The Wisconsin Humane Society’s new facility opened in March 2020. Its first open house was today | Local News

ALEX RODRIGUEZ For The Journal Times

MOUNT PLEASANT — The Wisconsin Humane Society held an open house this weekend to commemorate its newest animal shelter, the WHS Racine Campus, which opened in March 2020.

The spread of COVID-19 has impacted any opening activities the shelter has been able to hold over the past two years, but the staff, as well as the community, were thrilled to finally be able to celebrate the arrival of the new shelter. .

“We moved into the facility in March 2020, and it wasn’t with the fanfare and community celebration that we had anticipated,” Angela Speed, vice president of communications at the Wisconsin Humane Society, said in an email. -mail. “As our team settled the animals into their sparkling new kennels, unpacked the boxes and made their homes, we were overwhelmed with the reality of the beautiful campus that our amazing supporters have truly built. It’s certainly prettier than our previous digs, but most importantly, it’s quieter, cleaner, and exponentially more functional for the animals in the community and the people who love them.

Visitors to the Racine campus, 8900 16th St., were greeted Sunday with a host of activities for the whole family, including a scavenger hunt, a prize wheel and a chance to meet the campus’ many animal ambassadors.

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“Thankfully, this event will feel more like 2019 than 2020 when all of our events went virtual,” Speed ​​said when asked how the lingering pandemic would affect the open house. Despite opening at the start of the pandemic, the Humane Society‘s Root Campus has seen a high rate of animal adoption since its launch. “The demand for adoption throughout the pandemic has been high, so animals have been adopted very quickly. Returns are no higher than in the past, so animals are kept in their loving homes.

Planning for the campus began around 2013, when WHS acquired the Racine’s Countryside Humane Society shelter off Chicory Road.

After seeing the volume and types of animals and the specific care they and the community needed, the WHS decided it was time for a new shelter.

“The Chicory Road location has served the community in many important ways, but it has done so in a facility originally built as a potato barn. While we’ve done a lot to improve the shelter, we lack space for veterinary care, behavioral assessments, proper housing, proper animal socialization, and community services,” Speed ​​said.

The Mount Pleasant location solved all the issues with the old shelter, while being in an easy to find location.

For some time the shelter had been using methods such as flexible hours due to staff shortages or visitation by appointment for potential adopters due to the pandemic, but thankfully it has now moved to walk-in adoptions. you on campus. There has also been an influx of foster animals, with approximately 3,500 animals being fostered in 2021 organization-wide.






One of the less common animals found on the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Racine campus is this gecko.


ALEX RODRIGUEZ, for The Journal Times


Although the campus did not offer adoption on the day of the event, guests still had the opportunity to meet the animals currently in the shelter, as well as three animal ambassadors: two “ambassadogs”, Juno and Mei-Mei, and even a gecko. , named Echo.

The open day was just the beginning for the WHS Racine Campus. The shelter hosts Pet Walk Racine on August 13 at Cliffside Park. To register, go to WiHumane.org/PetWalk.

Along with the Racine Campus, WHS now operates five refuges in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee (which also serves as a wildlife rehabilitation center), Door County and Green Bay.

Founded in 1879, the organization helps 13,000 animals each year to be adopted, according to its website. Although it does not use the nickname “no-kill Shelter”, the WHS never euthanizes animals for reasons of space and time. The company offers a comprehensive adoption program, designed to match an animal to its ideal family. Other services include pet food banks, youth programs and an affordable spaying center located in West Allis.


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Jennifer R. Strohm