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Humane Society History

In 1969, Pat McKinney Cronk was a young girl looking for her lost dog. She was directed to the highway garage where the animals were kept after being collected from the streets. Pat was upset with the way the animals were housed and wrote a letter to the Editor of the Courier-Times.

Betty Giboney, a reporter for the newspaper, saw the letter and took an interest in the Shelter. Betty called to action a group of concerned citizens and formed the Henry County Humane Society. Individuals who cared for animals would hold a monthly meeting including invited guest speakers from the Indianapolis Humane Society and others.

Humane Society members Betty Giboney and Pat Burton were then asked by the group to go to the county commissioners to ask for a dedicated shelter for stray animals along with an animal control officer to maintain and manage the shelter. As a result, a large metal Quonset hut was erected with 12 dog runs, a 12’ x 12’ work room and 12’ x 12’ office space. Cats were kept in two 12’ x 12’ cages on the concrete floor.

In 1987, with signed contracts and donated monies, the Henry County Humane Society built the Animal Shelter and trained staff to perform professional animal control services for the community. Thus removing politics from the decisions made concerning the health and welfare of the animals in Henry County.

In 2012, thanks to a generous donation from local realtor Mary Polk, the Shelter was able to expand by adding a new state of the art cattery, a humane education center, office space and a larger lobby.

In 2018, the Humane Society opened Pat’s Pet Clinic, in honor of Pat Burton, on the Shelter grounds. Pat’s Pet Clinic provides low cost vaccination and spay/neuter services to everyone in Henry and surrounding counties.

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