|About Us / History|
In the Beginning…
In 1912, it took a circus traveling through the Herkimer area and the courage of one woman, Zaida Zoller, to call attention to the need for an organization to promote animal welfare. Ms. Zoller was appalled by the condition of the overworked horses pulling circus wagons and called the police. The police cited the circus for abuse and confiscated the horses. This created such a strong public reaction that the Herkimer County Humane Society was formed by a group of Ilion businessmen. They incorporated the organization on February 13, 1913. The incorporation was approved by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
The present location of the Herkimer County Humane Society in Fort Herkimer was purchased in 1962. The facility consists of a shelter house, outdoor exercise kennels, a play yard and the main shelter. The main building contains shelter offices, cat rooms and dog kennels. The house is used for Society office space, meeting rooms, laundry facilities, animal grooming, emergency animal rescue holding room and more storage.
What we do now...
The Humane Society has grown quite a bit since its humble beginnings. Our board of directors consists of eleven members, all volunteers who contribute in some way to keep things running. The Humane Society is a non-profit organization with a 501 C 3 designation -- NOT a county run agency. We depend almost entirely on volunteers and community support.
Volunteers help in every aspect of the Humane Society: fundraising, education, membership, newsletters, finances, publicity, shelter improvements, animal care and grant writing. Public generosity accounts for nearly 80% of the Humane Society's annual income. Donations and funds raised allow us to maintain an animal shelter and to employ a staff to care for the animals that require sheltering.