About The Friends of the Animal Shelter

Friends of the Animal Shelter of St. Joseph, Inc. was founded in 2000 by Cathy Madsen with the guidance of Rick Smith, Manager of the St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue Shelter at the time. In August 2000, the group had its first meeting. Over a decade later, The Friends of the Animal Shelter, are more than 100 volunteers strong.

We are a select group of people from all walks of life – our common bond being a genuine concern for animal welfare. The work we do is not for everyone. Many who start out with us find it difficult to continue due to the many emotionally challenging aspects of volunteering at the Animal Shelter. More times than one can imagine, the appalling condition of animals brought in to the Shelter by concerned citizens, their owners or Staff is shocking; and yet the animals continue to give back unconditional love – their spirits are truly amazing.

Our group’s mission is to support all aspects of work done by the Animal Shelter Staff. This includes working to increase animal adoption and redemption rates while minimizing the number of euthanized animals; educating our community regarding animal care and welfare issues; and helping care for the medical needs of all sick and injured animals that come through the Animal Shelter.

Some of our volunteers are at the Animal Shelter every possible minute while others find it stressful to do work there on a routine basis. Yet many different volunteer opportunities are available, no matter what your comfort level may be. All we ask of you is your consistent commitment of time and sincere effort.

One rewarding aspect of what we do involves community service. This includes:

  1. Sponsoring animal education and welfare awareness programs in our local schools to educate future animal owners.
  2. Participating in the Missouri Department of Transportation Adopt-A-Highway program on Highway 759 near the Animal Shelter.
  3. Showcasing adoptable animals to the public at local businesses and on television for a monthly special adoption day.
  4. Coordinating spay/neuter surgeries for low-income families in conjunction with Spay Day USA.
  5. Setting up information booths at local events throughout the year.
  6. Participating in local parades and festivals to promote the work we do.
  7. An annual creative fundraising project.
  8. Clean cat condos at Petco.

The work we do is solely funded by private donations. And we’re extremely proud to say that 100% of all donations go toward the work we do for the animals at the St. Joseph Animal Control & Rescue Shelter. We consider everything that comes our way in the form of assistance a blessing.

Our Mission is quite a mountain to climb in the goals we’ve set for our group is to have a 100% adoption rate and 0% euthanasia rate of all animals that come through the Animal Shelter. As volunteers, we share many wonderful moments with the animals and their adoptive families. This keeps us focused and on task toward meeting our goals.

Our Founder

Catherine Madsen

August 5, 1948 – March 17, 2020