In the late 70’s and early 80’s my mother was employed at the Wood County shelter. At that time, it was very much a “city pound” and not the humane society it is today. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of spending time with my family’s three dogs…all adopted from the shelter while my mom was working there. I recently had an opportunity to have a telephone “interview” with Beth Peabody, the Director of Animal Care at South Wood County Humane Society. Below are some of the topics we discussed (paraphrased, not verbatim as I didn’t make an audio recording of our conversation).
How many animals are currently in your care at SWCHS?
The number of animals being housed at SWCHS really depends on the season. In the spring and summer, for example, many shelters are faced with litter after litter of kittens. Currently, there are about 53 cats and 23 dogs at SWCHS. There are usually more cats than dogs in their care; as dogs seem to get adopted faster and are more often reclaimed by their owners when lost. In the past, SWCHS has also been a temporary home to rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ACTUAL pigs, and goats. Don’t forget to check your local shelter before you buy your next “exotic” pet!!
Do you work with other humane societies and rescue organizations?
Yes! SWCHS works with many breed specific rescues in our area. The shelter recently worked with a Basset Hound rescue to help find a loving, forever home for a Basset in their care with special medical needs. SWCHS also works with other shelters, from Rhinelander to Oneida, to take in animals when other shelters might be overwhelmed.
What does the adoption process at SWCHS entail?
People who are interested in adopting an animal from SWCHS start the process by filling out a brief questionnaire. If potential adopters are renters, they will need permission from their landlord. Shelter employees will then sit down for a conversation with the potential adopter, and to see how the animal interacts with them. They believe that the animal really has to choose the owner…that’s how they know it’s a good adoption match!
How can the public get involved with SWCHS?
SWCHS loves their volunteers! Volunteers are an essential part to making the shelter experience as pleasant as possible for the animals and human visitors. Volunteers come to the shelter to walk dogs, play with cats, and to provide enrichment to all of the animals staying there. Donations (monetary, food, blankets, and toys) are also much appreciated, of course, as SWCHS is a non-profit organization.
What are the benefits of adopting a shelter animal?
When people adopt from their local shelter, they are helping their community and saving a life in the process. This can be extremely rewarding. These adopted animals feel such a sense of pride in their new homes, and really seem to appreciate the fact that they were rescued by a loving family. These animals are not broken. Some may be unwanted, and some may have been hurt in their previous situations, but they all have the potential to be loving, loyal pets once adopted!
What plans does SWCHS have for the future?
At this time, SWCHS is still looking for a new Executive Director. This position is extremely important and necessary for community outreach. SWCHS hopes to continue to build trust with the local community. They want to make sure the public realizes that they’re here to help animals and the people who care about them.
Beth Peabody and the South Wood County Humane Society encourages you to adopt, volunteer, and get involved!
written by Lindsey Truikys
Lindsay has been an assistant at Oakview since 2017. She comes to us from the prestigious Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago and has a degree in zoology. She is passionate about rescuing animals of all species! Currently she has 4 rescued pets. She is smart, unique, and overflowing with compassion!