An adoptable cat sits in his
cage at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of
Waukesha County on Tuesday.
- In an effort to make Waukesha County a “no-kill community,”
the Elmbrook Humane Society and Humane Animal Welfare Society of
Waukesha County have formed a partnership that will result in
EBHS taking in some of the cats and kittens that HAWS doesn’t
have the space to house at its Waukesha facility.
Executive Director Lynn Olenik said last year HAWS took in 3,200
cats and euthanized 1,049 of them. Because HAWS serves rural
areas of the county, it seizes and captures more stray cats than
EBHS. As a result, EBHS sometimes has more space available than
HAWS, so it decided to step in and help save more cats’ lives.
past decades, Olenik said shelters would be flooded with
dogs that needed new homes and cats were often
integrated into the fabric of the community, especially
on farms. As the land became more developed, those stray
or barn cats would be captured and turned over to the
said HAWS handles a significant amount of animal control for
municipalities around the county, including seizures. While EBHS
also works with seven area municipalities for animal control,
its services are needed less often.
harder for us to manage the stray, incoming cats we have,”
Olenik said. “They (EBHS) have offered to help out. To me that
A pair of adoptable cats look
out from their enclosure at the Humane Animal
Welfare Society of Waukesha County.
result of the partnership, when EBHS has space to take in more
felines, it will call HAWS first before other animal
organizations in the area.
are going to work with us as members of the Waukesha community,”
Olenik said. “Hopefully in five to 10 years, it will be a
no-kill community in Waukesha.”
Currently both HAWS and EBHS euthanize some animals that are too
sick to adopt. HAWS also euthanizes animals that are not
temperamentally sound. If an animal has a reparable or
manageable health problem, HAWS will still put it up for
summer months of June, July, August and September are the
busiest for admitting stray cats because that’s when kittens are
generally born, Olenik said. People are also spending more time
outside then and finding stray cats. During the peak time, HAWS
will take in about 38 to 40 cats per day and will offer shelter
to approximately 3,200 cats per year. The 1,049 cats that HAWS
euthanized in 2014 represented a 38.16 percent decrease since
the organization started the Project Guardian Program in 2005,
which offers free spay and neuter services for outdoor cats
brought in for the surgery. In 2004, HAWS euthanized 1,810 cats,
almost 42 percent more than in 2014.
An adoptable cat is petted at
the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha
year, HAWS performed about 500 spay and neuter surgeries on
outdoor cats as part of the Project Guardian Program, which is
funded by donors.
EBHS Executive Director Heather Gehrke said the two
Waukesha County groups were exploring ways to work
together, and about six months ago Olenik suggested
gathering animal welfare groups to discuss how to handle
the cat overpopulation. From that discussion came the
idea to have EBHS take in cats from HAWS. About 60
percent of EBHS’ adoptable animals already come from
other organizations, which is somewhat unusual, Gehrke
a fairly responsible pet community, which is just fantastic,”
Gehrke said of the Elm Grove and Brookfield area.
A two-week-old kitten at the
Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County on
Tuesday. The kitten is being hand-raised, then going
to a foster home before becoming available for
position to help other shelters, Gehrke said EBHS wants to do
whatever it can.
here to help and that is something we are honored to be able to
do,” she said.
EBHS took in about 1,159 cats and were able to find homes for
1,098 for a homing rate of 95 percent, Gehrke said.
shelters are asking for communitywide support to ensure the
success of this partnership, including monetary donations,
foster homes and supplies such as kitten formula and cat or
kitten food and litter. Donations can be made on either of the
shelters’ websites, by phone or in person.
HAWS took in 3,200 cats and euthanized 1,049 of them in
took in 1,159 cats and euthanized 61 in 2014.
percent decrease in cats euthanized by HAWS since the
organization started the Project Guardian Program in 2005.
and neuter surgeries provided for free by HAWS for outdoor or
are closer to finding homes
WAUKESHA -As the Humane Animal Welfare Society of
Waukesha County continues to work with the owners of
more than 300 chinchillas that were seized from their
home, an adoption waiting list has grown for the furry
One of more than 300
chinchillas peers out of a cage on Tuesday at the
Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County.
29, HAWS worked with the Waukesha Fire and Police departments to
take control of more than 300 chinchillas that were located in a
home, which was found unfit for the human and animal residents.
Executive Director Lynn Olenik said legal work is almost
completed for finding the animals new homes.
working with the owner to surrender the great majority of them
and we are working with the city attorney’s and district
attorney’s offices to come up with an agreement that will
satisfy everyone. We are hoping to come to some conclusion by
the end of the week,” she said.
A mother chinchilla and her two
babies at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of
reports in March said that HAWS took in 330 chinchillas, but
some of those were dead. HAWS currently has 317 chinchillas,
some of which are babies because pregnant ones have since given
birth and more may be born while in HAWS’ care.
some of the animals will be adopted locally, Olenik said HAWS
will also look to other organizations for help.
-Katherine Michalets, Freeman Staff