turn away an animal, and we work tirelessly to provide them with a safe and loving home until they find their forever home. We believe that every animal deserves a chance at happiness, and we are committed to making a difference in their lives.

Our dedicated board of directors provides us with leadership and guidance, ensuring that we remain true to our mission and values. We are committed to transparency and accountability, and we welcome feedback from our community to improve our services and operations.

We take great pride in being an independent, private, and non-profit organization. It allows us to put the welfare of our animals first and to provide them with the care, compassion, and love they deserve. It also allows us to remain true to our mission and values, and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the animals and our community.


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.


Funding Sources

Supporting Our Mission

A dog wearing a vest that promotes animal adoption is greeting visitorsThe Humane Society of Fremont County is a nonprofit organization that relies on a combination of funding sources to support its mission of ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort to companion animals in need.

Our animal service contracts with Custer County, the cities of Cañon City and Florence, and the towns of Coal Creek, Silver Cliff, and Westcliffe, Colorado are a vital source of funding for our shelter.

Each municipality contracts with us separately to enforce local animal ordinances in their respective areas while picking up and bringing stray and injured animals to our shelter. Although these contracts only make up approximately 19% of our annual budget, they are essential to our ability to serve the animals in our community.

In addition to our service contracts, we rely on individual donations, memorials, gifts, and fundraising events to generate the remaining 81% of our budget. Our fundraising events, such as Rescue Runway, Annual Yard Sale, Dogs for Dogs, and Hot Winter Nights, provide essential funds for our shelter, while also raising awareness of our mission.

The fees we generate from the services we provide, such as adoptions, owner surrenders, micro-chipping, vaccinating, animal reclaims, and cremations, also contribute to our budget. We strive to provide affordable and accessible services to our community, while also generating revenue to support the animals in our care.

The Ralph J. Wann Foundation

The Ralph J. Wann Foundation is another significant source of support for our shelter. The foundation provides us with annual support through monthly distributions, accounting for approximately 36% of our entire annual budget. This funding enables us to keep our doors open year after year and to continue providing essential care for the animals in our community.

We cannot survive without the support of our community. If you would like to make a donation to the Humane Society of Fremont County, you can do so online or in person at our office during normal hours. Your support helps us to continue our mission of ending animal homelessness and providing care and comfort to companion animals in need. On behalf of the animals in our care, we thank you for your generosity.

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Accountability

Animals and the Community

At the Humane Society of Fremont County, we take accountability, honesty, and transparency very seriously. It is not only important to us, but it should be to our community as well. We understand that as a nonprofit organization, it is crucial that we maintain the trust and support of our community, and we do so by adhering to strict regulations and oversight.

Pet Animal Care Facilities Act

The Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) is a licensing and inspection program run by the State of Colorado, dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of pet animals in facilities throughout the state. Our facility is regulated by PACFA, which performs unannounced inspections and audits throughout the year. This ensures that we are meeting the highest standards of care for the animals in our shelter. You can learn more about PACFA by visiting their website at https://ag.colorado.gov/ICS/PACFA.

Department of Regulatory Agencies

In addition to PACFA, the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) also conducts unannounced inspections of our shelter. As a state-run organization that regulates several industries and professions in Colorado, DORA is responsible for ensuring that we are providing the best possible care to our animals.

We welcome unannounced inspections of any kind, as they help us to continually improve our shelter and maintain our commitment to the animals in our care. We believe that this level of accountability is not only necessary, but it is also essential to the health and well-being of the animals in our shelter.

Financial & Legal Audits

At the Humane Society of Fremont County, we also work with a local accounting firm that audits our finances on a monthly basis. This firm reports financial information to our Board of Directors, including the shelter's financial performance, financial position, and cash flows. They also file the shelter's annual taxes and handle other important items throughout the year.

To stay informed on legal changes and updates in the animal sheltering industry, we work with a local attorney who provides guidance on any legal matters that may arise. This ensures that we are up to date on any legal changes that may impact our shelter and allows us to operate with transparency and integrity.

As a nonprofit organization, we rely heavily on the generosity of our supporters. The Ralph J. Wann Foundation provides us with approximately 36% of our entire annual budget, which allows us to keep our doors open year after year. We are grateful for their financial support and take our responsibility as stewards of their funds very seriously. Our accounting firm and Executive Director complete an extensive "Follow-up report of Grantee" for the Wann Foundation annually, which details how the shelter used the funds granted to us in the previous year.

We have always prioritized accountability, transparency, and honesty at the Humane Society of Fremont County, and we will continue to do so for decades to come. It is our commitment to providing the best possible care for the animals in our shelter and maintaining the trust and support of our community.


We Need Your Help!

Every Contribution Helps

Humane Society of Fremont County needs your help! We provide vital services to animals in need in the Fremont and Custer County areas. We appreciate any help we can get, and thank you for supporting our mission to give these animals a second chance at life. Here is a list of ways people can help us:

    • Donate money online through our PayPal donation form or Venmo, or by sending a check or cash to our mailing address.
    • Sponsor a Shelter Cage and have your name or business displayed prominently on a large cage plaque for twelve calendar months.
    • Contribute needed items like postage stamps, dog and cat food, dry treats, towels, collars and leashes, and pet crates. You can also donate lightly used items that can be sold in our annual yard sale.
    • Donate a Kuranda bed through our Donate-a-Bed Program to provide clean and comfortable beds for our animals.
    • Shop at our retail shelter store and every purchase you make will benefit the animals we care for. You can find a wide variety of pet-related items, and if you adopt a cat or a dog, you will receive 10% off your entire retail purchase

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The staff is very friendly & eager to assist you to see if you are a good fit for the pet you are wishing to take home with you. They also conveniently list the pets they have available on an adoption page, so if you're looking for a specific pet, it makes it much easier to find. I just recently adopted a pet from them. She was my 2nd adoption from the Humane Society.

Laura C Fremont County, Colorado

Humane Society of Fremont County is an outstanding animal shelter that cares deeply about the animals they receive. We were fortunate enough to be able to provide a kitty a new forever home. The staff were professional at all times and and are very careful to make sure animals are going to a suitable environment. The facility is kept really clean and comfortable to be in. The procedures to adopt an animal are very clear and easy to follow. We are very happy with our experience!

Allen H Cañon City, Colorado

Good people doing good for animals. The Humane Society of Fremont County is serving the community well. The management is top-notch and most of the people working there seem to be friendly and knowledgeable. A great place to volunteer time for the betterment of the dog and cat community in which we live.

Earl P Cañon City, Colorado

We Have Pets That Need a Forever Home!

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