Established in 1965, HAWS assists over 6,000 animals and welcomes more than 31,000 human visitors annually. As an "open admissions" shelter we lead the community in animal welfare and assure sanctuary for all animals in need, regardless of age, health or temperament. HAWS is a non-profit, entirely donor-fund organization with an active humane education program, and both wildlife and companion animal rescue services for Waukesha County.
HAWS License #267280-DS
We have plenty of Green Bay Packers fans here at HAWS, and this weekend's matchup with Philly is a common topic of discussion - in and outside of work.
But, as many know, it isn't just about the teams when one of the teams has Michael Vick as their QB.
"So, since you're all about animals, how do YOU feel about Michael Vick?"
Most of my co-workers and I have gotten asked this question in the past, but the questions are more direct this week. (I can honestly say that my opinion on the matter is no different now than it has been for the past several years: What Vick did to the dogs in his "care" was beyond cruel and inhumane, and I was glad to see he was punished and imprisoned.)
But has he paid his debt to society? Is he truly sorry? Has he changed? Does he deserve to be back in the NFL? I wish I could definitively answer those questions, but I can't. And I know I wouldn't really have the intestinal fortitude to meet the man and ask him in person.
So the debate continues. THAT, however, is the silver lining! (Really, there is one - keep reading.)
As long as Vick is playing (well) and is in the spotlight, the debate and the issue of dog fighting remains in the public eye. His "fame" allows for continued awareness of the problem of dog fighting, its cruelty and pervasiveness (don't kid yourself, dog fighting is going on in Wisconsin). It gives the animal welfare world a great opportunity to teach how wrong dogfighting is, and we can take more steps towards ending it.
I'm not as big-hearted as a dog - the species is incredibly forgiving and loves us no matter what. All the more reason to welcome the "Vick question," and I have an answer at the ready:
"I'm glad you asked that. For me, it's not about Vick, but about the dogs. Here's what you can do to help..."
By the way - Pitbulls, pit mixes...all the "bully" breeds make GREAT pets. Don't discount them because of the stereotypes or negative images you see. Do your research - talk to pit owners and their families - and THEN decide.
Even if you aren't the lucky guardian of a Pit, you can help dispel the myths about them. No, they're not pre-disposed to being mean or to fight - like any dog they are the product of their environment. (Bite cases involving Golden Retrievers are more common!) Like any intelligent, strong and active breed, when given structure, training, exercise and love, a Pit Bull is a fantastic companion. They're lovers, not fighters...
Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter B – as in Best Buddies. And HAWS has a bounty of adoptables whose names begin with B – namely Benson, Bonnibelle, Burt, Big Mike, Bruno, Binky, Birdie, Bogey…and all the bunnies!
Benson is a 6-years-young Toy Poodle. This little man would like a more businesslike home with (slightly) older kids, or all adults.
Seven-year-old Bonnibelle is a Persian cat. She loves attention and brushing – which helps because she will need regular grooming for her lovely coat.
Burt is a boffo domestic shorthair, age 5. He loves to play as much as he loves quiet cuddle time!
Big Mike the turtle is of the Red-Eared Slider breed. He’ll probably do best as an only child…or an eternal bachelor, all by himself…
Bruno is a green-yellow Parakeet, while Binky and Birdie are blue-white Parakeets. They are three of the bunches of birds currently residing in the HAWS aviary.
Bogey is a black Mouse. He has lots of mouse buddies also to choose from, if you’re looking for a bevy of them to bring home.
Bunnies are currently great in numbers at HAWS. And while none of them have B-names, they are still beautiful little companions - and have their own day at HAWS on May 1st!
By the way – our Friends of HAWS annual Bowling event – the HAWS for Paws Bowl – is now in its 6th year! Join us January 30th at Fracaro’s Lanes in Waukesha from 11:00am – 2:00pm for a fun-draising day to benefit HAWS. $15 gets you 3 games + shoe rental. Families and teams are welcome, with special rates for teams of 4-6. Call Maria at 262-490-2102 to reserve your lane. Be sure to be there!
HAWS was called onto the scene at the North Street apartment fire on Saturday - we are still actively helping residents with pets.
WAUKESHA — January 17, 2011 — HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, continues to have an active role in the assistance of the dozens of displaced victims and their pets from Saturday evening’s Waukesha apartment building fire.
HAWS’ Animal Rescue Team was initially called to the scene shortly after 5:00 p.m., as several cats that had escaped the blaze were in need of safe housing. Residents searching for pets were also able to give reports to staff on the scene, to enable any cats reported as found by neighbors to be more quickly matched with their waiting owners.
Overnight and into Sunday HAWS handled the transfer and care of 7 cats: one cat continues to be held in safe-keeping at HAWS, while another cat is in treatment at the Emergency Veterinary Service facility in Waukesha. The remainder of that group of cats has been reunited with their owners. However, HAWS holds missing reports for an additional 6 cats. Waukesha residents who have seen cats wandering or have found a lost cat in the area near North and Madison Streets should contact HAWS at 262-542-8851 to file a report.
By the way -
This tragedy reminds us all to prepare for everyday emergencies. Create a pet emergency kit before you need it, with a carrier in an easily-accessible location, and include food and water, leash, medical records and feeding schedules, cat litter or dog waste bags, identifying photos and toys. If possible, find a trusted neighbor who will assist if you are not home during an emergency to take care of your pet.
HAWS is always available to house companion pets for the short term when a disaster or emergency occurs. Anyone wishing to donate to HAWS to assist with animal emergencies can log onto www.hawspets.org and click on the DONATE button, or call 262-542-8851, x112.
HAWS again joins HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States, to observe Spay Day 2011 on February 22.
Free spay-neuter services will be available at HAWS to qualifying Waukesha County residents during the last 2 weeks in February. HAWS also invites greater community awareness and support through “Sponsor-A-Spay” donations, the sale of limited edition Spay Day ’11 t-shirts at the shelter (arriving soon - we'll keep you posted!) and thru an Online Pet Photo Contest where HAWS can receive $1/vote!
“Spay Day promotes the control of our pet population in a real positive light,” notes Lynn Olenik, HAWS Executive Director. “We’re focusing this year on cats, kittens, Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes, since those are the species and breeds most in need of sterilization services in Waukesha County.”