Tri-Lakes Humane Society

Saving Little Lives and Speaking for Those Who Cannot since 1942.

How We Started Saving Little Lives...


The Tri Lakes Humane Society was founded in 1942 by a group of wonderful teenagers concerned about the welfare of Saranac Lake's unwanted and stray animals. The first actual "animal shelter" was a simple doghouse surrounded by chicken wire. When the young members found animals that they were able to take to their homes, they cared for them there until a new home was found. At that time, the animal rescue group was called "Adirondack Animal Welfare Society", and they used a bicycle with a special cart to transport found to their shelter or injured animals to the local veterinarian's office.


In 1973 an office was rented on Woodruff Street where paperwork was completed, phone calls and messages were recorded, and donations were received. During that year, the shelter was renamed "Tri Lakes Humane Society" and a motto was created..."We speak for those who cannot." With the help of Henry Uihlein and other generous donations in 1975, a building at 11 Mills Avenue in Saranac Lake was purchased and renovated to become our first shelter building for animals. That same year, the Tri-Lakes Humane Society received 501(c)3 Non-Profit Incorporated Organization status. For over 20 years, that first building served as a shelter for thousands of animals in need of help and new homes.

Our shelter had a major event take place in 1998! A generous donor gave us a momentous gift of a new property and building on George LaPan Highway. With the help of financial support made by other wonderful donors, we were able to begin renovations of the old restaurant building, transforming it into a specially designed animal shelter. In December 2000, we began moving dogs and cats from one shelter building to the the other with the help of many volunteers. The last group of cats was settled in during the first week of January 2001.
In this new facility we have more space inside and out, with enough property have 2 outdoor fenced dog yards and a dog walking trail in the woods. An enclosed outdoor cat porch was added to our building in 2009 to provide our shelter cats with access to fresh air, warm sunshine, and a place to play and climb around. The Tri-Lakes Humane Society Staff are able to care for the 300-400 animals that come through the doors of our facility each year thanks to having this great building and property.

Another milestone took place in 1999, when the Tri-Lakes Humane Society Board of Directors at that time voted to become one of the first "No-Kill" animal shelters in the area. They believed strongly that all healthy, treatable and adoptable animals should be saved and never euthanized. To this day, our Humane Society continues our strong stance as a "No-Kill" facility as we strive to save little lives and give them the chance to be adopted out to new homes.

The Tri-Lakes Humane Society is one of two animal shelters that are located within the Adirondack Park in Northern New York. The human population for the area that we serve is approximately 20,000, as we cover 7 townships around the Saranac Lake/Lake Placid and Northern NY area. There are many summer homes in this area, and the area population is further increased by many visitors from all over the world that come to spend time vacationing in the beautiful Adirondacks and High Peaks Region.

We are very proud to call Saranac Lake, the Capital of the Adirondacks, as our home and to be able to be the ones to help homeless, stray, abandoned and unwanted animals in the Tri-Lakes area.

Townships we cover for Dog Control & Shelter Services:

Town of Harrietstown (Saranac Lake, Lake Clear area of Franklin county)

Town of Brighton       (Paul Smiths area of Franklin county)

Town of St. Armand   (Bloomingdale area of Essex county)

Town of Franklin        (Vermontville area of Franklin county)

Village of Saranac Lake  (Includes 3 Towns and 2 counties)

Townships we cover for Shelter Services only:

Town of North Elba    (Lake Placid, Ray Brook of Essex County)

Village of Lake Placid  (Essex County)

Town of Saranac       (Saranac, Redford area of Clinton County)

Town of Long Lake    (Long Lake area of Hamilton County)

Our Board of Directors are all volunteers that meet monthly to discuss issues from general fund-raising, to paying bills and keeping our doors open to the public. Our Shelter Manager oversees the day-to-day business of pet adoptions, incoming animals, animal care, supervising staff, assisting the public and is also the local Dog Control Officer for 4 local municipalities and the Village of Saranac Lake. We have 4 full-time Staff Members that take care of the shelter animals with daily feeding & cleaning, reception of visitors, and helping people adopt a new pet. On the average, we have 15-20 active volunteers, with ages ranging from 5-75 years old, who help out by walking the dogs, grooming and socializing with the cats, cleaning & feeding the animals, and helping with fundraising and adoption events. We are always eager to have new volunteers and there are many ways to help out at our shelter and the animals that we take care of each day.

Our shelter is very lucky to be located in such a great community that is always willing to lend a helping hand when we need it the most. The Tri-Lakes Humane Society, Inc. is a non-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that does not receive any state funding. We run our business on the generous donations from the residents of the Tri-Lakes region and beyond. Fundraising is how we keep our doors open to animals in need, and our Board Members are constantly coming up with new events and ideas to help raise money for our ongoing costs of food, medical care, spay/neuter surgeries and the daily costs of running our shelter facility.

If you are interested in helping our cause by volunteering, making a donation, estate planning or hosting a fundraiser event, please contact us. Be part of our mission! Together, we can all help the homeless, unwanted and abandoned animals of the Tri-Lakes area.

 The Tri-Lakes Humane Society, Inc. is a Registered Shelter/Pet Rescue Organization under New York State Department of Agriculture Markets Law Section 408: Shelter/Rescue Registration Number: RR036

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