By Karen Rau
Marshfield Area Pet Shelter President
Looking back on 2014, I am reminded of how far Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) has come with our mission to improve animal welfare and develop a plan that provides better outcomes for animals in our community. Since becoming a lifesaving “shelter without walls” in September 2011, we have stopped at nothing to make our presence known in hopes of generating awareness to the importance of achieving higher standards of care for all animals in need.
In 2014, 215 stray cats were impounded at the Parkview Pet Motel. The Pet Motel currently maintains the city contract for stray cats because MAPS does not have a facility. Our dedicated volunteers make numerous weekly visits to the Pet Motel, taking pictures of stray cats and then posting them on our Facebook page in hopes of identifying their owners.
To date we have assisted animal control with reuniting over 40 stray cats with their owners. That is about an 800% increase in the years before MAPS was formed.
In May 2013 we implemented our Share The Care program, sponsoring over 300 unclaimed stray dogs and cats to area humane societies, costing over $12,000 of our donor’s contributions. Our humane efforts stopped the euthanizing of adoptable and treatable animals, resulting in lives being saved and pets given a chance to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and placed into homes.
Even without a facility, we continue to respond to the countless calls we receive daily from desperate people searching for assistance with pet-related situations. Our foster care system has been taxed in 2014, which resulted in us creating a waiting list. We took in 28 surrendered dogs and cats and another 31 stray animals that had no process in place to safely care for them.
All these animals were housed in private homes. We placed 63 animals—6 dogs and 57 cats—into new forever homes through our foster care program. Adopters came from as far away as Proctor, Minn., and Appleton, Wis. In addition to taking in surrenders and strays, we provided temporary boarding of dogs and cats for homeless people who had no where to turn for help for their beloved pets.
Our organization is constantly evolving in an effort to save more lives and reunite more pets with their owners. One initiative for low cost microchipping provided 380 pets with lifesaving protection.
We took a leap of faith and hoped our community would support us, and they did. We are eternally grateful for each and every one of our generous donors and compassionate volunteers because without them none of this would be possible, but our work is far from over.
I want to personally thank all our dedicated volunteers, adopters, donors, and businesses in our community for believing in and supporting our lifesaving mission. We could not accomplish all we do without you.
We look forward to 2015 with a renewed enthusiasm and optimism that our community will rally around the need for an actual facility so that we can more efficiently and effectively dedicate ourselves to serving the animals and people in our community.
For more information about MAPS, visit marshfieldpetshelter.org or mail Marshfield Area Pet Shelter, P.O. Box 147, Marshfield, WI 54449.