History of the WCAHS
Washburn County Area Humane Society (WCAHS) was established in March 1994 and incorporated in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit corporation. In 2002 the shelter located at 1400 Cottonwood Ave. was officially opened. It was constructed as a result of the fund raising efforts of many volunteers with the 1.21 acres of land given as a gift by the city of Spooner. The shelter has 10 cat kennels, a cat “play-room” and a number of additional larger wire kennels. There are 12 inside dog kennels and 12 outside covered runs including a play yard. All animals are kept indoors at night and in extreme weather conditions.
WCAHS is the official pound for stray animals in Washburn County but also provides shelter on an average to over 700 homeless animals annually.
We advocate animal population control and offer spay/neuter assistance to qualifying fixed or low income families through our S.N.A.P. (Spay and Neuter All Pets) program. We also see that every animal adopted from WCAHS is spayed or neutered and vaccinated before they go into their new home.
WCAHS operates on an annual budget of $122,500 (2010) and relies primarily on funds donated by individuals with some assistance from the County, cities and townships for the strays. The money we receive is used to help feed and care for the animals, provide any necessary medications and medical procedures and for the general operating costs of the building. Donations can be designated for a specific category such as the S.N.A.P program, building addition, memorial or “in honor of” and the *Chester Fund which is used to help shelter animals requiring special medical treatment.
WCAHS has a staff of two full time and three part time employees. In addition we rely heavily on volunteers who give their time to walk dogs, play with cats, assist with shelter duties such as cleaning, folding laundry, yard work and assisting with the many fund raising activities throughout the year, just to name a few. WCAHS also has a foster care program where qualified individuals/families can volunteer to care for an animal until the animal finds a permanent home. Any person interested in volunteering or fostering is encouraged to contact the shelter to learn more about any of these opportunities.
WCAHS works closely with the Washburn County Dept. of Social Services, County Health, Sheriffs Department, Spooner and Shell Lake Police Departments. It is a member of the Wisconsin Federated Humane Society and American Humane Society.
The WCAHS Board is made up of 7 volunteer members who are responsible for policy decisions, fundraising, long-range planning and budgeting and are elected at an annual meeting held each November. The board meets once a month.
WCAHS publishes a newsletter, The Scoop, that is available to members and supporters at the shelter, by mail or can also be read on line here on our website.
EDUCATE the public about the humane treatment and care of animals and act as an informational resource on pets and the responsibilities of pet ownership
PROMOTE awareness of pet over-population, its tragic consequences and the importance of spaying/neutering pets
PROVIDE temporary care for homeless pets
FIND permanent suitable homes for abandoned and unwanted animals
REUNITE lost pets with their owners
ASSIST our community in resolving animal problems by working with law enforcement in cases of animals abuse and neglect
Community Service & Involvement
WCAHS will give informative talks about the shelter and tours of the shelter upon request.
Aluminum can recycling: A recycling bin is located at the west end of the shelter parking lot. Bagged cans can be dropped off there at any time. The money collected is used for the continuing care of the animals and maintenance of the shelter.
Annual events sponsored by WCAHS include: Bowling Tournament , Coupon Book, Pet Walk, Golf Tournament, Thrift Sale , Membership Day , Paws with Claus, and WCAHS Memorial/Honor Tree of Lights . Among community events WCAHS participates in are Family Fun Fest, Washburn County Fair, Jack Pine Savage Days, Shell Lake Town & Country Days. All of these events gives residents and others outside the Washburn County area an opportunity to learn more about WCAHS!
Surrendered animals: Individuals wishing to surrender an animal should contact the shelter at 715-635-4720 prior to coming in.
Stray or Lost animals: Stray animals can be brought to the shelter during regular operating hours. If you find a stray at any other time call your township or city police to assist you. WCAHS does not pick up animals. WCAHS keeps a lost and found log of reported missing pets. Call the shelter and the Sheriffs Department to report a missing pet.
Adoptions: WCAHS works to place animals in permanent good, loving homes. Adoptions fees include all necessary vaccinations, de-worming and spay/neuter. Micro-chipping is available for an additional fee for animals adopted from WCAHS.
Injured animals: Anyone finding an injured animals is asked to contact WCAHS for advice on medical attention.
Cruelty: To report cruelty to animals call the Washburn County Sheriffs Department at 715-468-4720 or 715-468-4700
The Chester Fund
The Chester Fund was set up in memory of Chester, our 11 yr. old German Shepherd, who passed away May 4, 2003. He lived at Washburn Co. Area Humane Society for 1 1/2 years as a result of the confiscation of over 50 animals in November 2001. During his life at the shelter, he did many wonderful and important things. He was the official shelter greeter- He went to schools to help teach about the awful conditions animals live in puppy mills- He loved and “dog tested” many cats and kittens (of which he had a few favorites!) and he kept many temperamental puppies and young feisty male dogs in line. Chester loved everyone and anyone who would give a moment of their time to pet him and talk to him. If you showed too much attention to any other “animal resident”, he was sure to nudge his way in, to make sure you didn’t forget him. It’s not just what Chester did, but what he taught us. He taught us all that no matter how hard life has been or how neglected or cruelly you’ve been treated, there is still so much to live for and people you can love, that as he did, will unconditionally love you back.