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Humane Society moves into new shelter
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Long-awaited new quarters

Humane Society moves into new shelter

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MOUNT PLEASANT — The Wisconsin Humane Society has moved into its new Mount Pleasant building, a long-awaited move for the animal shelter and adoption service.

The old property, a converted potato plant at 2706 Chicory Road, also in Mount Pleasant, will soon be put up for sale.

WHS slightly advanced the date to move into the new, 16,000-square-foot facility — which is more than twice the size of the old one — because of the coronavirus emergency. The organization was experiencing staffing shortfalls because schools are closed and some people had to stay home, explained Stephanie Nespoli of WHS. In addition, the old, cramped quarters made social distancing difficult.

“WHS realized it was an ideal time to move into their newly constructed shelter in Mount Pleasant, as many Racine animals had been transferred to Milwaukee for adoption after the closure, lowering in-shelter animal population at Racine,” WHS spokeswoman Angela Speed said.

New and improved

The new $6.8 million shelter, which was built on 5 acres at 8900 16th St. that include a wetland and asphalt walking path, is superior in every way to the existing shelter, organization officials said.

For example, just outside the main entrance is a patio that can be used as a staff outdoor lunch area and a waiting area during vaccine clinics. In the old building, “People (were) waiting in their cars, and we’re shouting (to call them in),” WHS Chief Operating Officer Matt Witte said previously.

There are more cat and dog cages than before, and each one is a double.

The new lobby is three or four times larger than the old one “and not trying to pull double functions,” Witte said. It will serve people wanting to adopt or coming for learning activities.

There is a second entrance for people surrendering their animal, dropping off a found animal and other such purposes.

“It’s really, really, really hard to provide the type of service people are seeking when you have people here for what are often very happy reasons and people here for what are often very sad reasons in the same space,” Witte explained. “Being able to separate those two things out was critical for us.”

The Wisconsin Humane Society earlier in March moved into its new shelter at 8900 16th St. in Mount Pleasant but is not yet doing adoptions fro…

Added community room

The new shelter also adds a 900-square-foot community room with kitchen facilities for hosting events such as volunteer orientations, youth programs, canine manners classes and birthday parties. After-hours corporate meetings will also be welcomed, Nespoli said.

Unlike the old shelter where everyone — public and staff alike — shared a single bathroom, the new one has men’s and women’s public bathrooms and a separate one for the staff and volunteers.

Dogs will be held in several separate rooms, which should dramatically reduce barking noise — compared with 17 kennels all in one room before, Witte said. And cats won’t be able to see each other, which reduces their stress.

For the staff veterinarian, there is a dedicated radiology room, surgical preparation room, separate surgical suite, dentistry room, veterinarian’s office, intensive-care ward and pharmaceutical storage area.

And the new building changes the air every six minutes in the animal lodging areas.

“This building will have the best air quality of any of the ones that we operate,” Witte said.

At some future, post-coronavirus point in time, Speed said, WHS will hold a grand opening for the new building.

While a majority of the funds were already raised for the shelter, WHS still needs about $250,000 more to finish paying for the new shelter. Donations can be made at https://www.wihumane.org/donate.

“It’s really, really, really hard to provide the type of service people are seeking when you have people here for what are often very happy reasons and people here for what are often very sad reasons in the same space. Being able to separate those two things out was critical for us.” Matt Witte, Wisconsin Humane Society chief operating officer

“It’s really, really, really hard to provide the type of service people are seeking when you have people here for what are often very happy reasons and people here for what are often very
sad reasons in the same space. Being
able to separate those two things out was critical for us.”
Matt Witte, Wisconsin Humane Society chief operating officer

“It’s really, really, really hard to provide the type of service people are seeking when you have people here for what are often very happy reasons and people here for what are often very sad reasons in the same space,” Witte explained. “Being able to separate those two things out was critical for us.”

Matt Witte, Wisconsin Humane Society chief operating officer 

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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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