Founded in 1971 by Gertrude Decker and a courageous
group of volunteers dedicated to the humane
treatment of animals in Manatee County, the Humane
Society of Manatee County first operated as a foster-based
organization without a facility. On April 7, 1973, the
organization received non-profit 501 (c)(3) status.
After many fund-raisers and a couple of “angels,” the
humane society acquired its first facility (the Decker House)
in 1978—what we now call the Cat Cottage. In 1986, the
organization purchased the two-story Nautilus Shell Shop
property next door. The kennels were added downstairs, and
the upstairs remained an apartment that was rented out to
help defray costs.
The Humane Society of Manatee County was now off
and running! The adoption program was thriving, and the board of directors began looking outside their walls. In 2007, a fundamental shift occurred when the humane society evolved from being simply a no-kill shelter to adopting the mission “to lead Manatee County in creating a No-Kill Community.”
Please click here to read about the present and future plans of the Humane Society of Manatee County.