By Breanna Speth
Marshfield Area Pet Shelter
MARSHFIELD — Over the past four years, Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) has ensured that more than 700 unwanted animals were adopted through foster care programs or transported to other safe, humane shelters in Wisconsin for adoption.
Now, for the very first time, MAPS has its own temporary animal shelter in the vacant municipal airport terminal building at 210 W. 29th St.
Since taking over the city contract for stray cats on Sept. 30, MAPS has rescued more than 60 stray cats — a record monthly intake number more than double the amount seen in at least the last three years.
“We were pretty much bombarded when we took over the contract for stray cats,” said MAPS President Karen Rau. “We didn’t anticipate those kinds of numbers and were overwhelmed with the number that came in.”
Currently, there are more than 70 animals being cared for within the organization. More than 40 cats currently reside at MAPS’ temporary home in the former airport terminal building, and others are housed in foster care and at MAPS’ adoption and microchip center at Marshfield Mall.
“We have pretty much outgrown the temporary facility already,” said Rau.
The temporary shelter at the former airport terminal serves as the starting point for stray cats. Here they receive medical care and time to adjust from life on the streets.
Having never had a pet shelter before MAPS, Marshfield strays are now being provided a higher standard of care than ever before. All MAPS pets are spayed/neutered, microchipped, and provided vaccinations and medical care. Four veterinary technicians from Wildwood Animal Hospital donate their time regularly to provide intake evaluations and medical care for the incoming cats.
“We cannot say enough wonderful things about that business that has supported us immensely throughout this whole process,” Rau said.
After a cat is medically cleared, it is then evaluated for adoption potential. If a shy or scared cat needs extra time, it is sent to a foster home. Adoptable cats are transported to Marshfield Mall for easy visiting by potential adopters.
With support of Wildwood, mentoring from Portage County Humane Society, donations from the community, and the countless hours of volunteer work, MAPS is truly a community effort.
MAPS relies on donations to cover significant costs involved in caring for these animals.
“There are so many expenses involved,” said Rau. “Every single dollar makes a huge difference.” She added that donations of supplies are welcome, and a wish list can be found online.
Donations, volunteers, and adopters are always needed to help continue MAPS’ work.
“We are 100 percent volunteer, and I can’t thank the volunteers enough that are going out there all the time to make this possible, to keep this running,” said Rau, adding that there is a lot of work yet to be done and that the need for more volunteers is great. Those interested should fill out a volunteer application at www.MarshfieldPetShelter.org/volunteer or call 715-486-5140.
Help MAPS prepare the temporary home for dogs by contributing to the online campaign at www.loveanimals.org/pets/shelter-renovation.html, visit adoptable MAPS cats at Marshfield Mall weekdays from 4:30-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., or learn more at www.MarshfieldPetShelter.org or facebook.com/MarshfieldAreaPetShelter.