Learn About Fort Defiance Humane Society

We Are Their Voice.


The Fort Defiance Humane Society is a non-profit, compassionate, animal-advocacy organization established in 1966 to provide the Defiance area community with resources to:

  • Rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome abused, neglected, or unwanted animals
  • Develop and administer programs designed to educate the community on responsible pet ownership
  • Aggressively control animal abuse and overpopulation.


  • To prevent cruelty to animals and to relieve their suffering
  • To extend humane education together with such allied purposes and programs as are consistent with the by-laws of the Society
  • To effect vigilance and inspection when and where warranted, concerning the care and treatment of animals in Defiance County, including cruelty to animals
  • To give vigorous support for the purpose of improving all anti-cruelty and animal control laws
  • To work toward the solution of overpopulation of animals
  • To promote and share responsibility for proper care and placement of animals
  • To enforce Ohio laws regarding the prevention of cruelty, especially to children and animals.


To learn more about our caring and competent staff members, visit the Shelter Staff page.


2022 shaped up to be a busy year overall

FDHS employs the only Humane Agent servicing the Defiance County area.  Stacie Fedderke responded to 208 potential animal abuse/neglect calls.  Many of those calls led to further legal action, fines, restitution, forfeiture of animals, and other ramifications.  Many thanks to our local law enforcement agencies for their help and support with many of these situations.

As for our normal business, it was not a normal year for intakes.  We took in 538 animals in 2022, some of our highest numbers ever.   We had over 414 dogs enter the shelter in 2022 with a 97% rehoming rate by the end of December.  For our feline friends, we took in 124 and had an 98% rehoming rate. Finally, Dr. Karen Pedden performed 389 low-cost spay/neuters/wellness procedures for the public right at the FDHS surgery suite, in addition to another 287 alternations, surgeries, etc. necessary for the shelter animals.

While we took in, rehabilitated, and rehomed many animals this year, we are equally proud of the fact that our euthanasia rate was only 1% – far below the national average of 20%-40%.  While it pains us to have to euthanize any animal, we know that 1% was only done out of necessity due to severe health conditions where no other option was available.  Along with our typical canines and felines, we also had some other fun “guests” including rabbits, ferrets, birds, guinea pigs, and horses.

As we look ahead to 2023, our goals are aligned to our mission and will focus on the following:

  • Continuing to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome the abandoned, abused, and neglected animals in our area.
  • Pushing forward to eradicate animal abuse in our area and helping to strengthen animal cruelty legislature. We are their voice.
  • Enhancing our online outreach and social media platform.
  • Offering expanded low-cost health and wellness options to our community.
  • Facilitating our first TNR program for the City of Defiance to assist with community cat overpopulation.
  • Looking for ways to expand our capacity to better serve our “residents” and our community.
  • Increasing grant writing capabilities.