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69 Years of Changing and Saving Lives… and Counting!

In the 1940s, Norma Campschrader had a home, a love for animals, and the passion to make a difference. With Ms. Campschrader’s commitment and vision, the seeds for the organization that would become the Lawrence Humane Society were planted.

The organization had humble beginnings. A small house on Indiana street, staffed by good Samaritans, served as the first shelter facility. Local police brought homeless animals to the makeshift shelter, where volunteers provided care and found new homes for the animals entering the facility’s doors.

The idea was simple — the need great.

On March 26, 1951, the organization — then, the Douglas County Humane Society, Inc. — was chartered, and four acres of land at the shelter’s current location on East 19th Street were purchased. Seven years later, the first shelter building was erected.

While much has changed since 1951, the underlying values that sparked Ms. Campschrader’s desire to make a difference — passion and love for animals — have not.

Today, the Lawrence Humane Society operates a 20,000-square-foot facility that shelters and cares for several thousand animals per year. The shelter serves Lawrence, Douglas County, and several surrounding communities. We are committed to placing 100% of adoptable animals into new homes, and have robust medical and behavior programs aimed at providing the animals who enter our care with the resources they need to be happy, healthy, and ultimately, find new homes.