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
Summer means time outdoors with your best friend. HAWS reminds you to be safe, no matter what you’re doing or where you are!
You’ve been cautioned to not leave your pets in the car during warm weather. You’ve been warned about fireworks and thunderstorms and their nerve-wracking effect on many animals. You’ve seen the news stories of pets in danger. Maybe you’ve made the trip to “break your dog out of doggie jail” when Fido has taken off on his own and been found by animal control.
But what about when you spend time at the local dog park?
Dog parks can be wonderful places for play and socialization – for dogs and their owners alike. But when dog park users don’t pay attention to their pets, or follow simple guidelines put in place by the park, bad things can and DO happen. Just last week, an animal welfare colleague experienced the unthinkable: his dog was attacked while at an area dog park and later died from the injuries sustained.
This tragedy could have been avoided. Surprisingly, the attacking dogs seemed to be at the park completely unsupervised! It would be crazy to drop off a toddler at the playground and go on a coffee run, yet similarly the owner(s) of these dogs didn’t even remain within eyesight of their pets, let alone take the steps (basic manners training, recall commands) to keep them under control.
The dog park is not a substitute for involvement and engagement with your dog. And when using a dog park, each and every person there has the duty and responsibility to maintain control of their dog. Don’t expect your dog to immediately have the proper etiquette: that is something WE must teach them and reinforce.
The idea of these parks is they are large, safe areas to play – since many of us don’t have big yards the dog park is that outlet. But, too often we hear stories of incidents where one owner wasn’t responsible and others paid the price. Many have had bad enough experiences they no longer frequent a dog park of any kind.
BE WITH YOUR DOG. It’s that simple. And it’s what your dog wants and needs.
By the way – many dog clubs have “etiquette” sessions available – check park bulletin boards for dates and times. HAWS teaches Basic Manners, voice recall and more – training classes that will get both you and your dog ready to be a great park buddy.
I spent a day recently at HAWS’ Kids ‘N Critters Summer Day Camp. Camp teaches kids how to properly interact with animals of all types. It also educates kids about animal behavior and how they should behave around familiar and strange animals. In addition, campers learn just how much work and responsibility it is to have a pet.
The campers learned all about cat behavior that day. They learned how to interpret different types of cat behavior, and more importantly, the counselors taught the campers how they should behave around cats. Additionally, in the activity “House Hunters” the campers learned the importance of spaying and neutering. The counselors taught the campers that in order to stop the overpopulation of animals, it’s essential to spay and neuter.
In a presentation called “Before the Bite” by Humane Officer Jill, campers were taught how to detect if an animal is in defense mode. They learned what they can do to prevent harmful bites. I even learned some tips to avoid being bitten!
Overall, HAWS’ Kids ‘N Critters Summer Day Camp is a fun opportunity for kids to learn all about animals. The counselors and guest speaker did an excellent job of engaging the campers in each activity. It was obvious the campers were enjoying their time at HAWS!
Chase away the summertime blues with great activities at HAWS!
Due to the Independence Day holiday, HAWS will be closed to viewing and adoptions on July 4. Those needing assistance with lost or found animals over the holiday should contact HAWS’ main number (262-542-8851) to be connected to our holiday Rescue team.
HAWS’ summer intern Meg shares a brand new experience!
Two weeks ago I spent some time in HAWS’ Small Animal Ward. I was surprised that for being so small they sure are a lot of work! It also shocked me that there is so much to know about small animals.
I was impressed with myself that I worked up the courage to hold a rat. While holding the little guy, I soon discovered that the often feared animal is actually quite friendly. It seems to me that once you overcome the strangeness of their tails, they really are fun animals. They definitely aren’t worthy of the bad rep they are often given.
HAWS knowledgeable small animals volunteers taught me quite a bit about rabbits as well. Did you know rabbits are prey animals? Due to this, they don’t care for being handled. Although they aren’t fond of being held, they certainly didn’t seem to turn down any petting!
I was fascinated that my time in the small animals ward flew by. The five hours I spent there felt like 5 minutes! I was truly impressed by the amount of time and hard work the volunteers in this ward dedicate to the small animals.
By the way – if you’re a small animal fan you’ll want to save the date for HAWS’ annual Guinea Pig Primer on October 27th and TTouch for Little Critters on November 3rd. Watch our Events Calendar for details!
Another post from HAWS summer intern, Meg!
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to observe one of the dog behavioral evaluations. These evaluations are performed to determine what type of home would be most suitable for each adoptable dog at HAWS.
These evaluations test to see if the dogs have a food preference, if they mind being touched while eating, and if they are possessive or aggressive over their food. The dogs are not fed prior to their evaluations because this encourages them to eat during it. Yet, although these dogs are probably quite hungry, some still have a preference to which type of food they’ll eat.
Dogs are also tested to see how they react to strangers, startling objects and noises, cats, and other dogs. These tests all aid in placing dogs with the best match for them. The behavioral evaluations allow HAWS to discover if each dog is suitable to live with children or other pets.
After completion of the test the evaluator gives their recommendation on what would be the best forever home for each dog. These evaluations really show just how much HAWS cares about its animals. HAWS does everything possible to find forever homes for each and every animal that enters the shelter.
By the way - tomorrow, Friday, June 21st, our friends at First Weber Lake Country are celebrating their 4th annual Take Your Dog To Work Day fundraiser for HAWS! Join the fun at 2750A Golf Road, Delafield, from 9am to noon. Meet HAWS adoptable pets, enjoy a hotdog lunch, have your dog compete in the costume show and and other contests, all in support of HAWS.