IHS AT A GLANCE
The Idaho Humane Society is the largest and oldest animal welfare organization and veterinary charity in the state. We are a private 501(c)3 organization that relies on donations to provide programs and services that benefit animals in Idaho.
The mission of the Idaho Humane Society is to advocate for the welfare and responsible care of animals, protect them from neglect and cruelty, and promote humane education, awareness, and compassion. We believe that because domestic animals are a product of human intervention, we have a special obligation to them in regard to humane treatment and responsible stewardship.
The Idaho Humane Society will continue to grow and meet the demand to shelter, feed, provide medical attention to, and find adoptive homes for abandoned and abused animals in our community; to educate Idahoans about the proper care of their own pets; to prevent animal overpopulation; and to promote kindness to animals. We envision a humane Idaho in which healthy and adoptable animals are no longer euthanized, and both domestic animals and wildlife are treated with compassion and respect.
No Kill Equation
Idaho Humane Society fully supports what has become popularly known as the No-Kill Equation, a collection of core humane best practice approaches to animal sheltering, many of which have been at the heart of progressive shelters like the Idaho Humane Society since the middle of the 20th century as well as other more modern innovations. The No-Kill Equation has been defined as:
- High Volume, Low-Cost Sterilization of Pets: Idaho Humane Society began sterilizing its shelter pets at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Boise in the 1940’s when the practice was still performed with primitive ether anesthesia when many veterinarians were not even equipped to provide small animal surgery. We were the first shelter in Idaho to implement mandatory sterilization of all adopted pets. In 1984, the Idaho Humane Society opened Idaho’s first high volume spay and neuter hospital and we were the first animal shelter in the state to embrace pediatric spay and neuter. The result of our efforts has been a dramatic reduction of pets entering the shelter system.
- Collaboration with Rescue Groups: Idaho Humane Society has a wonderful working relationship with many rescue groups. Over one thousand animals are transferred each year to our shelter by both smaller rescue groups and other shelters because of our organizations’ high adoption rates and ability to provide special care including veterinary care for pets that exceeds most groups’ resources to provide. Also, every year we transfer some pets from our facility to various specialized rescue groups; in particular, those pets that may not be suited for life in a typical household and may need permanent sanctuary in a highly controlled environment.
- Foster Care: Idaho Humane Society has the largest network of volunteer foster caregivers in Idaho and nearly 2,000 animals are cared for annually by our loving foster families. Special needs pets such as un-weaned kittens, pets recovering from injuries and illnesses, and those that require behavioral interventions or socialization, are all saved by this extensive program that greatly increases our capacity to save pets. We also have an amazing correctional facility based foster program that has been in place for many years.
- Comprehensive Adoption Programs: Adoptions are vital to our lifesaving mission and luckily most of the pets we shelter are placed in new homes very quickly. We ensure that pets at our facility get great exposure to prospective adopters by being open more days and longer hours than any other shelter in Idaho: eight hours per day, seven days per week. Our website and extensive social media presence promote our adoptable pets daily and we average one off-site adoption event per week. Many local businesses house and provide an adoption venue for our shelter animals as well.
- Pet Retention Programs: We always want to focus our shelter resources on the pets that most need our care and whenever possible, we work to keep pets with their owners. This includes assistance with behavioral and medical problems that may exceed a family’s capacity to deal with but with some expert assistance and financial support can be solved.
- Medical Programs: In the entire U.S., there are only a handful of animal shelters with more comprehensive veterinary medical capabilities than provided at the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center. Shelter animals receive the same medical care that they would receive as if they were owned. This program also benefits the low-income pet owners that seek our assistance and is our most impactful outreach into the community.
- Public Relations/Community Involvement: Increasing adoptions, maximizing donations, recruiting volunteers, partnering with community agencies, and being transparent in all our activities has been our approach since our inception.
- Volunteers: Our 1,200 volunteers are the backbone of our organization and they work at every single level of our organization. From our all-volunteer 19-member board of directors to our dog walkers, cat huggers and dish cleaners – our volunteers make a lifesaving difference every day at our facility and are fully integrated into all aspects of what we do.
- Proactive Redemptions: Every animal we adopt out is implanted with a permanent identification microchip. We expend great efforts matching reports of lost animals with animals in the shelter, re-home animals in the field when possible, and use technology such as receiving lost reports online to ensure faster reunification of pets with owners.
- Compassionate Leadership and Staffing: From top to bottom, our organization is committed to saving every animal that we possibly can. We are continually open to new ways to improve the chance for every savable pet to find a new home and our programs exemplify this.
What is the No-Kill approach?
In the 1990’s, animal advocates launched what would come to be known as the No-Kill Movement. By their own admission, there was nothing new in this approach to animal sheltering. Rather, the founders of the movement simply advocated for the best lifesaving approaches that progressive humane societies had implemented for many decades. These policies stood in stark contrast to some of the inhumane practices being followed by other non-progressive shelters, many of which were government owned and operated facilities.
The genius of the No-Kill movement was to encompass essential elements of humane sheltering within an evocative, populist marketing term that would capture public support and create a dynamic call for change to abusive policies and protocols. The term No-Kill resonated deeply with the public and the Movement’s predilection for using the term “killing” in place of “euthanasia” was galvanizing. Rallying widespread public support into a national movement with a passionate following, the No-Kill advocates were motivated to confront those animal shelters around the country that they believed were poorly run, had inhumane practices, failed to innovate, were satisfied with the status quo, and as a result, had high euthanasia rates.
Along with the good, came some unintended and extremely tragic consequences. Many organizations, using an overly simplistic interpretation of No-Kill began policies of selective admission in which they “cherry picked” only the most desirable and healthy pets for admission to their facilities and turned away injured, ill, and old animals to ensure they achieved low euthanasia statistics. As a result, the workload for caring for the neediest pets in communities fell even harder upon shelters with traditional open admission policies and in some communities, there remained no safety net at all for vulnerable, suffering pets. Even worse, under the banner of the No-Kill Movement, some shelters and rescues began long-term mass warehousing of pets in overcrowded, unsanitary shelters including animals suffering from serious behavioral and medical conditions. By failing to provide humane euthanasia, some of the worst mass animal cruelty situations ever confronted by law enforcement developed, ironically perpetrated by shelters that described themselves as No-Kill.
These perverse, fringe versions of No-Kill horrified traditional humane societies like the Idaho Humane Society and drew the ire of national organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the nation’s foremost animal rights organization, which became a fierce critic of No-Kill. An unfortunate rift developed within the animal sheltering community largely due to misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Today, there has been a dramatic reconciliation as rational and kind minds on both sides of the previous divide have moved towards a common understanding and beyond non-productive rhetoric. Today, while many humane organizations still decline to utilize the term No-Kill because of its potential for conflict and misunderstanding, most animal shelters today, whether they choose to define themselves as No-Kill or not, are implementing the same No-Kill Equation approach.
The true No-Kill Movement can be simply described as the caregivers and organizations united by a common goal to save animal’s lives whenever there is a humane alternative to killing. Virtually every No-Kill organization performs euthanasia when necessary, on dangerously aggressive animals that cannot be rehabilitated, and on animals with medical conditions beyond their capabilities to heal, ensuring they provide a humane and healthful environment for the pets they provide sanctuary. Most importantly, those who advocate the No-Kill credo ensure that their organizations seek alternative humane options to save animals whenever possible.
Services to keep your pets healthy and happy!
Who We Serve
We’re not an ordinary clinic. Learn why we serve a specific clientele.
Under an agreement with the IVMA, you must income qualify to receive certain services.
Location and Hours
Schedule an appointment and find details about our weekend walk-in clinic.
Hospital Price List
See prices for exams, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgeries, tests, microchipping and more.
Financial Assistance Available:
We have many programs in place to help those struggling to pay for veterinary care.
We provide high-quality, affordable spay and neuter surgeries for public animals.
Saying Goodbye is never easy…
Advice to help guide you through a very difficult time for every pet owner.
Calendar of Events
Boise Kind Day is June 22nd and if you’re interested in participating in a service project, we have several to choose from. Some of the projects are geared towards children with fun activities that you can do in the comfort of your own home! ALUMINUM CAN DONATIONS: This Boise Kind Day, we’re looking for volunteers to drop off aluminum cans for recycling to benefit shelter animals! Donations are encouraged to be dropped at our shelter on this day, but you…
The class is free but donations are greatly appreciated all proceeds will go to the Idaho Humane Society. Get there a few minutes early so you can sign up for the raffle. Prizes from Athleta, Fleet feet and the high fitness store. Get your tickets here.
The Idaho Humane Society is partnering with the Boise Hawks Baseball Club to bring you First Dog Day! A portion of all ticket sales will benefit IHS and we’ll also have an information table and mobile adoption booth! BUY YOUR TICKETS TODAY Boise Hawks vs Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Sunday, June 30th @ 5:15pm MST Purchase Deadline: Jun 29th @ 3:15pm MST
The Idaho Humane Society will be closed Thursday in observance of Independence Day, July 4th. If you have an animal emergency, please call police dispatch and they will contact Humane Officers. We will reopen during regular business hours at 10 am Friday morning, July 5th.
Idaho Humane Society Shelter
and Veterinary Medical Center
4775 Dorman St.
Boise, Idaho 83705
Shelter Main Line:
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week
Veterinary Medical Center:
Veterinary Medical Center hours:
Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Walk-in appointments only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please check in before 4:30 p.m.
Take the Orchard exit from I-84. Go south on Orchard Street for 1 mile. You will see a sign for the Idaho Humane Society at the corner of Dorman Street. Turn left on Dorman and continue for 250 yards. The Idaho Humane Society will be on your right.
For after-hours animal control emergencies, contact police dispatch at (208) 377-6790.
Holidays Closed: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Idaho Humane Society
Animal Care and Control
(if this is an urgent case like a dog in a hot car, please call. If no one answers, leave a voicemail and we will return your call within minutes)
Veterinary Medical Center
Customer Service – Shelter
Dr. Jeff Rosenthal, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Mike Koob, Medical Center Chief of Staff
Leann Gilberg, Chief Financial Officer
Jimmy Hillig, Chief Development Officer
Dee Dee Bowring, Shelter Manager
Idaho Gives 2019: Idaho Humane Society
Here's 11,684 reasons to donate to IHS during Idaho Gives. Idaho Gives is a 24-hour extravaganza where nonprofits in Idaho compete for various challenges based on donations. Each $10 donation brings us one step closer to wining the competition and prize money! You can make your donation here: http://bit.ly/IdahoGives2019 #IdahoGivesPosted by Idaho Humane Society on Wednesday, April 24, 2019
How to make treats for shelter dogs
We are always looking for enrichment activities for our shelter animals while they are waiting to find their forever homes. Dogs really enjoy getting an occasional treat throughout the day and it gives them something positive to look forward to with the people walking through the kennels. These dog treats can be made at home and brought into the shelter to be given to our dogs! You can even ask for our staff to pass along the treats to the dogs waiting for medical work in our holding areas before they make their way onto the adoption floor.This is an easy project and is great for children and adults of all ages.Make a difference for animals today!Posted by Idaho Humane Society on Thursday, June 20, 2019
What to do if you see kittens outdoors
URGENT: KITTEN FOSTER PARENTS NEEDED. While we have had several people apply to become foster parents, we are still looking for MORE people to join our foster team! With kitten season in full swing and more cats coming through our shelter doors every day, we’re not only looking for foster parents who can care for bottle-baby kittens, but also older kittens who are underweight and/or suffering from upper respiratory infections. >>>>>>If you encounter kittens outdoors, before you pick them up to bring them into our shelter, please watch this video for tips on aging them and how to tell is mom is still around. Young cats are extremely vulnerable and many will pass away at our shelter without mom around.<<<<<<If you have ever fostered with us before, please consider reaching out to our foster office to offer your assistance again with these kittens! And if you’ve never fostered before but are interested in becoming a foster parent, fill out this application: http://bit.ly/IHSFoster. Once you fill out the application, we will reach out to you via email to set up foster care orientation. If you are unable to foster at this time, but would still like to support our kittens, we are in great need of KMR and soft kitten food once again: https://amzn.to/2uawQUl -- thank you for being such an awesome community Treasure Valley, we couldn't do the work we do without your support!Posted by Idaho Humane Society on Thursday, June 6, 2019
We are at the airport picking up another large transfer from El Paso, Texas as well as a couple dogs from Las Cruces, New Mexico thanks to our partners Dog Is My CoPilot, Inc.Posted by Idaho Humane Society on Tuesday, May 14, 2019