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

501(c)(3)

The Humane Society of Fremont County is an independent, private, non-profit agency. Our shelter is an open-admission animal shelter providing animal-services to Fremont County CO, Custer County CO, the cities of Canon City and Florence, and the towns of Williamsburg, Rockvale and Coal Creek, Colorado. 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 Humane Society of the United States. We are an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a board of directors.

Accountability to the Animals and to the Community

Checks and Balances

Though our focus is caring for the animals and serving the residents of the counties, cities and towns we provide animals services too, having accountability is very important to us, as it is to our community.

Firstly, the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) run by the State of the Colorado performs unannounced shelter visits 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…”

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 always 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. Our accounting firm also completes a rather extensive and detailed "Follow-up report of Grantee" for the Wann Foundation every year. 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 us to keep our 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.

Funding Sources

Animal Services Contracts and Community Support

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

  • Animal services contracts maintained with Fremont County, Custer County, the cities of Cañon City and Florence, and the towns of Coal Creek, Rockvale, and Williamsburg, Colorado. Each municipality contracts with the Humane Society of Fremont County separately to enforce local animal ordinances in their respective areas while picking up stray and injured animals from each area.
  • 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.

The Humane Society of Fremont County cannot survive without community support and fees generated from services. 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. Thank you for your support!

Humane Society of Fremont County Services

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