Our Main Shelter (including the Adoption Center and Front Office) will be closed Saturday, 9/30, for Bark & Wine! The Wildlife Center and Thrift Store will be open their regular hours.

Jul 11, 2022

A Busy Year at DCHS's Wildlife Center


The Wildlife Program Manager at Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center gives an update on the year so far.

We’re mid-way through the year and summer season at Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center (DCHSWC), and wow – it’s been busy! Staff, interns, and volunteers have been working hard to care for hundreds of sick or injured wildlife patients. Amidst yet another season with heavy zoonotic disease outbreaks, namely the recent Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), we continue to persevere and help the public and animals to the best of our abilities. Thank you to all who contribute or assist in this effort.

At the end of June 2022, 218 wild patients were active and in rehabilitation at our facility, and 292 other individual animals had either been successfully released or stabilized/transferred to other rehabilitation partners since the start of the year. A few favorite patients included four young red foxes, three young blue jays, six hooded mergansers, a snowy owl, and three downy woodpecker fledglings (with a cage all to themselves). Five hundred or so odd patients may not seem like much, but typical DCHS wildlife admission numbers in the first half of the year range from about 1,200 to 2,200 animals. Then, this volume increases to approximately 3,000 – 4,000 by the end of the year.

Our goal as wildlife rehabilitators is to release at least half of our intakes, knowing that many of those animals are admitted in critical condition, often unable to be saved (regardless of how hard we may try). The highest number of wild animals arrive between April 15 and October 15 each year, and if you’re interested, check out the table below to see how many animals came in during those months over the last seven years!

We are only able to perform this life-saving work because of help from members of our community: volunteers who donate their time, individuals who support the mission, and those who donate funds. Unexpected challenges this year have required more money for biosecurity equipment, tests, and protective gear, all of which had to be purchased to keep personnel safe from disease transmission between wildlife and humans. The generosity we’ve seen through matching gifts has gone a long way and is greatly appreciated, such as those from the Werndli Charitible Trust – these help to offset rising costs and allow us to help more animals.

Jackie Sandberg is the Wildlife Program Manager at DCHS's Wildlife Center.

Admissions from mid-April to mid-October annually at DCHS's Wildlife Center from 2014-2021.

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Sep 7th, 2023

Supporting Our Community Together

Your incredible support provides that extra help needed to keep families together.

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Sep 5th, 2023

Clear The Shelters Helps Pets Find New Homes

DCHS helps more pets find loving homes in August, besting other recent months by a wide margin, thanks to the Clear The Shelters adoption event.

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Aug 28th, 2023

An Ode to Crows

Enjoy an ode to crows, learn about theses interesting birds, and read a rehabilitation story from DCHS's Wildlife Program Manager.

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Aug 1st, 2023

DCHS Hosts Clear The Shelters 2023

DCHS holds month-long adoption promotion to help more pets find loving homes during Clear The Shelters 2023.

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Jul 31st, 2023

New Beginnings for Senior Dogs

Thanks to a generous grant award from The Grey Muzzle Organization, DCHS could provide necessary dental care to senior dog Barbie.

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Jul 17th, 2023

It's Raining Woodpeckers!

Over 1,000 animals have already been admitted to DCHS’s Wildlife Center for rehabilitation in the first half of 2023. What species of songbird are we seeing the most? Woodpeckers!

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