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 Executive Director, Lynn Olenik, shares insight on getting into the field of animal welfare.
It’s Graduation Season! Congratulations to all of the graduates from college, high school and even those moving on from middle school. We learn at such a young age that change happens and the future isn’t always clear.
While talking with one grad recently, I was asked “How do I get a job like yours?” Education is a great start, but how do you get experience?
Training for this job started years ago with my interest in animals and a willingness to learn everything I could from the opportunities presented. Those were not always the jobs I’d hoped for, but there is something of value to take away from each position you hold.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in an organization and learn what you like, what you don’t like and to network with like-minded individuals. It’s often the way you hear about other opportunities and learn what is available in a field that may interest you. But remember, volunteering is a great way to get a job reference only if you do your best and treat it seriously.
Part time work in the field you love, though it won’t be enough to sustain you long term, is another way to gain experience. I worked in a dog kennel, vet clinic and trained dogs, all part time to keep my passion alive while I networked and honed my business skills in places not animal related but with great training programs.
So as you graduate and look at a tough job market, remember you can use and increase your skills if you are creative, ambitious and willing to help while you learn.
By the way - At HAWS, we also have a new crop of graduates...from our KITTY COLLEGE! Learn more here, or stop by our Kitten Shower on June 28th for a sneak peek...
With a holiday weekend approaching, HAWS gives a few tips to make sure the memories are pleasant for everyone.
Happy Memorial Day! So many thanks to our service men and women who have given so much to allow us to keep our freedoms.
Often our best animal friends like join in the picnics and parades and fun and family times along with us. With a few easy steps, we can all have a happy holiday.
No onions, please. The burgers and hotdogs on the grill taste great to all, but if you’re sharing with Fido or Fluffy, please hold the onions as they are toxic to animals. Keep them away from the alcohol, too, and the chocolate brownies and cookies (all the more for you!).
Don’t pump up the volume. Anyone can be startled by sudden loud noises – our pets can be especially bothered by the sounds of firecrackers, marching bands and even cars (they don’t have the same frame of reference for noises as we do). So make sure they have a quiet refuge when they need it…at least until someone invents doggy-fit noise cancelling headphones!
Who are you? NOW is the time to make sure your pet has the proper identification – including tags on their collar and an implanted microchip. Put as many phone numbers as possible on the I.D. tag – cell phones, work phones, family members who can help find you, a trusted neighbor. And remember, a microchip I.D. doesn’t fall off if the collar does! (We can do the microchipping at HAWS – just stop in anytime during our open hours.) Report your lost pet to HAWS – keep this link handy!
By the way – make plans to attend HAWS annual Kitten Shower on Saturday, June 28th. Help celebrate “kitten season” with contests, cake and kittens! Even see our feline students in action at HAWS’ unique Kitty College!
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!