EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S BLOG
By Lynn Olenik, HAWS Executive Director
2012, Blog Intro: This is HAWS
We have the programs at HAWS that point to a successful future!
But we know that we can’t do it without you, our community.
As a full service pet resource center, we treat those that are medically treatable
and rehabilitate all those with poor behavior that we can. We do this while
keeping our doors open so that our community’s strays and unwanted pets,
and those from families facing hardship, always have a place to go. We never
charge for the public to surrender their animals, keeping pets off the street and
getting them more quickly adopted into new loving homes.
We want to do more, and need your help and support of our programs.
We have the programs at HAWS that create long-lasting solutions to
community issues, prevention of abuse and neglect, and that curb pet overpopulation.
In 2012 alone:
• Annie’s Fund provided $10,000+ to medically treat animals so they could be adopted.
• Project Guardian spayed/neutered 497 feral and outdoor cats, lowering the number of incoming stray cats to 939, down 31.6% since the program began in ’05!
• 2873 spay/neuter surgeries were performed in our SNIP clinic.
• 999 cats, 468 dogs and 404 small animals were adopted into forever homes.
• Our Animal Rescue Team reunited 658 cats and dogs with their families, 445 wild animals were rescued and the team responded to 1589 calls. A new emergency response trailer was donated to serve our community if disaster strikes.
• Our Behavior Department celebrated its 500th graduate from the Mod Squad™ and helped 308 dogs learn the manners appropriate to be re-homed. These dogs got that second chance because of dedicated staff and volunteers – the vast majority of dogs with behavior issues can and are rehabilitated!
• 6176 people attended Education Department programs; 520 attended Kids ‘N Critters Summer Day Camp. We also provided values education to numerous schools and Scout groups through afterschool and in-house and programs. Values coaching and education on qualities such as empathy, compassion and nurturing help the youth of our community become better adults, fighting abuse and neglect.
• Volunteers logged over 12,000 hours this past year! Our community stepped up to assist with laundry, foster care, grounds care, cat and small animal socialization and more.
Each program makes a difference. We are dedicated to our full service and open admissions philosophy. Come along with us, and help as HAWS works to create a society that humanely deals with issues such as neglect, abuse and over population. As a team we accomplish so many wonderful things, and will continue to do so far into the future!
©2012 Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) | 701 Northview Road | Waukesha, WI | 53188 | 262-542-8851
Member, Wisconsin Federated Humane Societies, Inc. | Winner of the 2010 Waukesha County Executive Awards: Large Non-Profit of the Year.
HAWS is an animal shelter that offers pet adoption, dog training, kids camps, spay and neuter programs, and humane pet education. Waukesha Wisconsin’s Humane Animal Welfare Society is the Inaugural Winner of the "Chamber's Choice Award" presented in 2008 by the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Times. HAWS is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. | License #267280-DS
A Week Like No Other
October 29, 2014
This was an epic week at HAWS!
We had the “Move Your Mutt” run on Sunday. It was a great event with exposure to some new faces and an early morning walk in the park with staff and volunteers. It was heartwarming to see people out with their best friends for exercise and recreation. It’s so good to see dogs, well cared for and a cherished part of their families.
On Monday, our Animal Rescue Team headed out with the Jefferson County Humane Society, returning to HAWS with 23 little dogs. Returning at noon, the remainder of the day was spent in veterinary exams, vaccinations, and grooming. Because all of them had fleas and various states of mats in their unkempt coats, this needed to be done as soon as possible. Volunteer groomers took on this project, transforming each into an adorable, clean but shy little dog. By Tuesday, staff had moved on to the search for foster homes and rescues, then began spays and neuters. Wednesday, saw more spays, neuters and caring for an additional 20 dogs in the kennel. There was the processing of paperwork and behavior evaluations all to prepare them for adoption. The Behavior Department was working to socialize and calm the dogs that were in a foreign environment. These activities kept the staff hopping the remainder of the week! Volunteers from Mod Squad socializers to those who help with cleaning and laundry logged additional hours. It takes a team effort to get animals ready for the adoption floor.
Friday was our fall fundraiser, Creatures of the Night. More than 275 guests joined us at the Marriot for an evening to celebrate pets and join in the cause of supporting our Animal Rescue Team and the services they provide. Though this was planned months in advance, it seemed even more appropriate considering the activities of the week. The event was fun, financially successful, and brought a number of new friends into HAWS. Without our community’s support we would not be able to do the work we do.
Thank you to all of you – staff, volunteers, board member and our donors – from the 23 little dogs that now have a chance to be a cherished part of someone’s family and the thousands of other Creatures that are part of the ‘HAWS cause’ each year!
Looking Forward/Planning Ahead
January 26, 2015
The term Strategic Planning makes people respond in a variety of ways. From the eye roll to vocal hostility, most responses are negative. For us at HAWS the look into our future began last year with strategic planning for the next 10 years, and deciding what actions and activities would most meet our mission.
Times in sheltering are changing. There are many more partners out there who are involved in caring for needy animals. Few of these organizations have the same approach as we do. We believe in education to prevent neglect and abuse and to teach responsibility. We embrace our community, realizing that we can save more animals by helping people save animals. We are open admission, often resulting in us taking the neediest animals as they come to our door. We work to rehabilitate behaviors where we can, and medically treat all those we are able. In years past, euthanasia was accepted, now we fight for as many as we possibly can, to get them in homes, offering consultations and training to help our new adopters. Through the seminars we offer and with our spay/neuter (SNIP) clinic, we help our local animal partners do their work, too.
We have some big challenges in front of us. Our community still has an overabundance of cats roaming the outdoors or cast off by past owners. Spay/neuter is the logical, most humane way to tackle this problem. We have made a huge dent in 9 years, lowering the number of incoming stray cats/kittens by 38%. This is not enough, however, and we need to do more to get the word out that this is not only the responsible thing to do, but that spay/neuter services are available. Due to grant money we can do 500 spays or neuters of outdoor cats each year for free. We are working with other local organizations to do this as it is an issue not only in our county, but also in surrounding areas.
Education is the key to compassionate, responsible animal owners and to insuring the future of animal welfare. We now work with youth from grade school through high school and have programs for young adults, college students and even for adults.
We are quickly outgrowing the capacity for both our spay/neuter (SNIP) clinic and our space for behavior training. Expansion of these areas, so we can continue to meet the needs of the animals in our community, will be important for these programs. Storage areas and some shelter housing also need to be enhanced.
All of these things have been stated in our plan, and we are addressing them. The results will be great homes for all treatable, trainable animals in a community that is not only committed, but educated and responsible in their approach to animal care. Without a plan, that would not happen. Without help from our community in the form of financial support and volunteer assistance, we will not be able to make this a reality.
Thanks to all of you, we had a successful 2014. And thank you all for your future support and commitment to our community’s animals!
April 15, 2015
This month, I have learned quite a lot about chinchillas. They are quiet, peaceful, soft little critters – curious about people and in general, very pleasant. I have also learned a bit more about humans.
The outpouring of support for the chinchillas, and for our people providing their care, has been amazing. We have received donations from all over the US; Canada and overseas, too! People all over are passionately concerned for the well-being of the chinchillas. We have received assistance not only from general advocates but from chinchilla enthusiasts, including chinchilla breeders. People have offered their assistance, advice and knowledge; they have sent food, caging and chew blocks. It is heartwarming to see the support and good will these little guys have created.
On a darker note, it saddens me to think that some people may still be breeding chins for fur and for sale as research animals. These are passive, unassuming little creatures that deserve better. Fortunately, most everyone we've spoken with, breeders included, are interested in the animals as pets. In America, fur is not thought of as fashionable or politically correct.
It is my hope that these chinchillas will soon be released to us to be adopted out to pet homes. And, I hope the awareness they have generated leaves a lasting impression for the good of all animals.