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
Guest blogger Lynn Olenik, HAWS’ Executive Director, announces the 2014 winner of the Diana Boettcher Youth Community Kindness Award presented by HAWS.
Diana Boettcher was a resident of Oconomowoc throughout her life, caring for the wildlife and the animals of the community for many years. She could be formidable if needed, but held a special spot in her heart for animals, always treating them with kindness and compassion.
When Diana passed away, her neighbors helped establish an award in her name, to recognize a young person in the community who exhibits kindness towards animals, just as she did. The Diana Boettcher Youth Community Kindness Award is presented each year at HAWS’ annual Pet Walk in May.
This year we had a number of wonderful nominees for this award. As a member of the selection committee I found it difficult to choose just one winner, but this year’s recipient, Sophie Gosetti, definitely deserves the award. Sophie is a member of our Critter Club, where she volunteers as often as the opportunity presents its self. She has been an active volunteer for 2 additional organizations, both focused on animals. For a young person she sets a great example, always putting the animals first and turning down other activities to fulfill her volunteer commitment. She is genuinely happy when handling the animals and even is cheerful during cleaning tasks.
Sophie sets an example for all of us to follow, in her dedication and kind spirit. Congratulations to Sophie and all of our other nominees!
By the way – while the school year winds down, the learning opportunities at HAWS ramp up! Join us for one of our dog or cat seminars, send the kids to camp at HAWS, become proficient in Pet First Aid, enroll Fido in dog training…get “schooled” at HAWS!
When people find out where I work, they often comment "I could never work there - I'd want to take every animal home with me." This usually makes me chuckle, because there is NO WAY to fit all 6,000 animals in my house each year. Even if everyone on staff took their fair share, we would each need to take home approximately 120 animals every year. Including feral cats. And a snake or two. Not gonna happen.
But, that doesn’t mean we are immune to falling in love with one of HAWS’ adoptable pets from time to time. For me, this meant opening our home last week to our newest child, Magnus.
Magnus is a happy, wiggly mix of German Shepherd and wooly mammoth. He’s also under 2 years old – and afraid of his own shadow. The last time we had a young dog in our house was over a decade ago. And our older dog, Scooter, is not only confident but also very relaxed. With any luck, her completely opposite ways will rub off on him…while they run each other ragged in our backyard. (Fingers crossed.)
We’re going through the get-to-know-you phase, which will be followed by the attend-dog-training-classes phase and hopefully the mostly-happily-ever-after phase. We’ve been there before; we just need to remember the patience and time it takes. But it is so worth it.
I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you’re up for it, there’s a lot of room on this journey and lots of pets waiting to go on it with you!
By the way – less than 2 weeks until the Friends of HAWS’ 31st annual Pet Walk! Have you created your online fundraising page yet? Are you making plans to bring the gang and join us in Sussex? Hope so! We’ll see you next Saturday!
For the past few months, HAWS has been raising money for Annie’s Fund, the medical assistance program for homeless pets. Along the way we’ve shared stories of dogs, cats, rabbits – animals that look to HAWS for help.
Our goal for the Annie’s Fund campaign this spring has been to raise $10,000. With those funds readily available, we can jump in without hesitation to help the animals that come to HAWS needing special medical care.
We are so fortunate that our community has always been responsive to our pleas for help. Whenever we’ve needed help, YOU have generously stepped forward with your support. It makes us proud and confident that we can continue to serve the needs of the pets and people of the Waukesha County area.
So why do a fundraiser when there isn’t a particular, specific need?
It never fails…we think we’re in a “quiet” stretch and then WHAMMO! Emergency! Last spring we had both a cat hoarding situation and dog rescue – within weeks of each other. Emergencies happen when you least expect them…or can least afford to deal with them. While insurance covers disasters and accidents, there’s no insurance for the types of animal care situations we face at HAWS. So Annie’s Fund works like insurance for HAWS; ready when we need it, available so we can take action immediately.
We’re not quite to our $10,000 goal – we’ve raised $7,000 and still need $3,000. In the last few weeks of our official fundraising campaign, we’re asking for that final push to get us over the top. So we can help the animals get over their pain – and get going with their happy lives.
Please give today!
By the way – we’re getting ever closer to our 31st Annual Pet Walk! Join us at Sussex Village Park on May 3rd…and join in the fundraising online right now!