Spring has sprung…and so have our pets!

Spring has arrived…and with it, an increase in the number of stray pets! One of the most important tools for getting your dog returned to you if it is lost only costs between $3-$10.  Simple and affordable, an ID tag should be part of every dog’s wardrobe! · If your dog is friendly and can be handled, a member of the public can check the tag and call you directly. · List alternate phone numbers in case you are unavailable! But be sure to let the people you list know you have listed them…) One phone number isn’t enough: Tags have 2 sides,  you can list more phone numbers on the back. · Your pet can also be traced by their rabies tag information and/or dog license. Having separate rings for these tags, in case one fails, is also a good idea. · Writing your primary phone number directly on their collar with a laundry/Sharpie marker can help. · A microchip, which can be scanned at most vet clinics and shelters, is important for permanent ID. However, chips are only as good as the accuracy of the information provided to the registration company, so be sure to keep you information current! As there is a greater lag time then simply checking a tag and making a direct call, relying on only a chip can cause unneeded stress and delays for all involved. · Lost Dogs of Wisconsin/Illinois are very successful at reuniting lost pets and have a tremendous online/Facebook reach. Notifying them, as well as local police AND area shelters helps. Use social media to your advantage and post,...

What are the ‘Next Steps’ for HAWS?

As we close out our facility expansion campaign the natural question is “What are the next steps for HAWS?”  The bricks and mortar expansion will consume quite a bit of time, but meanwhile we remain focused on the needs of our community’s animals. HAWS is much more than a building. We are committed to caring for animals by helping people care for animals; through collaborative efforts we will save as many animals as possible.   Education is, and always will be, a huge part of what we do. Education and commitment are the foundation for an entire culture of animal welfare advocates. Many of our original Kids ‘N Critters campers have graduated from college and are now taking the message of compassion forward into their homes, jobs and families. This is an exciting time for education as we see the fruits of our efforts.   Assistance offered through our Behavior Department, SNIP clinic and Animal Rescue Team will be enhanced. Additional training classes for cats and volunteer opportunities will be available in our Behavior Department. Our SNIP clinic will be able to assist more rescue groups and provide additional TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) services to further reduce cat overpopulation. The addition of GIS mapping software – and combined efforts of our Animal Rescue Team and SNIP clinic – will allow us to target specific cat breeding areas and concentrate our resources. This type of targeting also opens us up for competitive grant opportunities.   Some of the most exciting additions will take place in Adoption Services. More proactive programs for our “cat” people are being explored, including hospice foster caregivers, taming...

Misty’s Message

This story was originally posted as part of HAWS’ Monday Mailbag/Tribute Tuesday on our Facebook page. Animals often impact our lives in ways far beyond their knowing – thank you for sharing yours and Misty’s story, Colleen! HAWS blessed us with our Misty girl. Unfortunately, she was with us only a short time. I remember vividly how depressed she was when we saw her because her sister had been adopted before her and she was alone. I don’t think anyone wanted a 85lb. dog. She was the only large dog at the time. My heart just broke when I saw her and I couldn’t get her to pick up her head to say hello. When we took her into the “meeting” room, she just laid. Again no affect. From that point on, she was meant to be ours: I promised her I would be back the next day to get her and when I left, she didn’t even look at me. That was the longest 24 hours I ever spent! But when we came back the next day and I came around the corner and she saw me, it was as if she remembered what I told her. Where the day before there was nothing, this day she jumped all over the place and barked like crazy. She had been given a bath in the morning and was a big fluff ball (and I mean big)! She hopped into the car and I don’t think she ever looked back. We have a home in the north woods on a lake and that was her favorite place to be. She...

Recognizing Kindness in Youth

Last year we touched the lives of over 7,000 young people who took part in educational offerings here at HAWS. The way for us to change the circumstances of animals in our community for the better is to reach our youth, exposing them to the wonders of animals and all the values that they can teach us. We know, however, that there are young people who stand out above the rest concerning their commitment to animals. Each year, we look for nominees for our Diana Boettcher Youth Community Kindness Award. An Oconomowoc area resident, Ms. Boettcher was dedicated to the area’s animals, especially the wildlife, watching over them as a guardian. In her honor, HAWS is looking for a student who cares deeply about animals the way Diana did – not your average animal lover, but one who puts passion into action. We are looking to recognize a young advocate who, by asking questions, taking a stand and sharing their convictions, is already making a difference in the treatment of animals, thus building a better community. If you know of a student like this, please nominate them! Nominees must be 18 years or younger. Family, friends, community members and teachers are allowed to nominate deserving youth; in addition, students may also nominate themselves. If chosen, the recipient must be available to accept the award at the Friends of HAWS’ 33rd Annual Romp ‘n Rally Pet Walk on May 7, 2016 at Sussex Village Park. Applications must include the nominee’s name, address, birth date, school and an essay (not to exceed 500 words) explaining the youth’s commitment to animals in...

Thank you for being that “Special Someone”

To our volunteers, donors, staff and all in the HAWS Family: I’m not sure you realize how special you are. In our February newsletter, we talked about “Being that Special Someone.” But YOU already are. For us to move forward into a no-kill community, it will take many “Special Someones” to get us there. What is a no-kill community? This is a community where all treatable, manageable and trainable animals are placed in loving homes. Where Annie’s Fund allows us to address medical concerns, we will not continue the suffering of an animal with a degenerative, progressive and painful condition. Our Behavior Department’s MOD SQUAD works to modify difficult behaviors. We will not place a dangerous, unsafe animal up for adoption who, with training intervention and behavior modification, fails to progress. Scooby Some-bunny special Let’s play! Kitten Ferret fun! We have met the no-kill criteria with dogs and with small animals. We are also making huge strides with our cat populations thanks to abundant foster homes, volunteers who help them to stay social and with the spay/neuter surgeries done by Project Guardian in our SNIP clinic. You will see expanded TNR services, a barn cat program and an additional push for foster care families in the upcoming months. For us to maintain our open admission policy, and attain full no-kill status, will take a community effort. Thank you for your dedication to our community’s animals. Together, we can build a no-kill community. Thank you for being that Special Someone! – Lynn and the HAWS’...

Building a No-Kill COMMUNITY

HAWS is constantly working to achieve and maintain the benchmarks, as outlined by the No-Kill Coalition, for our shelter. (The complete list – and how HAWS compares – is available here.) But, at HAWS we are striving to reach an even larger goal: Building a No-Kill Community. As an open admission shelter, HAWS is dedicated to helping all of our community’s animals in need. We cannot simply close our doors when we are full. This presents challenges to our facility and programs, challenges that are met each day, and often overcome! Accelerated growth in three key, donor-funded programs has helped HAWS make crucial strides towards our dream that every domestic animal which is healthy or medically treatable, that has a sound temperament or modifiable behavior, gets the help it needs to find a new family. • Annie’s Fund has made it possible for us to treat animals with medical issues that, in the past, would have prevented their adoption. We do not believe in extending the suffering of an animal; Annie’s Fund allows us to help where it is in the pet’s best interest. • Our Behavior Department’s Mod Squad has changed the lives of dogs with challenging behaviors. Behavior problems/lack of training are a key reason dogs come to HAWS; when dogs were returned after adoption often it was because these undesirable habits were still with them. We now change these issues before they leave the shelter, keeping them in their new families for life. • Project Guardian, the free spay/neuter program for outdoor cats, has lowered the incoming number of stray cats to our shelter by 42%...

WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS…

That song sticks out in my mind as we are faced with a few special residents this holiday season. We had a little “Christmas Miracle” with CHANCE, the German Shepherd who was hit by a car last week. Thanks to the Police in Menomonee Falls, HAWS’ Rescue Team, the staff that drove him to Madison and picked him up, the folks at WVRC and the UW-Vet School; his leg has been repaired and he is on his way to the German Shepherd Rescue Alliance to recover and recuperate. Thanks to all our Annie’s Fund contributors who made his medical treatment possible, there is a happy ending for a dog who is both medically needy and underweight. Things don’t stop there. We could use another “miracle” outcome for SCOOBY, a dog who needs a home with special people who are not put off by a large, clumsy, young exuberant fellow. Where he is a generally sweet boy, he needs room to run, a consistent, firm-but-kind family and possibly another exuberant playmate. Then there is LUCKY, a dog our Mod Squad is working with who has been here far too long. There are still a number of adult cats waiting for adoption – they are often overshadowed by the available kittens and we need some holiday good will to help them find their new homes. So, think good thoughts, say some prayers, send positive energy HAWS’ way… whatever you do, whatever it takes, please remember all of HAWS’ animals over the holidays and throughout the new year. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016 to all of you from all of us...

The Mod Squad Celebrates its 1,000th Graduate!

My sincerest THANK YOU to all the members of HAWS’ Mod Squad, past and present, for the work you do. The Mod Squad began back when, at the decision to euthanize a dog, an employee spoke up and said, “there just has to be more we can do.” It wasn’t a question or a demand, but a quest to find a solution to fixing the dogs that had behaviors that weren’t socially acceptable and those that were nervous or afraid. Combining Dr. Claudeen’s strengths with volunteers’ passion and work ethic, a model program has been created that others have chosen to follow! More than that, it has saved many lives and given people associated with shelter work HOPE: Hope that someday, maybe, we can save them all. At the annual meeting we shared this stat: Since HAWS’ Mod Squad began in 2009 we have dramatically lowered the euthanasia rate in the shelter – by about 50%! It looks as though this year we are on the way to another significant drop. HAWS’ Mod Squad is transforming our organization. But it isn’t just the Mod Squad members alone who have contributed to its success. It is also the Board which directs money to the program, donors who support the costs of HAWS’ Behavior Department, organizations that have given grant dollars, other volunteers that exercise dogs and fill in the gaps, and staff who have learned to trust. We are a team. Because of my duties here at HAWS, I often see things in numbers and dollars. But I also see Ginger, Lilo and the many, many others that have made...

Snickers gets a new family…& friends!

I adopted Snickers the guinea pig from HAWS last month. Since I am not home all the time, my parents agreed that my 5 month old guinea pig named Lilith needed a friend to give her company while I’m at school. I had found Snickers on Petfinder.com and the next day after school my dad drove out to HAWS to just look at her. A very nice lady at the desk put us in a room with Snickers, but she told us Snickers was a little bit skittish. I watched Snickers run around and eat her hay for a few minutes and I started petting her. She started pop-corning (jumping around, extremely happy) and was purring and squeaking. I picked her up and she cuddled right into my chest! She was purring and squeaking and that’s when I looked at my dad and said “She’s perfect.” He agreed and signed the adoption form. (We were a little unprepared because we were only going to look at her but HAWS had a nice huge cage and my dad bought it along with a play pen and a little house.) I put the cage setup in my room and put Snickers’ and Lilith’s cages next to each other so they both knew they were in the same room. The next day we put them in the play pen – there was a little bit of a fighting and teeth chattering but I was expecting that. (Lilith is very protective of me and thought Snickers was either a danger to me or felt like I was replacing her. But she quickly learned...

Growing – Together!

Waukesha County is a great place to have an animal shelter – progressive attitudes combine with rural values. As an educated community, Waukesha is leading the way in animal welfare. Soon the population in Waukesha County will crest 400,000. We are Wisconsin’s third largest county, one of the fastest growing counties in the state. That growth means an increase in pets and the need for animal-related services. Waukesha County’s population is aging, along with our nation as a whole. This means more support services are needed for pets, such as a safe keep program that offers temporary emergency shelter for the pets of seniors and families in crisis. Animal hoarding cases have increased, putting a demand on our facility for intervention for these animals. Families raising children in Waukesha desire educational programs that teach values and give youth an opportunity to practice compassion, nurturing and empathy in a safe and engaging atmosphere. These values in our youth will in turn maintain our excellent community. As the public wants more from their humane society we, too, wish to increase the positive outcomes for animals in our community. • More education for youth through education programs – for all ages. • Tackling illness and injuries through Annie’s medical assistance fund. • Shaping positive behaviors through our Behavior Department and the Mod Squad. • Supporting our adopters with classes, education and 1:1 counseling. • Keeping – and helping animals longer with increased, more restful and quiet kennel space. As the economy struggled in 2008, HAWS made the decision to move ahead with our previous expansion using only funds that had already been...