COVID-19 response and information
The Wisconsin Humane Society is focused on protecting the health and well-being of the animals in our care, our staff, volunteers, and the community we serve. We will update this page with any new developments; we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this situation together with the communities we serve.
3/27/20: Who will care for your pet?
While it’s not fun to imagine, now is an important time to create a plan for your pet in case you get sick. This weekend, we strongly encourage you gather any members of your household and walk through the following steps to ensure your animals will be well cared for in the event of an emergency.
- Know the facts: According to the CDC, there is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 from pets. The best place for your animal is inside the home they know and love. If you aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for your pet, please keep them at home with you where they’re most comfortable.
- If you do become too ill to physically care for your pet or you need to be hospitalized, who can take over for you? Is there anyone else in your home who could help? Maybe a neighbor, friend, coworker, or family member who could take them in? Even a groomer, daycare, or boarding facility may be able to help in your time of need with advance notice. But the most important thing you can do today is come up with two potential pet plans and talk directly with those people so they’re prepared in case they’re called to action.
- Prepare a pet supply kit. It may not seem necessary today, but we promise it will be hugely helpful if you find yourself in an emergency situation without the ability to track down the proper supplies. Your kit should include the following, as best as you’re able:
- Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
- Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
- Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
- A crate or carrier to transport your pet
- Vaccination records
- Collars with ID tags (and don’t forget to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date)
- Medications and prescriptions, along with a list of instructions
- Daily care instructions
- Contact information for your veterinary clinic
With your whole family on board and a plan in place, you’ll feel a bit better about your pet’s safety knowing they’re in good hands no matter what challenges may arise. ❤
3/24/20: Update regarding statewide Safer At Home order
Safer At Home Update: The Wisconsin Humane Society will remain hard at work during the statewide shutdown! We applaud the Governor and state officials for recognizing that shelters are truly essential to the welfare of the animals and people we serve. “Businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals, including animal shelters, boarding, rescues, kennels, and adopting facilities" are all explicitly defined as “Essential Businesses” under the order. This means not only can our staff members travel to work to care for animals, but that our community is also allowed to travel to access critical services, including adoption and foster care. (Please remember: adoptions are now by appointment only, so please call us first before coming to WHS.)
Can adopters and fosters still come to WHS? Yes, though both foster parents and potential adopters must call to make an appointment before coming to the shelter. We’re open for adoption (by appointment only) at our Milwaukee and Green Bay Campuses, utilizing strong social distancing and hygiene practices; we appreciate your patience with our new process. We remain closed for adoption at our Racine, Ozaukee, and Door County Campuses. Foster parents can come to their nearest WHS campus for pick-up, drop-off, and veterinary appointments. To further limit interaction, we have moved to “curbside fostering” in which foster parents will remain in their cars for appointments while staff bring animals and/or additional supplies to and from their vehicles.
Can WHS still take in animals in need? Yes, the Door County, Green Bay, Ozaukee, and Racine Campuses remain open for emergency surrenders and stray intake. The Milwaukee Campus is open for emergency surrender; stray animals found in Milwaukee County must go to MADACC, as always. If you’ve found an injured or orphaned wild animal in Milwaukee County, please first visit https://bit.ly/wildhelp for 24-hour advice; if you still need to bring the animal in for assistance, please call 414-431-6204 first before coming to WHS.
Can WHS outreach work continue? Our outreach team is continuing its vital work with a great deal of social distancing, focusing on telephone support, leaving food and supplies on porches, and finding other ways to help our clients from afar.
Can I access other WHS services? To ensure your safety and in compliance with the order, the following services have been temporarily suspended: vaccine clinics, spay/neuter services, classes, youth programs, and in-store shopping – though you can still order your pet’s food and supplies online at http://shop.wihumane.org and all proceeds will benefit the animals at WHS! For the time being, our Furry Friends Pet Food Pantry is also temporarily closed, but we are working to create partnerships with local food pantries so pet food is still available to those who need it. We’re so grateful for your patience and understanding!
Adoptions, Strays, and Surrenders
ADOPTIONS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
- Milwaukee Campus | Open for adoptions by appointment only. If you see an animal on our Adopt page at the Milwaukee Campus who you are interested in adopting, call 414-264-6257 to set up a time to meet them.
- Green Bay Campus | Open for adoptions by appointment only. If you see an animal below on our Adopt page at the Green Bay Campus who you are interested in adopting, call 920-469-3110 to set up a time to meet them.
- Ozaukee Campus | No adoptions at this time; adoptable animals will be sent to Milwaukee or Green Bay.
- Racine Campus | No adoptions at this time; adoptable animals will be sent to Milwaukee or Green Bay.
- Door County Campus | No adoptions at this time; adoptable animals will be sent to Milwaukee or Green Bay.
STRAYS AND SURRENDERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
- The Door County, Green Bay, Ozaukee, and Racine Campuses remain open for emergency surrenders and stray intake only. The Milwaukee Campus is open for emergency surrenders only; stray animals found in Milwaukee County must go to MADACC, as always.
- In response to these unprecedented times, the National Animal Care & Control Association has advised that “healthy stray and community cats should stay in the community and should not be taken into the shelter for the time being.” Click here for more details.
Monetary: The critical work of WHS is continuing in order to ensure the care and health of our animals still in residence. If you are seeking a way to help animals and our community in the midst of uncertainty, we would be grateful for your financial support. Click here to help our animals today.
In-kind donations: Yes! We can take in-kind donations at our Milwaukee and Green Bay Campuses, but please leave them at the door due to our COVID-19 response precautions. Our highest needs right now are canned cat food, dry cat food (Friskies), cat toys, dog toys, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, and gently used crates. A donation slip will be provided near the entrance, but feel free to email email@example.com if slips are unavailable when you stop by. We currently cannot accept in-kind donations at our Racine, Ozaukee, or Door County Campuses. Your support is greatly appreciated during this challenging time.
Coronavirus response and information
We hope you and those you love are staying healthy and managing the uncertainty we’re all sharing as we work through challenges we’ve never seen before. Many of you are asking how we’re doing at the Wisconsin Humane Society. The answer is: we’re able to keep up our most critical work serving animals and people, and are embracing social distancing - and practicing even more stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes - to keep ourselves and our community as healthy as we can. Any postponed or canceled activities are posted at the botttom of this page.
If you intend to visit WHS, We are asking you to do three things:
- Stay home if you are sick, coughing, sneezing, or feverish. We want to keep our staff, volunteers, and clients as safe as possible. Please don't be offended if we ask you to leave if you come to WHS sick.
- If you have an appointment to come in and adopt, great! We have a lot of awesome pets looking for new homes, and staff excited to work with you. If you just want to look around or stop to say hi, please come back at another time.
- We are choosing social distancing whenever possible as we respond to this situation, so when you stop in, please use the hand sanitizer, respect personal space, and don’t be surprised if we offer an elbow bump or air high-five in lieu of shaking your hand!
We appreciate your support! And if you are interested in becoming a foster parent, we need you more than ever. Click here to learn how to sign on and save lives!
Is it safe to visit WHS?
Our work is critically important to animals and the people who love them. As of now, we absolutely believe that we can continue our work safely and we are taking special precautions, which include increased cleaning and disinfecting of all spaces, encouraging staff to work from home when possible, not permitting any sick staff or volunteers to come to WHS, restricting staff travel, following CDC workplace guidelines, and adhering to our already stringent disease transmission prevention protocols. We want to take every reasonable precaution we can to protect the health of our staff, volunteers, and community – and balance that with continuing our lifesaving work for animals.
We are choosing social distancing whenever possible as we respond to this situation, so when you stop in, please use the hand sanitizer, respect personal space, and don’t be surprised if we offer an elbow bump or air high-five in lieu of shaking your hand!
Postponed or canceled WHS activities/events
We are working to update other website pages and social media pages to reflect the current postponed or canceled activities/events. Thank for your understanding!
- Youth programs (through May 15)
- Vaccine clinics (through May 15)
- Dog training classes (finishing current classes with 1-2 sessions left, canceling other classes; through May 15 start dates)
- Volunteer Info Sessions (through April 30)
- Easter Egg Hunts (Door County, 4/4 and Green Bay, 4/11)
- Barkin’ Beerfest (Green Bay 4/19)
- Rummage Sale (Door County, 5/1 - 5/2)
- Feasting for Fido (Door County, 5/14)
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine
Animal Services' Role in COVID-19 Support
COVID19 FAQ for pet owners, AVMA: https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/covid-19-faq-pet-owners_031620.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, If You Have Animals
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/
- Thursday, March 12, 2020
- Media Contact: Angela Speed