Animal Folks

A nonprofit organization

We're on a Mission:

The mission of Animal Folks is to protect animals and prevent cruelty through constructive and sustainable reforms of the Minnesota criminal and civil justice systems.

Core to this mission is system reform — to assess what is needed systemically to improve the enforcement of animal law and prevention of animal cruelty in Minnesota.

Thank YOU for donating to Animal Folks. Every dollar you give helps aid in the fight against animal cruelty.

Current Projects:

Minnesota Office of Animal Protection

Animal Folks is excited to announce that we will be introducing a state bill in the next MN legislative session to establish the Minnesota Office of Animal Protection. This Office, to be housed in the Department of Public Safety, will provide statewide oversight and assistance for the investigation and prosecution of animal cruelty. Learn more at link above.

Minnesota Companion Animal Board Bill

The Companion Animal Board (CAB) bill will create a state board with specific expertise to lead and respond to animal welfare issues pertaining to companion animal (pet) issues and those who care for these animals. This Board would allow the State of Minnesota to more effectively plan for and respond to these growing and evolving issues. The bill will be re-introduced in January 2023. Learn more at link above.  

Winona County Puppy Mills - Action

Winona County is known as the “puppy mill capitol” of Minnesota due to the concentration of industrial dog breeding facilities (puppy mills) and the number of facility permits granted by the county. Animal Folks with numerous residents have testified in support of a study to be conducted of this industry and the harm to the dogs, including permits, conditions, compliance measures, and other factors. The county board in October 2022 approved a formal discussion, which will being in February. We and residents also support a ban on any future permits of these facilities in the county.

Anti-Cruelty Training for University of Minnesota Veterinary Students

Veterinarians play a crucial role in identifying and reporting suspected animal cruelty. Our anti-cruelty curriculum includes a presentation on animal cruelty and documenting findings, including case studies for group discussion and building critical-thinking skills. Each student receives a copy of our manual, Reporting Animal Cruelty: The Role of the Veterinarian, as a resource. 

Model Policies and Materials for Law Enforcement Agencies 

Animal Folks works with experts in the criminal justice system to create Minnesota-specific policy and procedures guides to be used by law enforcement in animal cruelty cases. This work also includes “FAQ sheets” that explain specific animal law topics, such as forensic necropsies, dogs in hot cars, and investigative techniques for animals. 

Animal Cruelty Chapter for the Minnesota Judges Criminal Benchbook

The Minnesota Judges Criminal Benchbook provides judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys with information on Minnesota criminal laws. Animal Folks convened a team of legal experts to write the first “animal cruelty” chapter, covering Minnesota Statutes Chapter 343 (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and related criminal laws, case law, and issues. The Benchbook is published by the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education (Minn CLE). 

Achieving Systemic Reform: Our Five Core Programs 

Animal Cruelty Research

Collect data on animal cruelty issues and cases, and define problems associated with animal neglect and cruelty in Minnesota. Animal Folks has compiled a comprehensive Databank of over 1,000 animal cruelty cases specific to Minnesota.

Civil and Criminal Justice Program

File civil and criminal (cruelty) complaints at local, state, and federal levels and build relationships with local and state authorities throughout Minnesota. Filing complaints protects animals and people and allows us to "see" what is and is not working with the enforcement of animal law.

Animal Law Resources

Develop training programs, processes, forms and other resources for use by authorities in the investigation and enforcement of animal law. 

Legislative Action (Lobbying and Advocacy)

Write and support state and local laws that provide humane treatment of animals.  

Outreach and Education

Provide information and education about animal cruelty and actions through websites, literature, and booths at events.

Be Part Of the Solution: We Need Your Support! 

By developing long-term solutions for animal protection, we can create a just world for animals...but our work isn't possible without your help.

Your gift will help Minnesota become a recognized leader in animal protection, care, and welfare. Thank you so much for your support and generosity. You make our work possible!

Animal Folks is proud to be a Charities Review Council Meets Standards organization and a Gold GuideStar participant.

Organization Data


Organization name

Animal Folks

Tax id (EIN)



Animals Children & Family Community


1041 Grand Avenue, #115
Saint Paul, MN 55105



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