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Animal Humane Society receives $3M gift from a former CEO

Ken Melrose, formerly of Toro, has given the organization the largest gift in its history.

The Animal Humane Society in Minnesota has received the largest gift in its history, after a former CEO donated $3 million.

The gift announced on Friday has come from Ken Melrose, the former chief executive of Bloomington-based outdoor equipment company Toro.

In a press release, the AHS said the gift comes early on in the nonprofit's efforts to transform its organization to better meet the needs of animals and pet owners in Minnesota.

"The unprecedented contribution will support the eventual construction of a new, first-of-its-kind adoption and animal care campus in St. Paul," the organization said.

It's the largest sum donated to the AHS in its 142-year history, with Melrose describing himself as a "lifelong animal lover and longtime supporter of the AHS.

He made a gift in 2011 that helped the society build the Melrose Animal Clinic in Golden Valley.

 "Animal Humane Society is one of the most sophisticated and forward-thinking humane organizations in the nation," he said.

"I am excited to invest in their vision for the future of animal welfare."

The AHS says that it takes in more than 22,000 animals in need every year, "more than every other animal welfare organization and municipal shelter in the Twin Cities combined."

As a private nonprofit, it receives no government funding an instead relies on private donations and fees for its services

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