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The WHS Mission
The Washington Humane Society inspires and creates a community where all animals have secure homes and where people and animals live together with joy and compassion.

About WHS
The Washington Humane Society (WHS), the only Congressionally-chartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870. As the open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to over 51,000 animals annually through its broad range of programs and services including sheltering for homeless animals, a comprehensive adoption program and off-site adoption events to find new families for the animals in our care, low-cost spay and neuter for pet owners and other local organizations, an aggressive TNR (trap-neuter-return) program for feral cats (CatNiPP), investigations of each allegation of animal cruelty or neglect through the Humane Law Enforcement, lost and found services to help reunite lost pets with their families, pet behavioral advice to help resolve issues that lead to animals being relinquished to shelters, working with breed rescue groups to find more homes for more animals, volunteer and foster programs to allow other members of the community to help us help more animals and an award winning Humane Education program that teaches kindness to animals to the next generation of animal lovers.

WHS 2013 State of the Animals

state of the animals video thumbnail image

Click here to read the full report!

History of WHS
Chartered by Congress 144 years ago, WHS established the city’s first public housing facility for stray and unwanted animals.  A year later, WHS pioneered the creation of the District’s first ever animal cruelty law and for a period of time in the late 1800s, WHS also was given the power to investigate cases of child abuse.

Throughout the years, the organization has helped spearhead new legislation to protect the animals that live in the nation’s capital. In the 1960s and 70s, WHS helped DC create laws to prevent animal hoarding, and better health standards for pet shops and medical research clinics.  

In 2001, after years of upholding and enforcing District animal cruelty laws, WHS was successful in its campaign to make animal cruelty a felony level crime.  Just months after the law was enacted, a man was convicted of felony animal cruelty in Washington, DC and was put behind bars for two years for stabbing and killing his pet dog.

WHS operates two shelter locations; our private shelter at 7319 Georgia Avenue NW, as well as the District of Columbia Animal Care and Control Facility (under contract by the Department of Health) at 1201 New York Avenue NE.  In addition to the two animal shelters, WHS operates a low-cost, high-volume spay and neuter facility.  The National Capital Area Spay & Neuter Center serves the entire Washington, DC metro area and is located at 1001 L Street, SE, in the heart of Capitol Hill. WHS also has a new animal training facility called the Behavior and Learning Center, located at 7315 Georgia Avenue, NW.

The organization’s administrative offices are located at 4590 Macarthur Boulevard, NW. 

WHS has 110 dedicated employees, twenty-two distinguished members on the Board of Directors, and more than 300 active volunteers.

Video Produced by DC London, Inc.

Our federal tax ID is 53-0219724. To view our latest 990 forms, please click here or visit GuideStar, to view our most recent audit, please click here.

WHS was awarded a 2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit Award from the Great Nonprofits review website. Thanks to the positive, heartfelt reviews that were received through Great Nonprofits, WHS is now a proud wearer of this Top-Rated Nonprofit badge.

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