Most DCHS and Wildlife Center services are by appointment only, including reuniting lost animals, surrendering a pet, wildlife rehabilitation, and more. Adoption visits are first-come, first-served. We recommend checking our current waitlist prior to your visit.

Sep 7, 2022

Camp Pawprint Makes PAW-some Return


A huge round of a-paws to our presenters for helping make Camp Pawprint’s return educational and fun for all!

Animals took center stage at Camp Pawprint this past summer as campers learned about care and comfort while having close encounters with companion animals and some more exotic species.

More than 330 campers ages 7 to 12 were signed up for the week-long day camps from June through August at the main shelter. Summer camp offered three themes:

  • Shelter Heroes focused on animals traditionally kept as pets and how to care for them;
  • Wild Things, a deep-dive into the wild side of the animal kingdom, from exotic pets to wildlife in Wisconsin and around the world
  • Pet-tacular Professions centered on occupations that involve working with and caring for animals

Campers enjoyed learning about and caring for our classroom critters. They experienced close encounters with a variety of animals – from companion animals at the shelter to horses to wild animals like an armadillo and a fennec fox. They played animal-related games outside and created art projects, like adoption posters for a variety of available animals waiting to be adopted inside. They also attended a variety of animal-related presentations from experts at DCHS and throughout our community.

We want to thank all of the individuals and various businesses and organizations that presented at Camp Pawprint. These folks made time out of their busy days to teach our campers about their careers, passions, and pets. Put your paws together for:

Aldo Leopold Nature Center

Amber Middleton for SoL Criations Farm Sanctuary

Andi Marks (Camp Pawprint Counselor) on Pet Rabbits

Animal Services Officer Shannon Meyer

DCHS’s Admitting Department

DCHS’s Animal Medical Services Department

DCHS Development team, Pet of the Week

DCHS’s Livestock Program

Dog trainer Nikki Darga

Dogs on Call

Ferrets Underground

Hilary Hemmes-Kavanaugh, Primatology Presentation

Holly Hill-Putnam, Wildlife Volunteer, on DCHS’s Wildlife Center

International Crane Foundation

Jason Nolen from Cats/Dogs of Madison

Jenna Fastner from Wisconsin DNR

Laura Gordon & Billie

Madison Mounted Patrol

Megan Senatori on Animal Law

Mindy, Kelsie, & Stan the cat

Paul Zuelke from Key Reptiles

PAWWS to Heal

Pet/Fire Safety with Officer Bernadette Galvez (City of Madison Fire Department)


Have a young animal enthusiast interested in attending Camp Pawprint in 2023? We’ll be offering a variety of day camps, plus Winter Break and Spring Break options throughout the school year. We plan to open registration for Summer Camp 2023 in February. Keep your hawk eyes on our website for updates!

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Feb 2nd, 2023

Bunny Dates Help Pet Rabbits Get Closer

Rabbits need a number of bunny dates to help them become bonded. We discuss some rules to follow to help make the process a success.

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Feb 2nd, 2023

Something to Chew On: Dental Health for Pets

Oral care is vital to our pets’ overall health, which is why DCHS is fortunate to have a dental suite. Learn why you should be concerned and get tips to help your pet maintain good dental hygiene.

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Jan 24th, 2023

Behind the Numbers: Wildlife Center's 2022 Annual Report Data

What animals were admitted to DCHS's Wildlife Center for rehabilitation in 2022? How many of what species, and could we find any trends? See details of our recent annual wildlife reports!

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Jan 24th, 2023

Bald Eagle Boom: Setting Intake Records in 2022

A record number of bald eagles came in to DCHS's Wildlife Center in 2022. How many eagles were admitted and for what reasons? The answers and numbers below may surprise you.

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Jan 24th, 2023

The Tale of the Lone Canada Goose

Heartwarming story alert! Read about one of the last patients to arrive at DCHS's Wildlife Center in 2022.

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Jan 24th, 2023

Intern Q&A: How Did This Internship Impact Your Learning?

Special thanks to our fall interns, who began training at DCHS's Wildlife Center last August and recently finished their semesters. But before they flew the nest, we asked one last question.

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