Our History & Mission

The Vanderburgh Humane Society, Inc. (VHS), a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 1957 to provide protection for homeless animals, intervention for animals in abusive environments, and community education to encourage prevention of animal abuse and pet overpopulation. Located in Evansville, Indiana, the VHS serves as a surrender and adoption agency for unwanted pets. The VHS receives no tax-based funding whatsoever. Therefore, it depends on the generosity of the corporate community and the public at large to continue, and hopefully expand, the much needed services it offers.

The VHS began with a small group of residents who longed to help Evansville’s animals. They worked out of their homes. VHS was incorporated in 1957 and designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in November of 1964. The first physical location was a small shelter on Buchanan Road on Evansville’s west side, pictured at right. It was built over top of what was previously a salt water pool (below) and filled in to make room for our shelter and the accompanying pet cemetery.

For many years, this facility served the community until a capital campaign was launched to build a new facility in the center of the city. In June of 2004, the current location on Millner Industrial Drive (at the corner of West Morgan Avenue and Read Street just west of Garvin Park) opened its doors. It is named for generous donor Charlotte G. Richardt. The 20,000 square-foot facility allows us to provide a multitude of services and an exceptional standard of care.

Since then, the face of animal welfare in the Evansville community has changed dramatically. Adoptions & rescue transports have increased while euthanasia has drastically decreased. In 2007, the Davidson Rausch Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic opened at the Vanderburgh Humane Society. The Clinic has prevented hundreds of thousands of unwanted litters, further contributing to the greater number of lives saved. It has provided more than 79,000 spay/neuter surgeries to date.

The Vanderburgh Humane Society has a long-lasting legacy of saving lives, promoting the human-animal bond, and raising the level of respect for animals in our community. The summer of 2017 marked the shelter’s 60th anniversary and the Spay & Neuter Clinic’s 10th anniversary. The VHS looks forward to a new chapter of growth and outreach to increase their impact for local animals for decades to come.

Our Mission

Leading our community to eliminate pet overpopulation through Spay/Neuter, Adoption, and Humane Education.

Alter. Adopt. Adore.

About Our Mission

  • Advocate the importance and benefits of neutering animals
  • Offer reasonable-cost spay/neuter and vaccination options to meet demand
  • Promote guardianship of adoptable animals to VHS-qualified candidates
  • Implement regular programs on behavioral education in schools and community events
  • Interweave animals into our local activities to strengthen the human-animal bond
  • Encourage the city of Evansville to include pet participation in community events
  • Campaign with the city of Evansville to develop an ordinance for the safety of animals in our community
  • Ensure all companion animals in our community are treated with respect