Community Programs & Resources

Adoption Program

Our adoption program finds homes for an average of 100 animals per month, many times going well over that amount. We are the largest No-Kill Adoption Program in the county. Once animals enter the adoption program they stay with us until we find them a home or a spot in a rescue program. No time limit is placed upon their stay with us. Our Adoption Specialists do their best to find caring forever homes for our pets, by screening applicants and matching their needs. Our volunteers work to desensitize behavior problems so our animals are more adoptable.

Volunteer Program

We are currently building on our volunteer base and increasing participation by offering a 2 session initial training. Ongoing  training and specialized training are then provided for volunteers based on their needs and interests. Many citizens, children and their families, local students from University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s Bethel, IUSB, and Purdue colleges join our family of   volunteers to make the lives of our animals healthy, happy and adoptable along with raising funds and awareness about shelter programs.

Community Education & Outreach

Our staff, volunteers and pets visit local K-12 grade schools in the area and present information about the prevention of abuse and the humane care of animals. One such program is called HELP (Humane Education Learning Program) which brings animal books to classrooms throughout our community. Another great program is Paws For Pages. This literacy program is open to children between the ages of 6-13 which takes place at the   shelter. Children take turns reading to the adoptable pets  and then participate in crafts and animal presentations.  Programs are also available for area service club visits. The use of public service announcements, television and newspaper exposure, and free literature are other ways that we reach out to the community. During the summer, the Junior Humane Society Day Camp teaches our youth who are interested in the humane treatment of animals.

Pet Therapy

Volunteers and staff visit nursing homes and hospitals with animals, providing a chance for animal/human bonding. This is a very rewarding program for many people who are past owners of pets and crave the furry animals who love them unconditionally.

Shelter Pet Visit Program 

Would you like to have some of our furry friends visit you at your workplace or school?  Having a visit from our shelter pets can brighten anyone’s day with a few pup kisses and a snuggle from a cat.  Please fill out the Shelter Pet Visit Request Form and you will be contacted promptly.

Pet Safe Program

Emergency shelter is provided free for up to two weeks when owners are forced into temporary shelter because of domestic abuse, fires or other emergency situations. Animals are also vaccinated and groomed during their temporary stay. This is a program that has helped many animals in dire need of housing and tender loving care.

Doggy Day Out Program 

Doggy Day Out allows you to take dogs from our community shelter on outings and field trips.  Common Doggy Day outings can include a hike, a trip to a beach or lake, a sleepover in a home or even a nice dinner in a pet friendly restaurant. These outings help shelter dogs manage kennel stress, burn off energy and get more exposure in their communities.  Doggy Day Out only requires minimal training commitments for   participants. This is an opportunity for those who normally wouldn’t have time to volunteer.  It allows you to engage with your community shelter and advocate for the animals. It’s a great excuse to get out and get some exercise or explore with a canine sidekick! To apply to be a Doggy Day Out Volunteer fill out the application here. ** WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING NEW DOGGY DAY OUT APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME DUE TO THE COVID19 PANDEMIC **

Food Pantry

This program provides food for emergency cases when owners qualify. We have food for those animals whose owners fall onto hard times on a limited basis.

The Elderly & Emergency Transportation Program

This program provides free transport for sick animals whose owners are elderly, blind or disabled and or unable to drive their pets in emergency situations. Shelter staff will take their pets to a veterinarian either during the day or the Animal Emergency Clinic at night. Owners are still responsible for veterinarian costs and personal transportation if needed.

Spay/Neuter Program

Our veterinarian and volunteer veterinarians utilize the new  surgical center at the Humane Society to spay/neuter and perform various other life saving procedures on our adoptable pets. We have spayed/neutered over 8,000 shelter pets so far!

Animal Control

Our trained officers provide 24 hour-a-day emergency   services 365 days per year, serving 9,757calls/animals in 2014. This service is provided to all county residents, the city of Mishawaka, Osceola, Lakeville, North Liberty, Walkerton, University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Roseland municipalities. Our Humane Officers handle cruelty, neglect, abuse, wildlife, animal care complaints, and bite cases. The Humane Society provides the community with a free Rabies vaccination clinic once a year  that is sponsored by the   Michiana Kennel Club, MWI & Boehringer Ingelheim and local Veterinarians.

Licenses and Permits

You can purchase your dog and cat licenses from the shelter during business hours. You may also purchase a kennel, breeder, pet shop and other type of permits at the shelter. Licenses may also be purchased at participating Veterinarian offices.

Pet Lost and Found

Our facility provides a lost and found service that helps owners reunite with their animals. The microchip program and intense search methods help lost animals find their  owners. If you have a lost pet, be sure to visit our Lost/Found page.

Other Community Resources & Organizations

ABC Clinic is a high volume, high quality, low cost spay neuter clinic that offers spaying and neutering to anyone in the Michiana area.  Call 574 291-SPAY (7729) or visit

The Frantz Fund pays 80 percent of the cost of shots or spay/neuter for the pets of low-income persons at Frantz Fund participating veterinary clinics. Visit www.

The Meow Mission provides trapping and financial assistance for spay/neuters for free-roaming cats. Call 574-300-3353 or visit or

The ECFCC provides financial assistance for spay/neuter of free-roaming cats in Elkhart County.  Email: ECFCC at

Your Local Veterinarian- Most Michiana veterinary clinics offer reasonably priced spay & neuter services.  Call them for details.

Animal Welfare Coalition of Michiana (AWC) will bring together animal welfare organizations and community partners to institute initiatives each year to promote animal welfare awareness and action. In May 2015, we will carry out a Spay/Neuter awareness month to encourage animal owners to “fix your pet”. Each year the coalition will pick a different theme that will promote the humane treatment of animals in our community. AWC Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the ABC Clinic, Frantz Fund, Humane Society of St. Joseph County, Pet Refuge, South Bend Animal Care & Control, and the St. Joseph County Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SJC-SNAP). Visit the AWC Facebook page