Shelter Spotlight – Lakeland Animal Shelter

April 3, 2013  

Lakeland Animal Shelter / Elkhorn, Wisconsin

Mission statement: To enrich the lives of both animals and people throughout the community. The Lakeland Animal Shelter (LAS) hopes to help create a community where all lives are valued and respected, and envisions achieving zero tolerance for ending the lives of savable pets in the community.

About the organization: The Lakeland Animal Welfare Society Inc., a non-profit organization, was founded in 1968 by nine founding members who could no longer accept the lack of care for homeless animals in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Their original mission was “to be dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals and to providing relief for animals that are suffering.” In 1978, the Lakeland Animal Shelter was built, thanks in part to donations that were acquired by the Lakeland Animal Welfare Society. When the Lakeland Animal Shelter opened its doors, it was operated by the Walworth County Humane Society. In 1985, the Lakeland Animal Welfare Society and the Walworth County Humane Society officially merged and became known simply as the Lakeland Animal Welfare Society, Inc. From that point forward, the Lakeland Animal Welfare Society took over ownership and operation of the Lakeland Animal Shelter.

Since 1978, the Lakeland Animal Shelter has seen more than 60,000 homeless animals pass through its doors. Through the hard work and dedication of many, the Lakeland Animal Welfare Society has become one of the most well regarded animal care facilities in the state of Wisconsin. Recently, the name of the organization was officially changed to the Lakeland Animal Shelter, and the mission statement updated to reflect the fact that their legacy and ongoing work enriches the lives of both people and animals throughout the community.

Admission policy: Annually, approximately 2,500 stray or neglected animals that have been found within Walworth County, Wisconsin are accepted into the shelter. Intake is not based on health, temperament, or age. At any given time there may be an in-shelter dog population of 40 to 60 dogs and a combination in-shelter/in-foster cat population of 150-400 cats. Each of these animals is treated with respect, kindness and compassion throughout their stay at LAS, which can range for one week to more than a year, in some cases. Each animal is an individual and given individual consideration, and there is no time limit on how long each animal is housed. These practices are consistent with the belief that each animal in care deserves a chance be adopted into a new home. This belief does not simply apply to those animals that are healthy and of acceptable temperament upon intake. The shelter goes to great lengths to rehabilitate animals that are, or become, unhealthy, sick, or of unacceptable temperament into animals that are healthy and of appropriate temperament for the adoptive home to which they are going. Volunteer handlers participate in Bright Futures, a specially designed six-week obedience course with professional trainers to help shelter dogs correct behavioral or social issues, as well as working on basic obedience commands to prepare them for their new homes and futures. LAS is committed to giving every adoptable animal as long as it takes in order to find the new home that they deserve – there are no expiration dates here!

Post-adoption support: The staff, ASAP (Animal Shelter Alumni-Pet Owners) group, and volunteers are always ready to lend a helping hand or answer any questions to help promote a life-long bond and happy relationship. The LAS Resources page also offers helpful advice. The 9 Lives Boutique, in downtown Lake Geneva, is a resale shop whose profits go to support the programs and services provided by the Lakeland Animal Shelter.

Contact information:

Phone: 262.723.1000
Address: 3551 State Road 67, Elkhorn, WI 53121 / P.O. Box 1000, Elkhorn, WI 53121
How to volunteer:
Facebook: LakelandAnimalShelter
YouTube: LakelandAnimalShelter
Newsletter: Monthly; sign up on the website.

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