HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, has taken in 23 dogs from a neighboring county when the Jefferson County Humane Society requested HAWS’ take control of a dog rescue situation.

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“Monday, October 20th, Jefferson County asked for our assistance with the intake of dogs from a rescue situation,” noted HAWS’ Executive Director Lynn Olenik. “It was the worst possible time for our sister shelter as they are in transition, but we were able to step in and more than happy to help out.”

The dogs arrived at HAWS terribly matted, and in need of spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations and other medical treatment. Breeds included Cairn Terrier and Schnauzer mixes, plus 2 lab mix puppies.

“The transformation of these dogs has been a remarkable team effort,” continued Olenik. “On Monday afternoon, local groomers volunteered their time to turn each pup into an adorable, clean little dog. On Tuesday and Wednesday, HAWS’ performed spays and neuters, secured the necessary foster homes and got in the routine of caring for an additional 20 dogs in our kennel. HAWS’ Behavior Department team worked to socialize and calm the dogs while completing evaluations to get them ready for the adoption floor.”

Several dogs have been transferred to foster homes – including a new mother and her puppies. Many are now available for adoption at HAWS, 701 Northview Road. For information on the available dogs, prospective homes are asked to call 262-542-8851 or visit during shelter viewing hours. HAWS is open for adoptions 7 days a week:  Monday – Friday from 1:00-6:00pm, Saturday from 11:00am-4:00pm and Sunday from 12:00-4:00pm.

A special thank you from HAWS to the groomers at Paws for a Moment, Petlicious Dog Bakery & Pet Spa and Styl’n Companions Pet Spa for their volunteer efforts!

HAWS, a non-profit organization established in 1965, assists over 6,000 animals each year and welcomes more than 31,000 human visitors to our shelter annually.  As an open admissions and full service shelter, HAWS assures sanctuary for animals in need while offering educational programs and services to promote responsible pet ownership and prevent animal abuse.  The shelter is located at 701 Northview Road in Waukesha, Wisconsin. For more information call (262) 542-8851 or log onto our website at hawspets.org. Friend us on Facebook at “Humane Animal Welfare Society” and follow our Tweets at “HAWS_Waukesha.” HAWS: Building a Society that’s Humane.

Pet Talk: Wobbler Syndrome

Cervical Spondylomyelopathy, also known as wobbler syndrome, is a neurological condition in dogs that affects their cervical spine, or neck region. A compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, wobbler syndrome gets its name from the characteristic “wobbly” walk that affected dogs typically display from the disease.

“There are two forms of cervical spondylomyelopathy,” said Dr. Megan Steele, a veterinary resident at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “There is a disc-associated form that causes ventral spinal cord compression and dorsal, lateral bone and joint proliferation causing dorsolateral spinal cord compression.”

Wobbler syndrome is typically a progressive disease most commonly found in larger dog breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes and Mastiffs.

“Symptoms can vary widely from mild neck pain to an inability to walk in all four limbs,” said Dr. Steele. “Often, pelvic limb weakness and ataxia, or weakness, is more severe than in the thoracic limbs.  A classic, two-engine gait is seen in dogs with low cervical lesions causing a short, choppy gait in the thoracic limbs and a long, sweeping gait in the pelvic limbs.”

Other symptoms often include weakness, difficulty getting up from a lying position, and possible muscle loss. Clinical signs are typically slow and gradual in onset, though acute worsening can occur. If your dog appears to show signs of any of these, especially difficulty walking or any unusual neck pains, a trip to the veterinarian for a diagnosis is a recommended.

In order to properly diagnosis your dog for wobbler syndrome, your veterinarian may perform advanced imaging such as radiographs, computed tomotherapy (CT) and myelographs to characterize the degree of spinal compression. “A definitive diagnosis is best made from an MRI as this gives us the best information of what is happening to the spinal cord itself, a soft tissue structure,” said Dr. Steele.

Treatment for wobbler syndrome, like for many other disorders, is greatly dependent on the location and severity of the problem. Cervical surgical procedures are typically the recommended treatment option for the best chance of improvement, but as with any surgery, there is always a risk of complications. For affected dogs in which surgery is not appropriate, medical management is another reliable treatment option.

Medical management is a viable treatment option in dogs with mild clinical signs or dogs with spinal cord compression in multiple locations, or that have comorbidities making them poor surgical candidates. Medically treated dogs need to have restricted activity for at least two months, along with close observation and any other recommended therapy. The goals of medical management are to provide adequate pain control and hopefully delay or prevent disease worsening.

“There will be lifestyle changes, such as walking with a harness instead of a neck lead, minimizing rough play, and restriction of jumping and using stairs, that may need to be made,” said Dr. Steele. “Implementing these lifestyle changes, along with rehab and pain management, can have a success rate of around 50 percent.”

Dogs with progressive signs that are not responding to medical management are typically advised to undergo surgery. “Surgical success is around 80 percent and with severely affected animals is the treatment of choice,” said Dr. Steele. “The type and location of disease dictates the type of surgical procedure recommended.  Some common procedures we perform include dorsal laminectomies, ventral slots and occasionally distraction fusion.”

Even after both surgery and medical management, some dogs with wobbler syndrome may never walk normally again. However, when combined with physical therapy and post-operative care, these treatments provide a considerable chance of improving your best friend’s overall quality of life.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed online at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for future topics may be directed to editor@cvm.tamu.edu.

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MADACC Announces an EMPTY THE SHELTER Adoption Event October 4th and 5th! All Adoption Fees Waived for All Available Dogs and Cats.

Milwaukee, September 16, 2014:  Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC), Wisconsin’s largest open-admission animal shelter, announced today that adoption fees for all dogs and cats will be waived the weekend of October 4 through 5 during MADACC’s first Empty the Shelter Adoption Weekend.

MADACC, which faces constant capacity challenges during the warmer months, is asking the community to help find homes for every adoptable dog and cat that was not reclaimed by their family and is now available for adoption during the two-day special event in an effort to create space for the more than 1,200 lost, unwanted and abandoned dogs expected to enter the shelter’s care throughout the month of October.

“Our goal this weekend is to find wonderful homes for each and every healthy, adoptable dog and cat in our facility,” said Karen Sparapani, executive director for MADACC. “If you have been thinking about adding a feline or canine companion to your home, now is the time! Not only will your adoption fee be waived, but you will find a new best friend and save a life.”

MADACC is able to hold this event after receiving a $15,000 grant from the ASPCA specifically to be used for an impactful adoption event. These funds will be used to sterilize, vaccinate and microchip around 150 animals so that they will be able to go home the day they are adopted into new families.

“When you adopt a companion from our facility, you’re saving a life and taking home a dog or cat that has already received all the basic veterinary services completed,” Sparapani continued. “It is so important to our community to have as many animals as possible spayed and neutered, and up to date on important vaccines that prevent parvovirus, distemper and rabies as well as having a microchip to ensure that if your animal is ever lost, we can quickly reunite your animal with you. Choosing to adopt a shelter animal is not only beneficial for the new pet parent or family, it also helps fight pet overpopulation in our community and, in turn, helps save more lives.”

More than 120 cats and 30 dogs will be available for adoption at MADACC’s two day adoption event. There will be kittens, cats and dogs from 5 months old and up available for potential adopters to choose from. Waived adoption fees include spay/neuter surgery, microchip, and up-to-date vaccines. A $12 license fee will apply for all Milwaukee County residents. Adopters must complete in-person adoption counseling.

In order to expedite the process and cut down on wait times, MADACC is encouraging interested adopters to complete a free and non-binding adoption application for pre-approval ahead of the event.  You can find the adoption application and more information on their website at www.madacc.org or call 414-649-8640.


MADACC currently rescues and assures safe, temporary shelter, veterinary and humane care for nearly 13,000 stray, unwanted, abandoned, mistreated and injured animals each year — more than any other animal control shelter in Wisconsin.  MADACCprovides a central location for owners to find and recover their lost pets at 3839 W. Burnham St. in West Milwaukee and is open seven days a week, including evening hours on weekdays.  MADACC rescues strays and removes dangerous animals from public areas providing effective animal control services by active enforcement of Wisconsin State Statues pertaining to animal welfare. For more information call (414)649-8640 or visit the MADACC website at www.madacc.org. MADACC is open to the public 7 days a week.


Wisconsin Humane Society #1 in Milwaukee, as rated by Charity Navigator, nation’s premier charity watchdog group

MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Humane Society’s sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.  Of twelve charities in Milwaukee with this distinction, the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) achieved the highest numerical score – 96.34 points out of a possible 100. Of 124 charities in Wisconsin evaluated by Charity Navigator, only 34 have a four-star rating.

“It’s an honor to be in the company of so many wonderful four-star charities in Milwaukee,” said Anne Reed. “Our rating demonstrates to our supporters that our fiduciary and governance responsibilities are of the utmost importance to our board and staff members. We work tirelessly to create a more humane community for animals, of which our donors can be deeply proud to support.”

“Our staff work hard to honor each and every dollar we earn, and our incredible volunteers are major contributors in keeping our expenses down,” said Reed. “The dedication of our 1,400 volunteers is nothing short of astonishing; they work in every single department at all three campuses, doing everything from rescuing injured ducklings to administering medical treatments.”

 About the Wisconsin Humane Society

The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is the oldest and largest animal shelter in Wisconsin.  It was founded in 1879 and operates shelters in Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Racine Counties.  The organization offers adoption services, educational programming, veterinary resources for animals from low-income households, retail stores, volunteer programs and dog training classes. The Milwaukee shelter also houses the state’s largest Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.  The organization recently announced plans to open Milwaukee’s first high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic in June 2015.

About Charity Navigator

Since 2002, using data-driven analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a four-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added a second dimension of Accountability and Transparency (A&T) to its rating methodology, and now reviews 17 governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, providing information on its website for each of the charities it evaluates.  The A&T metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities have “best practices” that minimize the chance of unethical activities and whether they freely share basic information about their organization with their donors and other stakeholders.


Wisconsin Humane Society to open Milwaukee’s first high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic

MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is excited to share that the doors of the Wisconsin Humane Society Spay/Neuter Clinic will open in June 2015.  The focus of the clinic will be to provide high-quality, low-cost sterilization surgery to the general public, with a special focus on animals living in underserved areas. The goal for the first year of operation is to perform 6,000 surgeries. 

“We are convinced that this is the single program with the highest potential to save animals in our region,” said Anne Reed, president and CEO of WHS. “Animal overpopulation has fallen in many areas of Milwaukee and the United States, but remains a serious issue in communities that lack resources, and a significant number of dogs and cats coming into our local animal welfare agencies are from these communities.”

Milwaukee is one of the only major metropolitan communities with no high-volume spay/neuter clinic, and there is substantial need for this resource.

“At WHS, we routinely find that surrendered animals are seldom sterilized, and in the 53206 zip code, the spay/neuter rate is just 8%,” said Dr. Nancy Weiss, senior director of veterinary services at WHS. “We know that there are people in our community who want their animals sterilized, but are not able to afford spay/neuter services.”

Dr. Weiss leads a team of six full-time veterinarians at WHS with a combined 80 years of veterinary medicine experience. Their team performed more than 7,000 spay/neuter surgeries for shelter and public animals in 2013. WHS has offered the Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) for more than a decade, but clients often have to wait several weeks or even months to get an appointment due to high demand and limited staff and surgical space.

The organization is looking at existing properties within a six-mile radius of their Milwaukee Campus on 45th & Wisconsin, with good access to the transit system and ample parking. Start-up costs for the project are expected to be between $250,000 and $300,000, which the organization is raising from private, corporate and foundation donors.

WHS is being mentored for the project by Humane Alliance’s National Spay/Neuter Response Team (NSNRT), a training program based in North Carolina that helps other organizations learn how to open and operate spay/neuter clinics in their communities. Humane Alliance has mentored about 130 other sites, and those clinics have spayed or neutered 3.8 million animals since 2006.

Spaying or neutering cats and dogs reduces animal overpopulation and animal homelessness. It can also reduce some behavior issues and decreases the desire of animals to roam. In addition, altered animals live longer than their unaltered counterparts, and are protected from certain types of cancer.

For more information on the WHS Spay/Neuter Clinic, please visit wihumane.org or view the YouTube video athttp://youtu.be/4bsnWvz4C6w.


Pet Expo Gift Baskets Winners

The  2014 Great Lakes Pet Expo last weekend was a great success!   The early morning snow worried me for a bit but Wisconsin folks are use to all this snow by now and it did not keep them away!   Fetch was VERY busy at our booth in the lobby.  We handed out tons of magazines.  We heard from SO many people on how much they love Fetch.  And we had two gift baskets – one as a thank you for our readers and another as a thank you to our advertisers.  The winner of the advertiser gift basket was Veterinary Medical Associates in Greendale!  I delivered that yesterday and there were many smiles as they saw their pasta-themed basket.   I am still waiting to hear back from the winner of the reader basket – April Wampole.  I will try her phone again but am fearful that if i don’t hear soon, that I will need to give the basket to another reader.  If you know April, tell her to reach out to me at info@fetchmag.com!

So, thank you to all who came and saw Fetch.   We love to see you and to “talk dogs”!

Fetch will be at Great Lakes Pet Expo

Fetch is excited to be at the Great Lakes Pet Expo this Saturday, February 1.   Please be sure to stop by our booth in the lobby (across from the ticket booth).   We will have not only the latest issue but also back copies of previous issues which are always in high demand.  We love our readers so please stop by for a free chance to win a reader gift basket.  And to let us know how much you love Fetch!   For details on the Great Lakes Pet Expo go to www.petexpomilwaukee.com.