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Our Mission

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter’s Mission Statement is to provide compassionate care and placement for animals in need.

Through the tireless efforts of our staff and volunteers Prairie Paws Animal Shelter is dedicated to carrying out the following actions:

  • Give aid and comfort to the homeless shelter animals

  • Educate the community in responsible pet ownership

  • Help reunite pets with owners by offering low cost microchipping

  • Provide pet adoptions

  • Create a safer community

Rescue Puppy
Beatrice Martin Peck with dogs

How We Got Our Start

Founded by Beatrice Martin Peck in 1946 to serve Franklin County's homeless animals, Prairie Paws' first name was the Franklin County Humane society. Through her own expense and effort, Beatrice established and named the first building The Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter on March 25th 1947, which was completed and welcomed it's first residents in 1948. The building was located at 230 W 19th St in Ottawa Kansas, and was the first brick and mortar location for Beatrice and her group of faithful supporters to house and adopt out homeless pets. Prior to her efforts, the stray or otherwise unwanted animals were used for medical testing and had no voice. Beatrice and her volunteers also investigated reports of animal cruelty, and their efforts led to the enactment of many ordinances and regulations regarding animal care that remain today. Beatrice never stopped advocating for helpless animals until her death in 1967. The animal shelter she  founded would continue to save lives for more than 40 years after her passing. In 2010 a similar group of hard-working animal advocates designed, funded and built a state-of-the-art facility under the current name "Prairie Paws Animal Shelter".

Where Are We Now?

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter has grown tremendously but is still a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) animal shelter operating under the same philosophies with which it was established over 70 years ago. Roughly 2,500 animals a year are sheltered at our two facilities, being rehabilitated until they are ready for a new home. The Ottawa location is over 14,000 square feet in size and sits centered on 10 acres of Kansas Prairie.

The Ottawa location of Prairie Paws
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Where are we headed? GROWTH!

The Manhattan location, also known as the T Russell Reitz Animal Shelter, was added in 2023 in partnership with the City of Manhattan KS and other area municipalities. It is over 12,000 square feet in size and sits on just over 5 acres of tree-covered land in Pottawatomie County KS. 


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