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.


Wisconsin Humane Society moving dogs from Orphan Kanines Seizure

The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) has acquired a short-term facility in the Racine area to house nearly all the dogs from last week’s seizure of 81 dogs, 10 cats and 2 pigs from the Orphan Kanines facility in Caledonia, as well as from two private residences. WHS officials say that moving the dogs to one location early this week will allow them to best care for the seized dogs, as well as ensure that the organization can continue to conduct its regular services for the communities they serve.
The facility itself is a spacious, temperature-controlled facility with areas for the dogs to get proper exercise. Staff members from all three WHS campuses, including veterinary personnel, will be onsite every day caring for the dogs. Current volunteers from all three WHS campuses will also be assisting at that temporary location.
Nearly every animal rescued was in need of some medical attention. The deplorable conditions caused respiratory infections so severe in some of the puppies that chest X-rays are necessary to determine the extent of the infection. WHS is currently treating other dogs for ear and eye infections, glaucoma, topical wounds, fleas, dental disease and paw injuries from standing in urine and feces. One dog needed emergency surgery for a condition called pyometra, which would have likely killed her if not caught. Another has a serious heart murmur.
Donations have been coming into the shelter since the news broke on Thursday, but the organization will need more help.
“The public response to a call for donations over the weekend truly floored us,” said Alison Kleibor, WHS Racine Campus Director. “Every dog will certainly be getting new toys and treats this week, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the help. There are still many supplies that we’re looking for, so we keep updating our Amazon wish list online. Monetary donations will help offset housing and medical expenses.”
A link to the Amazon wish list and online donation form can be found at wihumane.org.

Foster Parents Needed

The Wisconsin Humane Society needs more foster parents for puppies and kittens,
as well as adult dogs and cats, at all three of our campus locations.  Foster parents open their homes and hearts to animals who need them now more than ever. Foster parents provide a home environment for healing and growth that a shelter cannot duplicate.
Simply put: foster parents save lives.
Whether you live in Milwaukee, Ozaukee or Racine County, we need you
What are animals fostered for?
Age/growth – Sometimes we have animals in our care who are simply too young or underweight to be placed up for adoption right away. Behavior – These animals need help gaining confidence or learning certain manners to help prime them for a happy, long-lasting life in their new home. Medical – Some animals may need to recover from an illness or injury before they’re able to be placed in a home. Domestic Abuse – Our Safe Haven Foster Program helps domestic violence victims find safety while knowing that their beloved animal is being safely cared for in a temporary foster home. Expansion of capacity – Every animal in a foster home frees up space in our shelter for more animals, thus increasing our capacity to save lives!
You can choose your foster program
  • General Foster volunteers help care for our shelter animals as they grow, recover from an illness, heal from an injury, or work through a behavioral issue.  The commitment time varies, but is usually 2-7 weeks.
  • Safe Haven Foster volunteers provide up to 60 days of care for animals of domestic violence victims while their guardian makes arrangements to leave their dangerous home situation. These foster parents must ensure maximum confidentiality surrounding the animals they care for.
  • Home Stretch Foster volunteers care for animals from Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) who are too young or too sick to be transferred out of the facility for immediate placement. Once they are old enough or healthy enough, they will enter the WHS adoption program. Commitment times will vary.
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Two kittens, one million fans: Inspiration for the New Year

We have big plans for the coming year at the Wisconsin Humane Society. As we turn those plans into reality, we’ll be inspired by the story of two kittens: Yankee and Pine Cone.

Yankee was found alone under a trailer, injured and terrified. Pine Cone was friendly and brave but blind; both her eyes were infected and ruptured. Our Dr. Langston stabilized her condition with surgery, but Pine Cone will always be blind.

Our Racine Campus team introduced these two survivors, and they were pals from the start. Seeing what they meant to each other, we made them a “required pair,” and committed to send them home together. The week before Christmas, we posted their story on Facebook.

I still feel overwhelmed by what happened next. As I write this, more than 1.1 million people have seen Yankee and Pine Cone’s story. More than 15,000 people shared the post. And on Monday, a young woman named Kate drove two hours to our Racine shelter to adopt Yankee and Pine Cone.

As we turn our thoughts to 2014, we know this story is about more than two kittens in great need. Yankee and Pine Cone’s story brings together the most important elements of our success in 2013 and our plans for 2014:
Help for animals in greatest need. Each of the nearly 10,000 animals we find homes for each year is in need because each is homeless – but many have even greater needs. Some need medical and behavioral support, and others belong to groups that are traditionally unpopular, like pit-bull-type dogs. We have steadily expanded our ability to support these animals over the years, and have been inspired to see our community’s extraordinary willingness to help them.

Expanded geographic impact. January 1, 2014 will mark one year since we acquired our Racine Campus. We were certain that our groundbreaking approaches to adoption and animal health would make a difference for Racine animals, and they did. In our first year we found homes for hundreds more animals than had ever been adopted in Racine County before.

More medical care. In 2013 we added to our extensive veterinary services with new vaccine clinics, even more spay/neuter surgeries, and a sixth full-time veterinarian on staff. The medical needs of both shelter animals and animals in low-income communities are great, and we are committed to continue to expand our ability to help.
“As long as it takes.” 2014 will be the fifteenth year of our core organizational commitment: animals in our adoption program have no time limits. We were ready to host Yankee and Pine Cone for a long stay. It turned out they were only on the adoption floor for 36 hours, but some animals stay much longer. One great dog went home in May after a year with us.

Your support. We did a lot for Yankee and Pine Cone, but their story needed a much bigger community for its joyous ending. Just as more than 15,000 people shared their story, thousands of people each year donate so that we can continue to lead our field. We are not connected to any national animal welfare groups, and more than 95% of our revenue comes from private supporters. Nothing we do would be possible without you.

We are grateful for all we have accomplished and excited to take on the future.

Will you give hope to animals this holiday season?‏

When Blaze arrived at the Wisconsin Humane Society, you would have never guessed that he was only 11-months-old.

The skinny German Shepherd pup had tired eyes, a dirty coat and a partially-healed wound on his neck.  He was also covered in fly bites that were so bad, his ears were painfully damaged.  Despite all of this, his tail was wagging. Blaze finally had hope.

Our veterinary team went to work right away, administering antibiotics and feeding Blaze a special high calorie diet. After just three weeks, Blaze looked like the healthy, handsome dog we knew would emerge.  He was beaming. And although he will probably always have scars on his ears, his heart is happy and Blaze is ready to love his brand new family.

Life wasn’t any easier for Butterball.  The 8-week-old kitten had been living on the streets. Just trying to survive was a challenge of its own, but when he broke his leg, the little guy’s future became truly uncertain.  Thankfully, a concerned citizen found the suffering baby and brought Butterball to WHS.  Finally, he had hope, too.

Butterball’s leg was severely fractured and had to be amputated.  But surrounded by the warmth and expert care of our staff and volunteers, the kitten recovered quickly.  A few weeks later, Butterball was adopted into a loving home where he will never again have to struggle to find scraps of food to keep him alive.

Hope is an essential part of what we do. Hope propels us forward as we work to create a safer, more humane community for all of us, furry and human alike. We couldn’t do it without you.

Please help us kick off the season of giving with a gift to Hope’s Lights.

  • $25 makes a light shine
  • $100 sets a strand of lights aglow
  • $200 illuminates a wreath
  • $500 lights an entire tree

Even a single light will make a real difference in the life of an animal. Together, we can shine hope in dark places and make life better for all of us. You can purchase a light in honor or memory of a beloved companion animal, person, or even a wild animal.

Wisconsin Humane Society
4500 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Phone: 414-264-6257  |  Fax: 414-431-6200  |  Email: info@wihumane.org

Sam & Gene Johnson Community Fund match up to $75,000 donations to WHS Racine

The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) announced today that through September 30, 2013, any gift contributed to the WHS Racine Campus will be doubled, thanks to a matching grant from the Sam and Gene Johnson Community Fund. The fund will match up to $75,000, doubling the charitable impact of donations made to help Racine’s homeless, injured and abused animals.

“The Wisconsin Humane Society is deeply committed to protecting, saving and finding loving homes for neglected and mistreated animals in our community,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and CEO Johnson Outdoors; and, Chairman Johnson Bank.  “We applaud the organization’s hard work and hope others will join us in supporting their efforts.”   

The Wisconsin Humane Society assumed the assets of Racine’s former Countryside Humane Society (CHS) on January 1, 2013. Since then, adoptions have doubled under the new management, and not a single animal in the adoption program has been euthanized for space or time, a policy WHS has adhered to since 1999.

“On behalf of the animals who will be served by this incredible gesture, we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of the Sam and Gene Johnson Community Fund,” said Anne Reed, Executive Director of WHS. “A gift like this is a catalyst that opens hearts and inspires others to give.”

Although donations have surpassed the $24,000 that was raised in 2012 by CHS, WHS’s annual fundraising goal for the Racine Campus is a more aggressive $300,000. A successful matching campaign will ensure that the shelter makes its annual budget.

“Every gift makes an impact,” Reed said. “Whether it’s a $25 check or a $2,500 one, we need the support of people who love this community and its animals.”

 To make a contribution, visit http://savinglives.wihumane.org/site/PageNavigator/Racine75Kmatch.html or simply mail your contribution to Wisconsin Humane Society, Attn: Racine Donations, 4500 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53208. All donations made to the Racine Campus will be allocated to the organization’s shelter animals in Racine and are tax-deductible. 

Alvin’s Tale of Abandonment

Five-year-old Alvin was found abandoned in a carrier at the back door of the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) Ozaukee Campus with only a note stating that his owners were moving and couldn’t take the sweet cat along.
The note read, “He has no health issues at all. He was born in 2008 and I have been the only owner… I am moving away and cannot take him with. I do not have any money for the surrender fee.”
While shelter officials were relieved that Alvin was brought to WHS, the Ozaukee Campus director Beth Maresh laments that he was left at the back door, and wants the public to understand that it’s okay if you need to surrender your pet.
“People should never be embarrassed or ashamed to have to surrender an animal, and can even do so anonymously” said Maresh.  “When you bring your animal to the shelter because you can no longer care for him or her, it’s usually because you’ve exhausted all other options. We’re just glad to be here to help. And it makes a tremendous difference to be able to ask questions about your animal’s medical and behavior history so we can best serve him or her.”
Upon his admittance, Alvin received a thorough medical examination by WHS veterinarian Dr. Randal Zeman.  He was previously neutered, but had periodontal disease and needed some dental work, including the extractions of two teeth.  He was a champ during his recovery from surgery, and five days later, became available for adoption.
The fee to surrender a cat is $35, but the surrender fee can be waived if a family cannot afford it. Surrender appointments are strongly encouraged to help control animal intake, especially during the busy summer season, but the humane society will never turn an animal away in need.
WHS also offers resources for people looking to rehome an animal themselves, including a “virtual rehoming service,” similar to online classifieds, on its website at www.ozaukeehumane.org.