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% since 2005. T-N-R (trap-neuter-return), the concept of Return to Field, and quality barn homes are all options we are exploring which should help lower these numbers further, and help change the outcomes for cats which are not house pets.
To reach the dream of becoming a No-Kill Community will take a community-wide effort!
Waukesha County is very fortunate not to have the entrenched poverty that many other areas face. What we may have, though, is apathy – a feeling that “someone” (someone else!) will step up to help. Exciting to us is that our younger generation, much like the founders of HAWS, shares a grassroots mentality that the difficult can be achieved through combined efforts. They inspire us all to be an active part of Building a No-Kill Community.
What can YOU do – if you happen to be that “someone” that wants to step up?
• Foster animals in need, to lighten the burden on the shelter’s space and give those animals some much-needed family time!
• Donate to Annie’s Fund to help the medically challenged, and to HAWS’ other programs that impact not only our animals but our youth, to imbed humane sentiments for the future.
• That stray cat “hanging around”? Chances are he is a TNR/Project Guardian candidate.
• Help get the word out that these programs are available – and FREE!
• If you have a barn, give an outdoor cat a job! For no charge, we can place with you a neutered or spayed, vaccinated cat (who is not a house pet), for your barn or outdoor building and give you the tools and knowledge to provide shelter and care.
• Volunteer to assist with programs in the shelter that have a positive impact on our community’s animals and youth. From office work and greeters to animal socializers and spay/neuter assistants, there are many opportunities to make a difference.
With all of HAWS’ programs working to make our dream a reality, and with the continued strong support of our community here in Waukesha County – including assistance from area partners like the Elmbrook Humane Society, we are Building a No-Kill Community. We are ALMOST there: we believe this is not only possible, but well within reach for all of Waukesha County.