Our story begins more than 40 years ago, in the cold winter of 1958, when a small group of dedicated men and women turned their passion into a purpose. Quite simply, they loved animals. And they wanted to make our community a safer, healthier place for pets and people alike.The idea certainly wasn�™t new. For years, different groups had tried to put a humane organization in place in Brown County.
Each time, these efforts faded into obscurity. But unlike their predecessors, the founders of what would become the Bay Area Humane Society & Animal Shelter were original bootstrappers, determined to use their courage, creativity, and chutzpah to make a difference. To find a better way. For the animals. For the citizens of our community. And they did it.In January 1959, the Humane Society & Animal Shelter, Inc.
, was created as a not-for-profit organization to promote the humane treatment of animals, and provide protection, care, and shelter for unwanted and homeless pets. The original Board of Directors consisted of many of the driving forces behind The Shelter: Ruth VanBeek, Anna Marie Gaffney, Ben Thomas, Hank Braedel, Loren Longmore, Harold Maloney, Letah Cohen, Jeanne Fischer and Bette Anderson.Things were different back then.
Very different. The Shelter had no building in which to house animals. Instead, members met each Saturday at Hank�™s Sport Shop on Adams Street, where owner Hank Braedel would set aside an area for people to bring pets for others to adopt. Volunteers like Ed Kocha would take station wagons full of dogs and cats to the WBAY studios, where they�™d appear on the Colonel Caboose show hosted by Russ Widoe.
People came from as far away as Michigan�™s Upper Peninsula to adopt the pets they saw on TV.In the early days, Shelter members were deputized officers of the Brown County Sheriffs Department, with authority to enforce animal humane laws. It was the only way they could put a stop to the animal abuse that was taking place. It was also a critical step establishing credibility for the Shelter�™s Animal Rescue services, which continue to this day (although the staff are no longer deputized).
In 1960, The Shelter�™s Saturday operations were moved to a space provided by Emil Fischer Jr. at the Atlas Cold Storage warehouse. Despite operating under difficult conditions, Shelter members made a commitment that all assets except those needed for minimum operating expenses were to be retained in a building fund. The goal was to construct an independent Shelter large enough so no animal need be turned away.
By the summer of 1961, The Shelter had found its first permanent home - the former Chase Animal Clinic on Broadway. With services expanding and a building to care for, The Shelter hired its first employees. Anne Marie Gaffney and Anna Repitz came on as, �œpart-time lady managers, who, in truth devoted nearly full time to The Society at half price.”Money was tight, but The Shelter survived thanks to the efforts of people like Roy Empey, a District Engineer with the Wisconsin Highway Department, who guided the Board of Directors and helped the group focus on its long-term goal: a building of its own.
Haydn Evans, the station manager at WBAY, made TV time available on Saturdays so The Shelter could continue to publicize the animals it was offering for adoption. He also organized on-air fundraising drives, the proceeds of which helped keep The Shelter afloat financially. Dr. Sam Vainisi contributed untold time and wisdom to the cause.What little extra funds The Shelter had went toward reaching out to the community.
An educational program was put in place to teach 4th graders throughout Brown County the responsibilities of caring for pets. The Green Bay Press-Gazette began its Dog of the Week feature.The name later changed to Pick a Pet, and today is known as the Take Me Home program, featuring 15 animals each month.While on Broadway, The Shelter operated at full capacity, serving some 1,300 animals per year.
By 1969, however, the combined efforts of The Shelter and the city pound could not handle the needs of the rapidly growing metro Green Bay area. By then, demand for services had grown to an estimated 3,000 animals per year. Something had to change, and it did.Bolstered by the donation of a long-term land lease agreement from the City of Green Bay, The Shelter moved forward with plans for a new building designed specifically for the care and shelter of animals.
Generous benefactors donated plan designs, concrete for the building and the runs, concrete block for the building, funds for the fencing and runs, and supervised the construction. The Shelter moved ahead with plans for a modest new facility.In 1970, The Shelter dedicated the Roy Empey building on Quincy Street. Chris Calawaerts came on board as the first full-time manager, a position she would hold until 1980.
One of her first tasks was to coordinate the Animal Control program, as The Shelter was able to take over responsibility for caring for strays from the city. In it�™s first years on Quincy Street; the Shelter cared for 3,328 animals.By the end of the decade, that number had grown to 4,300 annually. In 1981, thanks to the efforts of a group led by Bette Anderson, The Shelter put its Lost and Found program in place - designed to get people to contact The Shelter about pets lost and found in rural areas.
Demand for Shelter services continued to rise throughout the 80s and into the 90s, growing to 5,381 by 1991. Once again, The Shelter was faced with a dilemma as the Empey Building was handling nearly twice as may animals each year as it was designed to serve. Three critical events in 1992 helped The Shelter find the solution.First, Linda McGuire was hired as its first Executive Director. This put into action The Shelter�™s strategy of finding outstanding professional management talent to lead the day-to-day operations the organization.
Second, the name changed from the Humane Society & Animal Shelter to the Bay Area Humane Society & Animal Shelter to more accurately reflect our role in helping communities through the Metro area with animal services. Finally, our forward-thinking board of directors, recognizing the limitations of the Empey Building, made the decision to organize a Capital Campaign to raise funds for a new Shelter.
Through the generosity of many organizations and individuals, our successful Capital Campaign afforded The Shelter an opportunity to build again. In July 1995, we moved to our current facility at 1830 Radisson Street, where we now serve nearly 6,000 animals a year.These three events, combined with the introduction of our most successful fundraisers The Angel Campaign, Fur Ball, and BrewFest have greatly enhanced The Shelter�™s organizational stability, and its ability to remain independent of local, state, or federal funding.
In 1999, The Shelter received an unexpected financial boost in the form of a major bequest from Robert and June McMahon. It allowed us to pay off the mortgage on the Radisson Street building and increase our endowment fund two steps that will strengthen our ability to continue to provide the Bay Area with the animal humane services they�™ve come to depend on.After more than 40 years and thousands of tails, the Bay Area Humane Society & Animal Shelter, Inc.
is still operating with the spirit and inspiration of our founders. We love animals. And we�™re making our community a better place for both pets and people. With your help, we�™ll continue adding new chapters to the success story into the 21st century and beyond.See Also: Chippewa County Animal Shelter
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Help Save Our ShelterBay Area Pet Adoptions is a non-profit, 501(c)3 No-Kill shelter, pet rescue, and adoption organization that relies on donations from the public to house, feed, and medically care for the dogs and cats taken in our adoption program. We are not operated or funded by any national animal group and must rely on contributions from people like you to keep our shelter open. All financial contributions and in-kind donations are tax deductible.
Our shelter does not euthanize for space. Read more about us here. Sponsor a Shelter PetDo you want to share your love of animals but can’t adopt at this time? Why not Sponsor a Shelter Pet? Sponsoring a dog or cat is one way you provide directly for the care of an animal while they are at our shelter waiting for adoption.More information is on our Share Your Love page. Peace, Love, Paws, T-shirt FundraiserFor every $25 dollar donation through this link, we will send you one Peace Love Paws shirt.
Please indicate if you would like a Medium, Large, or XL, and your mailing address. If you do not put a size we will assume you want a Large shirt. You can make multiple donations to receive as many shirts as you would like, just one shirt per $25+ donation. Please give up to 2 weeks for delivery.Adopt a Kennel You can adopt a kennel at Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA. Adoptions are $200 for a canine kennel and $100 for a feline kennel.
Sponsorships are good for one year an may be renewed. A plaque with your inscription will be placed on a kennel for the length of your adoption. Download the Kennel Sponsor form here. You may email us with questions. Don't forget - they make great gifts! Please Help Us Fill Our Giving Grid. Have you ever noticed how many kittens and puppies come into this world each spring? Unfortunately, many stray cats and dogs have not been spayed or neutered.
The result is predictable. More stray cats and dogs join the animal population. Many of these animals die before reaching maturity and others are euthanized at shelters as populations explode. Help us save more of these tiny creatures from that outcome. Please visit our Giving Grid. August is that time of year to re-enroll your Kroger Card!