Who we are: The Nebraska Humane Society was founded in 1875 and is the fifth oldest Humane Society in the United States! The organization was originally established for the protection of both animals and children. In the mid 1940’s, state agencies began to embrace child welfare issues, leaving the Nebraska Humane Society as the sole organization within the Omaha area designated for the protection of animals. We provide education, give sanctuary to animals, encourage adoptions and promote responsible pet ownership. By providing animal control services to much of the metro area we also serve the citizens of our community by upholding laws enacted for the protection of people and animals.
How we are funded: The Nebraska Humane Society is a private non profit 501(c) (3) corporation governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. As a non-profit corporation we rely heavily on private donations to keep our doors (and kennels) open. The Shelter receives funding for animal control services from the cities that contract for those services. We also generate income through our adoption program, Bone Jour Dog Daycare, Manners ‘N More Obedience Classes, Camp Kindness, and Rainbow Bridge Cremation Services. All fees for those programs go back into the shelter to provide sanctuary for the thousands of animals that come through our doors each year. Private donations, however, make the difference! With community support, we are able to go a step farther and provide emergency medical care, spaying or neutering and microchipping for all adoptees, in addition to feeding and housing them comfortably until they find permanent homes.
What we are:The Nebraska Humane Society acts as a municipal shelter for more than a half dozen communities. We are not a “no-kill” shelter, we are a no-suffering shelter, because we accept and provide sanctuary to any animal from our jurisdiction that comes through our doors. We believe that every animal, even those too sick, too abused or too aggressive to be adopted deserve to be treated fairly. So we don’t pick and choose who to let in. When owners cast them aside, we offer these refugees a warm blanket, food, clean kennels and medical care. We assess all animals for health and temperament, and those we can’t nurse back to health physically or mentally, we peacefully and respectfully euthanize.
Where we are going: Our vision is to put ourselves out of business. (Think of it! No more unwanted pets!) It sounds like an unrealistic goal—yet we have some very realistic plans that will help toward that end. Most pets end up at the Nebraska Humane Society for one of three reasons:
They are lost.
They have behavior problems
They were unwanted to begin with (pet overpopulation)
Lost Pets All dogs and cats adopted from the Nebraska Humane Society are implanted with a permanent identification micro chip that can be read by any veterinarian, humane society, SPCA or pound that has a scanner (and most now do). With a flick of the wrist an owner can be identified and called. We are now working on developing a program that would send us out into the community to “chip” every animal so all could eventually be ID’d and returned home if lost.
Behavior Problems Solving behavior problems is a bit more complex. It starts with educating potential pet owners so they pick pets that fit with their lifestyles. It continues by working with them once the pets are home—helping them to understand why pets do what they do and teaching them how to teach their pets the house rules. To start families off on the right paw, we offer counseling when they first arrive to adopt. We work to educate pet owners on breeds, activity levels, needs and responsibilities that come with different types of dogs, cats and pocket pets. Once a family gets a pet home, we offer Manners ‘N More Obedience Classes to teach pet owners how to communicate and work with their pets. And if pet owners run into problems, our free Behavior Helpline is just a phone call away (402-444-7800 ext 221) for advice and training tips. Still, we aren’t reaching everyone, because pets with behavior issues continue to come through our doors. The future will see many new programs aimed at helping pets and their people enjoy each other’s company to form a forever bond.
Pet Overpopulation To curb pet overpopulation, the Nebraska Humane Society’s veterinary staff spays or neuters every dog and cat, puppy and kitten, that enters our adoption kennels. In conjunction with our foster program, our early spay/neuter program makes it possible for us to sterilize animals as young as two months old. Still the number of unwanted litters in the metro area continues to grow. Our response? The SNAP (Spay/Neuter A Pet) Program, which started in 2004, provided funding for two thousand low income families to obtain free sterilization for their animals. Area veterinarians donated their time and reduced their costs to help us begin to get a handle on the problem of too many pets. Now we’re looking at ways to help people get their pets spayed even easier—maybe some day taking veterinarians on the road—a mobile vet clinic that will go into the community, to the people, and spay or neuter literally at pet owners front doors!
Audacious goals? You bet! Can we do it? We’re going to give it our best shot! Can you help? Absolutely! Educate yourself, spread the word, and help us make the difference. Become a member of the Humane Race!
FAQ’s Do you receive Federal or state funds? No. We are a private, non-profit corporation. Cities contract with us to provide them with Animal Control services.
How long do you keep stray animals at the Nebraska Humane Society? Stray animals found in Omaha are kept in the stray kennels for 3 days (per city ordinance). Animals found in Sarpy County are kept for 5 days (per city ordinance). At the end of that time period, if no owner has claimed the animal, it is evaluated for placement in our adoption program.
How long do animals in your adoption program have? Once an animal is accepted into our adoption program it will remain at the shelter until it is adopted. At the Nebraska Humane Society there is no time limit for an animal to be adopted. In fact, we have an entire program to give longer term dogs obedience training and extra attention, so they will be even more attractive to potential adopters. The only animals ever pulled from adoption are exceptions to the rule who become aggressive after long periods of confinement, or those who suffer catastrophic medical problems. See our adoptable animals for yourself.
Can you use volunteers? We sure can! From dog walkers to help in the gift shop, our volunteers keep us running smoothly. Volunteers do have to be at least 15 years old, and must attend a volunteer orientation session. You can get all the information you need by going to our volunteer information page.
I just moved here and I need information on my responsibilities like rabies shots and licensing. Welcome new pet owner!!! Go to licensing and laws for a quick guide on what you need to know.