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.


2019 shaped up to be a busy year overall

FDHS employs the only Humane Agent servicing the Defiance County area.  Unfortunately, we had a record-setting year in the area of animal cruelty in 2019.  Stacie Fedderke responded to 225 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, we had over 450 dogs enter the shelter in 2019 with a 97% rehoming rate by the end of December.  For our feline friends, we took in 153 and had an 88% rehoming rate.  In addition, we partnered with Hope for Animals to provide 162 feline/canine low-cost spay/neuter options to our community.  Finally, Dr. Karen Pedden performed another 221 feline low-cost spay/neuters for the public right at the FDHS surgery suite, in addition to all the 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 it is only done out of necessity due to severe health or behavior conditions where no other option is available.  Along with our typical canines and felines, we also had some other fun “guests” including rabbits, ferrets, birds, guinea pigs, and horses.

In addition to caring for all the animals, we were able to accomplish a host of other initiatives in 2019 such as:

  • Designed and implemented a new website
  • Introduced new marketing materials
  • Implemented a new volunteer program
  • Participated in the multi-county “Paws Project” – assisting victims of domestic violence by housing their animals while they get back on their feet.
  • Purchased new elevated dog beds and new stainless-steel cat kennels thanks to a Defiance Area Foundation grants.
  • Organized another successful “big” fundraiser, our Howl-o-ween Masquerade Ball.
  • Raised funds to complete the 4th row of new dog kennels. Installation begins in January.
  • Conducted a Needs/Facilities Assessment Study through Shelter Planners of America.

This study provided us with a lot of valuable data including what size and capacity we should be working with as a shelter and how our shelter compares statistically to others nationally.  While the study found a definite need for more space overall, we are proud to share that it also found our shelter operates in line with or well above others across the country.

As we look ahead to 2020, 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. We are implementing a new system called “How I Met My Dog” that helps us better match dogs and people based on a host of variables.
  • Pushing forward to eradicate animal abuse in our area and helping to strengthen animal cruelty legislature. We are their voice.
  • Strengthen security for our Humane Agent.
  • Rolling out our Planned Giving Program – the Willie Wales Friend for Life Society, named after a local hero.
  • Enhancing our online outreach and social media platform.
  • Offering more low-cost health and wellness options to our community.
  • Providing low-cost spay/neuter options to our community for cats and dogs – right at our FDHS facility.
  • Looking for ways to expand our capacity to better serve our “residents” and our community.
  • Increasing grant writing capabilities.