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
Today's story from Sandy illustrates the importance of taking in animals with less than perfect health. HAWS' Foster Caregivers program gives pet lovers the opportunity to make a difference for the short term. Want to help? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
Sometimes animals come into your life expectedly. Some stay for a short time and leave a lasting impression. That was the case with little Streak.
The veterinarian I worked for called and said that a client had found a Lab puppy in their driveway and they were just leaving for a vacation. They called the local animal shelter to put in a "found" report and asked if our office would foster him until they returned.
It did not take much persuading for us to foster him.
At the time, we had 4 dogs and cats - and all got along great with the newcomer. We named him "Streak" because he had a lightning bolt white streak on his chest. He was adorable and a very smart pup, quickly learning to do his duty outside, and basic commands sit, stay and down.
He spent most of his time in our kitchen, and we quickly observed a very disturbing situation. Streak would not leave the water dish alone and would drink until it was empty. He did this even before he would eat his food. While he became house trained within one week, his drinking was getting worse and worse and we knew something was not right. Our vet diagnosed him with diabetes. We tried all known treatment for two months and nothing seemed to help.
During this time, he was becoming a member of our family, and, yes, we were going to adopt him. When he went outside with the rest of the dogs, he had a ball. He loved running under the big dogs and sharing their toys.
As time went on, Streak's condition got worse and our vet said that there wasn't anything left to try. We had a difficult decision to make! We could see him failing each day and finally we decided to give him a well deserved rest.
Yes, our hearts were broken and he left an empty spot never to be filled. It was very difficult to have him and then lose him. We had him for such a short time, but we knew he loved the time he spent with us and that he knew we were trying to help him. I wish that love could heal all of them! It doesn't, but we will never stop trying because there will be times when love can do it all and we only hope that the next one that comes to us can be that special one.
Please never be afraid to try to help such an animal: even if they don't make it, you make a huge difference in their lives and nothing can be more satisfying.
By the way - April and May are great months for activities at HAWS! Our Annual Walkathon is on May 1st, The Nature of Dogs exhibit and special events are on-going...and we've got lots of ways for you and your pet to participate and learn. Join us!