Despite a growing number of adoptions and its most successful fiscal year ever, the Animal Humane Society is electing to close its shelter in Buffalo by November 1 of this year.
That announcement was made Monday, July 24 by Animal Humane Society President Janelle Dixon, who called the decision “difficult,” and the facility and Buffalo “underutilized.”
“We will continue to serve Buffalo and surrounding communities though our locations in Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, St. Paul and Woodbury,” Dixon said in a statement issued by AHS. “We’re working hard to ensure that animals, community members, staff and volunteers are all supported through this transition.”
The closure will impact nearly 20 staff members in the Buffalo area and dozens of volunteers, who work to feed, bathe and pamper the animals left at the shelter for adoption. There are currently dozens of cats, dogs and other furry friends available for adoption at the shelter. Those adoptions will continue through October, AHS said.
Crossroads Animal Shelter in Buffalo is not impacted by this closure, though those concerned about adopting a pet or putting a pet up for adoption in the Wright County area are encouraged to contact that shelter this fall.
Here is the letter, in its entirety, issued by Dixon via AHS on Monday:
Last month Animal Humane Society celebrated its most successful fiscal year to date, with a record-setting number of adoptions and our highest placement rate ever. Together, we placed more than 96 percent of the animals entrusted to our care, helped 23,565 animals find new homes, and served thousands of Minnesota families through free and affordable programs for people and pets, including training, boarding, wellness, and spay/neuter services.
We’ve reached these milestones by engaging the community, embracing opportunities to innovate, and focusing our resources where they are needed most. To ensure that we’re using our resources most effectively, we are continuously evaluating existing programs and making informed decisions about where our investments can have the greatest impact. This strategic planning has included an assessment of our five locations and their potential for enhanced service delivery and continued growth. That process has led us to a difficult decision about our underutilized facility in rural Buffalo.
After careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to close our Buffalo facility and shift animals, staff, and services from that site to our four other locations. The Buffalo shelter will close to the public on November 1.
While this decision aligns with our strategic priorities, we know that it impacts people and animals we all care about, and we’re working hard to ensure that animals, community members, staff, and volunteers are all supported throughout this transition. We want to share these important details with you:
Adoption and other services will be available in Buffalo until November 1. We will continue to serve Buffalo and surrounding communities through our locations in Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, St. Paul, and Woodbury. We are confident that the 2,100 animals cared for in Buffalo each year — roughly 9 percent of our total placements — can be cared for and placed through these four other sites. Our Kindest Cut mobile clinic, Community Cats program, and Humane Investigations team will continue to support Buffalo and its neighboring communities.
The Buffalo area is also well served by Crossroads Animal Shelter, located just 2.4 miles west of our Buffalo site, and by Tri-County Humane Society in St. Cloud. We have reached out to our partners at Crossroads and Tri-County and will work with them to ensure that these communities continue to have the resources they need.
No employees will lose their jobs as a result of this transition. We have offered all 19 Buffalo employees comparable roles at other AHS sites and will encourage our 64 Buffalo volunteers to continue their support at another AHS location. Animal Humane Society employs 393 people in total and works with more than 2,500 volunteers across the Twin Cities metro area.
The changes we’re announcing today will better position AHS for the future and allow us to embrace new opportunities to innovate and advance our mission. Together, we are creating a more humane world for animals.
We will share more details about this transition in the months to come.
Thank you for your continued support.
President & CEO
Animal Humane Society