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.
Please do wear a mask or face covering if you do need to stop by a WHS Campus. Thank you!
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 whom 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 whom 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 | Open for adoptions by appointment only. If you see an animal on our Adopt page at the Racine Campus whom you are interested in adopting, call 262-554-6699 to set up a time to meet them.
- Door County Campus | Open for adoptions by appointment only. If you see an animal on our Adopt page at the Door County Campus whom you are interested in adopting, call 920-746-1111 to set up a time to meet them.
STRAYS AND SURRENDERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
- The Door County, Green Bay, Ozaukee, and Racine Campuses are open to care for stray animals and surrenders by appointment.
The Milwaukee Campus is open for surrenders by appointment; 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, but please leave them at the door due to our COVID-19 response precautions. Please see our Wish List for the most urgent needs. 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. Your support is greatly appreciated during this challenging time.
COVID-19 Updates | June 9, 2020
Thank you for your support of WHS, and the animals and families we’ve continued to serve through the pandemic. As we work to rebuild our programs and services, we’ve developed next steps for this next phase of our response. Based on two principles (small steps as experiments and moving forward), our overall approach is to choose the next step that will move toward a greater impact for animals and their families, and make that step as safe as we can. In some areas, we have the opportunity to increase our impact through virtual and remote strategies. In others, the only realistic way to move forward is to bring people back into personal contact with safety precautions in place. Here they are in alphabetical order!
Animal sheltering/adoptions. It’s been amazing to see the success of adoption by appointment and having significantly more foster families both caring for animals and doing adoptions directly out of their homes with our support. At least through July, our plan is to continue this approach as we expect the number of animals in our care to increase. We’ll open the doors to walk-in visitors at some point, of course, but not in July if this approach keeps working so well!
Behavior/dog training. The Behavior department is offering virtual classes for the public that start in June. We may consider continuing something like this even after we return to in-person classes!
Events. The events team will make its decisions for each individual public event, based on its size and circumstances.
Fundraising. Contributions from donors have always been paramount to our work. As we balance losses in other revenue, they are more important now than ever. If you’d like to support WHS with a donation, you can make a monetary donation here or check out our supply needs here.
Furry Friends Pet Food Pantry. As of 6/18, the pet food pantry is open at the Milwaukee Campus every day from 1p-5p. Please ring the door buzzer when you arrive. Furry Friends services are being provided through newly created food bank partnerships in the other communities we serve (click here for more info).
Pets For Life. For our clients in the Pets for Life community, we continue to drop off supplies, offer telemedicine, and coordinate appointments for minor medical concerns at the clinic. Our Pets for Life clients are excited that we’re now able to offer some spay/neuter surgeries at our clinic in West Allis.
Retail store/Animal Antics. You can still shop online (and all proceeds benefit shelter animals) at our Animal Antics retail store to find all the pet supplies you need!
Spay/Neuter Clinic. Prior to the pandemic, our clinic relied on a model that required a large gathering of clients at check-in and check-out. As such interactions are still not advisable, we’re working on rebuilding operations in a way that supports safe social distancing. We are not scheduling general public appointments at this time but are planning to slowly resume services in a way that reduces gatherings in our lobby. We will update this page when we can resume public surgeries. Thank you!
Vaccine clinics. These are still off the calendar, since they can only happen in person and they don’t permit social distancing. As soon as we can, we’ll focus on whether there might be alternative formats, since it’s so important to help people get and keep their animals vaccinated.
Volunteers. Our volunteers are critical to our work and we must be thoughtful and safe in how we bring them back. The volunteer team is working with each department and location to see what roles will be needed first and is setting a plan to safely bring back these volunteers. For new volunteers, onboarding is still on hold. We are so grateful to our volunteers for their continued support and patience. We miss you!
Wildlife. This was work we never could take virtual, so our intrepid wildlife team never closed. If you’ve found an injured or orphaned wild animal in Milwaukee County, please first visit our wildlife website 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.
Youth programs. We’re hosting virtual camps in June, along with birthday parties and a weekly story time; starting the week of July 6, we’re excited to be offering in-person camps with eight kids and two staff per camp. We’re implementing new safety precautions that include masks indoors and maximizing outdoor activity. For more info on summer camps, click here.
Your understanding, patience, and support mean so much to us as we navigate through these changes together, and we’re just so grateful to be working with such an awesome community. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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, Racine, Green Bay, and Door County Campuses, utilizing strong social distancing and hygiene practices; we appreciate your patience with our new process. We remain closed for adoption at our Ozaukee Campus. 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 surrenders and stray intake. The Milwaukee Campus is open for surrenders; 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.
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 animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. 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. ❤
Coronavirus response and information - March 2020
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.
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!
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