Who We Are
The Lawrence Humane Society helps more than 3,500 animals every year.
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The Lawrence Humane Society provides shelter, care and advocacy to stray, homeless and abused animals; and nurtures the human-animal bond.
History of the Lawrence Humane Society
The first humane group in Lawrence started in the 1890s. Affiliated with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), this group’s main concern was with the welfare of pets and working farm animals such as horses.
The Humane Society as we know it today was chartered on March 26, 1951. The group purchased four acres of land at the shelter’s current site on East 19th Street. In 1958, Lawrence Humane Society charter members Dr. and Mrs. John Ise donated $35,000 to build the original shelter building in memory of their son Charles who was killed in a plane crash.
Over the next four decades, the Lawrence Humane Society grew as an organization and an addition to the shelter was completed in 1979 as animal intake increased. The shelter began new initiatives including a spay-and-neuter subsidy voucher program and 24-hour emergency animal rescue service.
In 1995, the Lawrence Humane Society completed an energetic capital campaign, and built a 11,700 square-foot facility named the Charles Ise Memorial Animal Shelter. This building currently houses the Society’s animal adoption areas and administrative offices. A 5,800 square-foot addition for stray animal intake and housing was built. The structure is named after longtime shelter supporter and staff member Linda Watrak, who spearheaded the donation drive for the addition.
Recent renovations to the Charles Ise Memorial Animal Shelter in 2007 included a 1,500 square- foot expansion to provide larger holding areas for dogs and cats waiting to be brought to the adoption areas.
Facility improvement and maintenance projects have been generously funded through grants provided by the Rice Family Foundation, Kriz Charitable Fund and Douglas County Community Foundation.