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The Fur (& Feather!) Flyer

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

HAWS’ November: TTouch, "Tales," Portraits & PETS!

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An EPIC Week for HAWS

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This was an epic week at HAWS! Executive Director Lynn Olenik shares the experience.

We held our first ever “Move Your Mutt” run on Sunday. It was a great event with exposure to some new faces and an early morning walk in the park with staff and volunteers. It was heartwarming to see people out with their best friends for exercise and recreation. It’s so good to see dogs, well cared for and a cherished part of their families.


On Monday, our Animal Rescue Team headed out with the Jefferson County Humane Society, returning to HAWS with 23 little dogs. Returning at noon, the remainder of the day was spent in veterinary exams, vaccinations, and grooming. Because all of them had fleas and various states of mats in their unkempt coats, this needed to be done as soon as possible. Volunteer groomers took on this project, transforming each into an adorable, clean but shy little dog. By Tuesday, staff had moved on to the search for foster homes and rescues, then began spays and neuters. Wednesday, saw more spays, neuters and caring for an additional 20 dogs in the kennel. There was the processing of paperwork and behavior evaluations all to prepare them for adoption. The Behavior Department was working to socialize and calm the dogs that were in a foreign environment. These activities kept the staff hopping the remainder of the week!  Volunteers from Mod Squad socializers to those who help with cleaning and laundry logged additional hours. It takes a team effort to get animals ready for the adoption floor.


Friday was our fall fundraiser, Creatures of the Night.  More than 275 guests joined us at the Marriot for an evening to celebrate pets and join in the cause of supporting our Animal Rescue Team and the services they provide. Though this was planned months in advance, it seemed even more appropriate considering the activities of the week. The event was fun, financially successful, and brought a number of new friends into HAWS. Without our community’s support we would not be able to do the work we do. 


Thank you to all of you – staff, volunteers, board member and our donors – from the 23 little dogs that now have a chance to be a cherished part of someone’s family and the thousands of other Creatures that are part of the ‘HAWS cause’ each year!

By the way – don’t miss our Friends of HAWS Holiday Bazaar this Saturday, November 1st. And be sure to reserve your sitting today for Holiday Pet Portraits coming next weekend, November 8-9! Call 262.542.8851.

A Special Day for Special Little Friends

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Sunday is a special day for Guinea Pigs and their fans at HAWS!

Join us at HAWS for our annual Guinea Pig Primer this Sunday, October 26th from Noon to 4pm.

Have a fun afternoon learning all about our little best friends, meet other guinea pig families and share stories. Best of all, guinea pigs are WELCOME to attend this event and participate in our Piggy Costume Contest! (Just be sure to bring your piggy in a carrier for safety and comfort.)

Guest speakers Dr. Denise Follett of Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care and Susan Schneck of All Creatures Rescue will discuss housing, behavior and health issues. Please bring your questions as there will be plenty of time for discussion.

Adding to the fun will be raffle items and a fresh farm hay sale. This event is FREE to attend; children must be accompanied by an adult.

By the way - mark your calendar! The Friends of HAWS annual Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale will be held on November 1st, with Holiday Pet Portraits the following weekend, November 8-9.


Magnus Gets Schooled

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When you adopt 4 paws from HAWS it’s not just thanks and out you go! HAWS has the resources to help you and your pet keep your relationship strong and healthy.

Magnus has been a part of our household now for 6 months. When we adopted him, we knew he had a few things we’d need to work on together; now that he’s settled in with us and knows just how much we love him it’s time to get to work!

We’ve got it easy. “Mags” is a great car-rider and loves to go on trips with us, he doesn’t try to jump up (on guests OR the furniture), he steers clear of the cat, eats like a champ, loves to play with his older sister Scooter, doesn’t mind his crate, knows his basic commands…when it comes to the important stuff, Magnus is awesome.

What we DO need to work on, tho, is his confidence. Mags is fearful of new things, some loud noises and sudden movements. He also isn’t the best at ‘networking’ – when he first sees another dog he has to make himself look big and impressive, because when it comes right down to it he is quite shy (even of the neighbor’s Yorkiepoo who is about 1/10th his size).

We had a one-on-one consult with Leann here at HAWS’ Behavior Department. She assessed Mags’ behavior (altho she already knows him pretty well from the time he’s spent at HAWS…under my desk), discussed our impressions and observations, and then gave US the homework. We’re doing simple programs called “S.P.A.” and Cooperative Learning, and Mags is trying his best to “focus” and trust we know what we’re doing. (No worries, Mags, Leann is going to check up with us periodically to make sure.)

All dogs can become GREAT dogs with a little help – mostly by training their owners! At HAWS the resources are a simple phone call or click away.

By the way – Move Your Mutt for HAWS this weekend (10/19) and be one of HAWS’ Creatures of the Night next Friday (10/24)! It’s not too late to get involved – just visit

"Payton's Place"

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Some days at HAWS are even more amazing than the rest…

Often we don’t know the impact we have had on another person. But every day at HAWS we get a chance to see how animals affect us.

There is the joy of new adopters, the sadness when someone must say goodbye to their best friend. The frustration during an early training class…the pride when we figure each other out (despite the language barrier)! Pets remind us of what is important. And they are the best at making us feel loved and appreciated.

We were contacted in July by ABC’s 20/20 news magazine. They were doing a story (which aired on September 26) and wondered if they could spend an afternoon at HAWS? Next thing we knew we were welcoming World News anchor David Muir to our shelter – and we’ve got the picture to prove it! (David is at the far left in the group picture.)

But, the reason they chose to visit HAWS has resonated with us far more than the brush with celebrity and fame.

The segment they were taping featured the young Waukesha girl who was attacked in the “Slenderman” case. Turns out, this young survivor – Payton – has found strength and joy in part from something very simple: She loves to visit HAWS, and especially to play with our adoptable cats. Her mom remarked how the old spark and smile comes back when they are at our shelter. David noted in his voice over that HAWS is “her favorite place in the world.”

Makes sense to us! Animals don’t have an agenda – other than to play, snuggle, eat, love and be loved. There is a reason why we call them true companions and our best friends. They give without expecting anything in return.

That day in August was a gift in several ways – a young girl reminded us humans why animals are worth so much, and the cats at HAWS were able to help her on her journey from victim to survivor. We are honored to have played a part…and wish her the brightest of futures, because she’s just what a “humane society” is all about!

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