Wisconsin Shelter Finds Homes for 300 Animals Days Ahead of State Lockdown

While the Wisconsin Humane Society is deemed an essential business and will not shut down, their remaining on-site staff can now focus on the animals that need their help the most.

Every single animal that was available at the Wisconsin Humane Society was either adopted or fostered out just days after the shelter put out a call for help as their staff prepare for the coronavirus to change the way they operate.

“We were absolutely floored by the response,” the shelter’s Vice President of Communications Angela Speed told InsideEdition.com. “With everyone in such stressful situations, the fact that people were willing to open their hearts and homes to animals, it really touched us.”

Last week, the Wisconsin Humane Society posted on their Facebook that they had an urgent need for shelters to be cleared. “The sooner we can clear the shelters, the better our limited staff is able to tackle whatever challenges tomorrow brings for animals in our community,” they said in a post.

The response was incredible. Speed explained that 400 new volunteers signed up to be foster parents within the first 48 hours of their plea. By the end of the week, 159 pets were adopted and 160 more went to foster families, leaving only about 50 animals in their facilities who still need a little more TLC before going to loving homes.

“So many families are expecting chaos and uncertainty – nobody’s been through a global pandemic before, so we didn’t know what to expect, but people stepped up amazingly,” Speed said. “They surprised us in huge ways.”

The shelter is deemed an essential service as Wisconsin enacted their “Safer-at-Home” order Wednesday night and will continue operations, but Speed explained 60 percent of the staff are now working remotely. While they once had around 70 employees and volunteers at each location daily, shelters are now seeing only about a dozen staff report on site to provide essential care to the most vulnerable animals.

“We continue to see both emergency surrendered animals and stray animals coming into our shelter,” Speed said. “Now our staff who are reporting on site every day have more time for those animals.”

The shelter is now encouraging anyone in the area who might still be interested in adopting or fostering to continue checking back in with the Wisconsin Humane Society, as new animals will become available to go to loving in the coming weeks.