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
Outside of the HAWS shelter is a large plaque that is dedicated to the husband of one of our founders. It speaks of the Rainbow Valley and Rainbow Bridge - giving comfort to those who have lost a beloved pet, reminding them they will be reunited one day "across the Bridge."
Contrary to what some may think, even though we confront it daily, working here at HAWS doesn't have a desensitizing effect when it comes to pet loss. Since all of us here have pets - some of us probably more than we should - inevitably we will have personal experience with the death of one of those best friends.
We're going through just that right now in my household. Our feisty little cat, Pepper, who is a stray we took in at Christmas in '97, is in sudden liver failure due most likely to a very aggressive and rapid-spreading cancer. She is fighting the good fight, but we know that within a few days this six-pound diva who ruled our household will no longer be with us. As difficult a little being as she was (she was the queen of unprintable nicknames because of her antics), we will all miss her terribly - especially our 70 pound greyhound who was completely afraid of her but adored her anyway.
Despite our emotional pain as her caretakers (we're told she isn't in pain herself, thankfully), we would not give up a minute of the 12+ years we've had with her. We have pets because of the joy they bring to our lives, because of what they teach us, because of how our lives change for the better with them along for the ride. We're comforted by the knowledge that she chose us - she jumped into our arms from wandering outside way back when, and we were meant to be together for however long it lasted.
I wish you peace, Little Missy/Princess/Diva Pepper. I hope you like the Rainbow Valley - you deserve a great place to rest.
On Saturday, December 5th we at HAWS became a new safe haven for greyhounds being displaced due to the impending Kenosha racetrack closing.
Already in partnership with Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) – Wisconsin since February 2009, we're increasing the number of greyhounds housed at our shelter while GPA is inundated with dogs needing housing - with Dairyland ending live racing on December 31.
Our Executive Director, Lynn Olenik says its just the right thing to do. “We want to do anything we can to help them out in this time of need. GPA has many dogs to move in a short amount of time and we're happy to help out. The greyhounds add a wonderful spirit to our facility; our staff and volunteers love having them here.”
Female greyhounds Toy, Chic and Devi, along with male greyhound Bill, joined Lexi – a greyhound already in residence at HAWS due to the ongoing HAWS-GPA agreement – on the 5th. By Saturday, December 12th, Lexi and Chic had been adopted out to their new homes. Bill and Devi were placed on hold that day, and will be heading out to foster care this week prior to going to their adoptive families.
Five (5!) more greyhounds are scheduled to arrive at HAWS this coming Saturday, December 19th.
We work with Ellen Paulus, GPA-Wisconsin President. She notes, “It is great exposure for our greyhounds to be at HAWS, so people who see them realize that greyhounds can - and do - make great pets after their racing careers are over.”
The greyhounds participating in the program live at HAWS and receive spay/neuter surgeries from our SNIP clinic. They are available for viewing 7 days a week along with the other adoptable animals at HAWS. Those interested in pursuing adoption are directed to contact local GPA representatives to continue the process. HAWS viewing hours begin daily at 1:00 p.m.
By the way - HAWS will have modified hours during the holidays. We will be open from 9am -3pm on 12/24 and 12/31, but our kennel will not be open for viewing. We will be closed on 12/25 and 1/1/2010. Have a wonderful holiday season with all your Best Friends!