It all began in 1901, when a group of animal welfare advocates established the Burlington Humane Society during a time when pets weren't thought of as the family members they are today. The BHS operated with limited resources out of a small garage in Burlington, but persevered throughout the early 1900s thanks to community support.
Things really began to progress in the 1950s, when June & Herb Davis became involved in the organization after finding a sick stray puppy on Church Street. Their dedication to helping animals in need ranged from small acts (feeding the tiny pup chicken soup with an eyedropper) to very large ones (purchasing the land and property that would eventually become our current facility). Thanks to June, Herb, and likeminded animal lovers, the BHS expanded its service area to become the Humane Society of Greater Burlington in 1974 and continued to evolve over the next few decades.
The late 1990s - early 2000s saw significant changes to our organization: A donor-funded remodel to the existing building in 1993; the establishment of The Scooter Fund and our first ever Walk for the Animals fundraising event in 1994; officially renaming the organization the Humane Society of Chittenden County (plus expanding services to Grand Isle County) in 1998; and the creation of the June Davis Award in 1999, acknowledging the amazing work of our volunteers while honoring our modern-day founder. Most notably, with the help of our supporters, the 12,000 square foot building that we operate out of today was built in 2002, giving both animals and people a safer and more welcoming place to visit.
In the last decade, HSCC has shifted its focus to surrender prevention and community programs & services that help keep pets out of the shelter and with the people who love them. Established in 2014, our Rainy Day Fund and Good Neighbor Program have supported hundreds of families who would otherwise have had to relinquish their pets. Our new Community Pet Clinic has already served over 50 animals since launching in April 2021 and we will be expanding the CPC in the coming months. We’re proud to be at the forefront of animal sheltering and are continuously evaluating our practices and evolving to meet the needs of our community.
Over the last century, HSCC has grown from an ambitious concept to the largest humane society in Vermont, finding homes for over 50,000 animals along the way. While much has changed over the decades, what has remained constant is HSCC’s commitment to companion animals and the people who love them.Today, HSCC rehomes over 1,000 animals each year; has a 98% live release rate; offers humane education to kids, teens, and adults; provides community programs & services that help owners keep their pets; assists law enforcement with humane investigations; and performs medical procedures on-site to reduce wait times and help animals find their new homes faster.
None of this would be possible without YOU! Our community's dedication to this organization has touched the lives of so many people and animals, bringing to life what was only an idea 120 years ago. With your support, HSCC can look forward to another century of service to our community. Please consider making a donation in honor of HSCC's 120th birthday below!