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Since its inception in 1879, the Wisconsin Humane Society has become one of the most established and well-recognized non-profit organizations in the community.

For more than 135 years, the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) has been providing quality, cost effective services for homeless animals. It is the largest humane society in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the United States. WHS has cared for literally millions of animals throughout its history. Because of its long and illustrious history of serving the Milwaukee community, WHS is also known as the Milwaukee Humane Society.

The work of the Wisconsin Humane Society is based on the model created by Henry Bergh, the founder of the humane movement in North America.  

Henry Bergh was born in New York City in 1811. He is credited with starting the humane welfare movement in North America, which began raising awareness about the often perilous plight of both animals and children - and taking action to protect them. The only known statue of him  was commissioned by WHS in 1891 and proudly resides on the grounds of the Wisconsin Humane Society's Milwaukee Campus. 

Historical leaders in Milwaukee, including Frederick Pabst and Samuel Marshall, were significantly involved with the founding of WHS. In 1979, the Wisconsin Humane Society published a centennial booklet that explores the Society's history more in depth. Click here for a pdf version of the book or contact to have one emailed to you.

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