About the Shelter

The Humane Society of Cherokee County [HSCC] focuses on saving the lives of animals, reducing pet overpopulation, abuse, and neglect. HSCC is an all volunteer 501c3 not for profit organization dedicated to helping abused and abandoned animals in Cherokee County.

There are two shelter buildings  The first one – HERRIN – is dedicated to our loving co-volunteer and friend Doris Herrin who purchased the property and paid for the first building. You are always in our hearts Doris.  The second building – GRAVITT – is dedicated to Evelyn Gravitt who is still an active member of HSCC and has dedicated her life to the rescue of abandoned and abused animals. The shelter is located south of Tahlequah.  The mailing address is:



Contact the shelter through email or:

P.O. Box 1354
Tahlequah, OK 74465
message phone: (918)457-7997

The HSCC raises money for the shelter through the sales of donations at the HSCC Resale Shop.

HSCC Resale Shop
17736 South Muskogee Ave.
Tahlequah, OK 74464
Open Tues-Sat 12:30pm-4:30pm

Year to date shelter statistics
(opens in a new browser tab).

resale summer hours

The HSCC raises money in many other ways. Please check our event calendar to see upcoming events. Also, check the “Help the Shelter” tab for other ways to help out. (volunteering, donating, online help, and other ways to support)

Consider signing up for our newsletter in the menu to the right. Also, consider joining the HSCC.


Petties Award Winner 2012


Lou Hays won $10,000 for HSCC

Humane Society of Cherokee County

On behalf of the Humane Society of Cherokee County (HSCC) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, I am nominating Lou Hays for the Petties Unsung Hero Award. Lou is a retired publisher who has served HSCC for 12 years and been a Board Director for nine one-year terms, twice serving as President. He is an unpaid volunteer who has contributed to HSCC an average of 40 hours per week and 2,000 hours a year of his time for many years. Following are examples of Louís contributions to HSCC.

Lou rescues a monthly average of 30-35 dogs in Cherokee County, one of the poorest in Oklahoma. Lou spends 4-5 days a week rescuing dogs and puppies while driving a weekly average of 400-500 miles and using 25 gallons of gasoline at his own expense. He launched HSCC’s dog transporting program in 2007.

The program has allowed dogs to be transferred to other cities such as Denver and Chicago where the dogs have a better chance of being adopted. Since the program started, nearly 2,000 dogs have been transported and adopted. An average of 25-50 dogs are transported each month – 272 so far in 2012.

Lou was 100% responsible for establishing this program, continues to manage it, and makes most of the transport trips himself. He administers medicines and treatments to 20-40 dogs and puppies each month including DHPP, Bordetella, worming medicine, Frontline, and dips dogs to eliminate fleas and ticks.

He secured significant grants for HSCC including one in 2010 for $10,000 to cover operating expenses and one in 2011 for over $26,000 to pay off a construction loan. He also creates the annual year-end fundraising report and letter to the community, raising between $20,000 and $30,000 for HSCC.

Lou and his wife have fostered many dogs over the years, adopting out 25-30 dogs a year. He provides general shelter support performing such tasks as obtaining and stocking medicine, food and supplies, taking sick dogs to and from veterinarian offices, participating in local and out-of-town adopt-a-thons, and tracking and picking up dog food donations from other organizations.

He follows up on animal abuse calls and has appeared in court regarding legal cases with abusers. Several cases have been won usually with the animal abuser having to donate a $500 fine to HSCC.

The above list of accomplishments is an amazing testimony to this exceptional volunteer’s devotion to animals and to his generosity and character.

Petties Award Ceremony 2012

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