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About the Wisconsin Humane Society

The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is a private nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a community where people value animals and treat them with respect and kindness.

WHS_volunteer.jpgSince its inception in 1879, the Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) has become one of the most well-recognized non-profit organizations in southeastern Wisconsin and a national leader in animal welfare. For 140 years, WHS has been providing lifesaving services for animals, as well as comprehensive educational and assistance programs for people in an effort to create a more humane community. Actively involved in issues on a national level, WHS is the largest humane society in Wisconsin and one of the largest and most innovative in the country.

WHS operates shelters in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Brown, and Door Counties, as well as a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in West Allis. The WHS Milwaukee Campus is also home to one of the largest and busiest wildlife rehabilitation hospitals in the country.

WHS was one of a handful of shelters that pioneered “as long as it takes,” ensuring that all animals available for adoption have as long as they need to find a new home. We have not euthanized for reasons of space or time since the construction of our Milwaukee facility in 1999. We were able to honor this commitment by making strategic and innovative decisions about our work. We were among the first organizations in the country to:

  • Launch an open adoption process that makes adoption accessible and efficient
  • Create operational initiatives to reduce disease transmission and length of stay
  • Create bright, cheerful facilities to welcome visitors
  • Offer onsite veterinary care with a team of full-time veterinarians
  • Offer onsite behavior modification to address behavior challenges
  • Waive adoption fees entirely for adult cats

WHS receives no general government support. We are funded through the generous support of community-minded companies, foundations, and caring individuals.

Campaign Committee Board of Directors
Dave Hecker, Campaign Chair
Greg Anderegg
Shona Barron
Tony Enea
Bill Frank
Bonnie Gauger
Cynthia Georgeson
Dan Horton
Dave Maurer
Betsie O’Brien
Jim Parrish
Geri Lee Petersen
John Shannon
Mary Walker


John Matter, Chairperson
Tony Enea, Vice Chairman
Robert Davis, Treasurer
David Hecker, Secretary


Adam Bernander
Rachel Charles
Richard Derksen
Richard Glaisner
Gardner Govan
Charlie James
Caroline Krider
Meghan O'Connor
Kailas Rao
Don Robertson
Katina Shaw
Margy Stratton
Kathy Turkal
Kathleen Wegrzyn 


Helen Johnson-Leipold
Gisela Zelenka-Drysdale
Frederic G. Friedman