By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man who has saved thousands of animals over the years has died. Wade Hanson worked for the Animal Humane Society as an investigator for almost 25 years.

He died at age 63 on Sunday and was remembered at his funeral on Friday in Pine City.

If you looked up the definition of an animal lover, Wade Hanson would likely be included.


“The man drove 600,000 miles in his career, he saved 72,000 animals he worked 6,000 cases,” said Anne Lally-Rose, AHS Golden Valley manager.

The AHS investigator worked for over two decades protecting animals from abuse and neglect in every corner of Minnesota.

Up until 2018, he was one of only two full-time humane agents in the state. They help advise law enforcement on how to best intervene in animal neglect and abuse cases.

“He often worked 7 days a week, 24 hours a day taking phone calls to help people and to help pets when they needed it, which is often in off-hours,” Lally-Rose said.

Hanson was hard to miss if you looked into any animal abuse investigation over the last two decades. We did several stories with Wade and his rescues over the years.

“I am ecstatic. These dogs are finally going to have a loving home,” Hanson said in a past interview.

In a 2017 interview, Hanson said every morning he was excited to get on the road and make a difference for animals. And while they may not be able to say thank you, his friends and colleagues get the chance to carry out his mission.

“He saw pets and people at their worst, and he still continued every day to work to save animals,” Lally-Rose said.

If you ever suspect an animal abuse case, you can call 952-HELP-PET or 952-435-77-38.

Kate Raddatz