Our History


More than 50 years speaking for pets & people.


    • 1960 - 1971: Getting Established
    • 1972 - 1996: The Shelter Years
    • 1996 to 2011: The Redefining Years
    • 2012 to present: The Partnership Years

The first period was spent establishing the organization as a viable, effective animal advocacy organization and evaluating the local and state situation to determine the status and needs of the animals. During the second period, the City of Tallahassee contracted with the Leon County Humane Society to operate the animal shelter. The third period began when the City of Tallahassee opened the new Animal Service Center and opted to operate it under city government. At that point in time, the Leon County Humane Society redefined its directions and activities and continued as an effective animal advocacy organization.

When the LCHS was formed in 1960, the population of Tallahassee was nearly 50,000 (Leon County's at 75,000). A group of approximately 30 citizens met to form the LCHS. The LCHS decided that their main purposes should be humane education for the public, prevention of cruelty to animals and the relief of their suffering. Membership dues were $3 per person, $2 per person for additional family members, and 50 cents for members under 18 years of age.

Laura Jepsen served as the organizing chairman (president). Laura Jepsen was a humanities professor at Florida State University. Her legacy to Tallahassee included her very beautiful and unique home and grounds now known as Litchgate on High Road. The organizing Board of Management included Secretary Mary Parmenter, Treasurer Margueritte Lungren and Board members Julian R. Alford, Mrs. Thomas V. Barrett, Mrs. John H. Phipps, Miss Daisy Parker, Miss Venila L Shores, Mrs. Udo M Fleischmann, and Dr. Robert E. Lee.

Once LCHS was established, the first official officers were President Col. Murphy, Vice-president Edgar Henderson, Secretary Daisy Parker, and Treasurer Dr. Robert E. Lee. The organization held meetings in the courtroom of City Hall. A bank account was established with Capital City National Bank with a deposit of $32.50. Today, LCHS maintains its commitment to companion animals in the Leon County/Big Bend area by continuing our mission to promote their welfare.


Presidents of LCHS

1960 Laura Jepsen, Organizing Chairman and President
1961 - 1962 Col. Roland Murphy
1963 - 1967 Mrs. Patricia Ward
1968 Mrs. Patricia Greenfield
1969 Mrs. Cheryl Richardson
1970 - 1971 Col. R. C. Stewart-Sidney
1972 - 1973 Dr. Edward Schroeder
1974 Carol Allen
1975 Shirley Meckley
1976 Wende LaHart
1977 Nancy Foose
1978 Carol Basile
1979 - 1981 Harry Harper
1982 Audrey Bevan
1983 - 1986 Jean Harper
1987 Bryna Gordon
1988 - 1989 Jean Harper
1990 - 1991 Ann Kemp
1992 Pam Bruns
1993 - 1994 Hunter Barnett
1995 Janet Olin
1996 Nancy Valery
1997 Allison Harvey
1998 Joan Koch
1999 Nancy Bell
2000 Mark Lazarus
2001 Heidi King
2002 Warren Schoenfisch
2003 Sara Earl
2004 Tracey Van Hook
2005 Nancy Valery
2006 - June 2007 Tracey Van Hook
July 2007 - Dec. 2007 Nick Waller
2008 Diana Orrick
2009 - 2011 Karen Ostendorp-Hardin