The Corinne T. Smith Animal Center was created in Brown County in 1974 and was originally called the Brown County Humane Society. The first shelter was built in 1975 and was located at 3016 Milam Drive. We haven't changed our location, but we changed the name of the shelter in 2006 to honor Corinne T. Smith. She was one of the original organizers of the Humane Society in Brown County and she was the director for almost thirty years. She dedicated her life to the animals and the shelter. We felt that due to all her hard work and dedication, it would be an honor to name the shelter after her memory.
Another reason for the name change was that the original name fostered many misconceptions about the shelter, mainly that we are a county office or supported by Brown County. This common idea is not true. In comparison to other municipalities, the county gives us the least support per animal that they bring into the shelter.
Another common misconception associated with being called a "humane society" was that we were somehow affiliated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Although this organization does many important things, funding local shelters is not one of them. Therefore, many people mistakenly believe that when they donate to the HSUS, they are helping the local shelter. Although we did receive a grant in 2006 from the HSUS for a new program, that was the first time we had ever had any support from that organization.
The final reason for the name change was to reflect our changing vision. We are working hard to become an Animal Center - a place that people come to enjoy life, not just look for a pet. Although pet adoption is still a crucial part of our program, our transition to an Animal Center means developing programs that provide education, support and recreation for animal lovers in Brown County.
In 2006, along with the name change, we decided to expand the shelter. With funding from the city and volunteers, a 3,600 square foot building was erected to house more kennels and pet facilities. The construction was completed in 2009.