By Karen Rau and Breanna Speth for Hub City Times
Since its inception three years ago, the Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) group has helped hundreds of animals and pet owners in need. Despite public perception that the “shelter” is already a building, the land that MAPS is leasing from the City of Marshfield at 3500 Downwind Drive currently sits vacant.
For a City that has an outstanding educational system, exceptional health care facilities, dozens of philanthropic organizations, arts centers, parks, and even a zoo, it seems unimaginable that there is no facility for displaced animals. Unfortunately, there is no long-term feasible solution for the City of Marshfield and surrounding areas pertaining to animal welfare.
Currently, the City contracts with two separate private boarding facilities for stray animals: one for cats and one for dogs. At any moment, either of these respective facilities serving Marshfield, and some area townships, could choose to relinquish their duties. If that happened, there would be nowhere for local strays to go.
Fortunately, MAPS is in the process of fundraising for a much-needed building, as well as continually working to improve animal welfare and provide pet-related education.
Before MAPS was formed, displaced animals had a less than favorable outcome after their eight-day legal stray hold. Cats and dogs were either sold with no screening and no obligation for vet care or spay/neuter, or they were killed.
The implementation of the “Share The Care” program, with volunteers transporting and sponsoring pets to two other humane societies, has saved many lives but is not a sustainable situation. Many other pets, including surrenders, newborn litters, and sick animals are cared for in foster homes. A provisional resolution, Marshfield cannot continue in this way.
Prior to MAPS’ establishment, there were no animal welfare organizations taking responsibility for or educating this community and surrounding areas. Now, not only are local strays guaranteed a future, but there is also a community resource for pet-related matters.
From reuniting lost pets with owners, to hosting microchip clinics, to fostering stray cats and dogs, MAPS volunteers are not only improving the lives of animals, but of people. Not everyone loves animals, but all citizens should want to improve the community in which they live. MAPS works to establish an alternative option, one that is both humane and sustainable.
As MAPS volunteers work in the background day in and day out to fulfill animal welfare and educational needs in the city and surrounding areas, there remains limitations to what this passionate group can accomplish without a physical facility. MAPS needs walls, and this generous and supportive community can help construct them.
Learn more and watch the video at www.MarshfieldPetShelter.org or by calling 715-486-5140. We’d love to speak to your township or group!
“Like” MAPS at Facebook.com/marshfieldareapetshelter.
Please bring your cat and dog to be microchipped on the last Saturday of every month, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at Marshfield Mall for just $15.