For many decades, Door County was equipped with little more than a handful of small municipal pounds to deal with the overwhelming lost and homeless animal population within its borders. In the early 1990s, concerned with the lack of shelter and resources for the county’s cats and dogs, a group of animal lovers in the community began to envision a better solution. In 1992, they obtained official 501(c)(3) status and the Door County Humane Society was born, though at first only in concept as they worked to raise funds and plan for a shelter facility.
In 1995, Kathrine F. Maples, a dedicated supporter of the nascent humane society, passed away and left a sizable donation to DCHS in her will. With the funds, DCHS planned for, and in 1999, broke ground on the first ever non-profit shelter in the county. Over time, the shelter grew in numbers and expertise, and in 2013 it renovated and expanded to what is now a 12,000-square-foot facility that takes in and adopts out hundreds of animals each year.