Our Mission:

Helping Strays is dedicated to placing abandoned and homeless pets in loving new homes. By promoting responsible pet ownership, our goal is to reduce the number of homeless pets and to prevent animal cruelty.  We seek a truly humane society where compassion and understanding guide our relationship with animals and the human-animal bond is strong and healthy.

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"Saving the life of one animal won't change the world, but the world will certainly change for that one animal."  Unknown



Our story so far...

In 2002 a handful of like-minded people met with Dr. Boehm at Waterloo Animal Hospital to discuss the problem at the Monroe County pound, where nearly all the stray animals, as well as pets surrendered by their owners, were being euthanized. The Humane Society of Monroe County was formed from this meeting.

From two to three foster homes and adoption events at Rural King, the Humane Society of Monroe County slowly began to build momentum. Our first Cause for Paws Dinner and Auction was held in 2004 and attended by 225 people. By 2005 our volunteer base began to expand and adoption events were held regularly at several locations in Waterloo and Columbia. A spot was secured on Sammy’s Stars on KSDK in 2006 and Humane Society pets have been featured since then. All of the pets rescued and homed by the Humane Society of Monroe County were kept by foster homes.

In late 2006, the Humane Society leased a small building just north of Red Bud. After much renovation and improvement by volunteers and local tradesmen, the shelter opened in July of 2007. In addition to the valued foster homes, we now had a shelter to help us get more pets rescued and adopted. Today, the shelter houses 14 dog runs and can accommodate about 25 cats. By September of 2007 the shelter was filled and there are now frequently pets housed in temporary crates in the hallway.

Now known as Helping Strays, the organization continues to rely on a growing number of volunteers and foster homes while staffing the shelter. Although we have homed over 2200 cats and dogs since our humble beginning in 2002, the need for pet rescue and adoption in Monroe County continues to overwhelm our efforts. The great need and the remarkable support of our community has allowed us to plan our future. Helping Strays is currently in the process of launching a capital campaign to build a new facility on Hanover Rd. just off of Rt. 3.

Our new facility will provide a place to house more pets safely and ultimately save many more lives than we are currently able to do. This new facility will not just be a place to house animals safely. It will also provide a wonderful resource for the community by offering programs for education and training related to pet ownership and animal welfare. We are excited about the future of Helping Strays and look forward to continued generous support, both from volunteers and financial contributors.