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.

Nov 27, 2018

Cowabunga! Turtle Hatchlings Find their Way Home!


There is nothing cuter than baby snapping turtles exploring their new home!

This summer, thanks to efforts of our wildlife staff and supporters like you, we were able to incubate and provide new beginnings to over 200 turtle hatchlings!

Most turtle hatchlings are admitted to Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center as eggs, saved from females that were severely injured while searching for a place to lay. We receive a large number of turtles who are hit by cars, and if their injuries are fatal, our staff are able to save and incubate their eggs to provide their babies a second chance.

One of these situations happened earlier this year. A Good Samaritan contacted us about a large snapping turtle who had been hit by a car. She was admitted into our care, but had severe injuries to her head and jaw. She unfortunately did not survive. Our staff, however, discovered she was carrying eggs and were able to save and incubate them.

Turtle eggs incubate anywhere between 60-90 days, depending on the incubation temperature. Once snapping turtle babies emerge from their egg they are only the size of a quarter, but are entirely independent and do not need their parents to care for them. When these babies hatched we were excited to release all 55 of them into the wild near their mother’s former home!

These baby snapping turtles were just 55 of the more than 200 hatchlings we were able to release this year. In addition to snapping turtle hatchlings, we also released painted and eastern spiny softshell turtles. The over 200 hatchlings released was a dramatic increase from the 85 hatchlings that we released in 2017. We can thank Paige Pederson, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator at DCHS’s Wildlife Center for her great efforts to increase our hatching rate.

"These hatchlings were given a second chance thanks to the support from our community members who are passionate about Wisconsin wildlife, and they could not have survived without your support of our Wildlife Center,” says Paige.

Thanks to generous wildlife supporters like you, thousands of animals in south-central Wisconsin have been able to receive rehabilitative care and be released back into the wild. Please consider donating today to support programs like DCHS’s Wildlife Center. Your gifts today will have DOUBLE the impact and will be matched up to $30,000 thanks to our matching gift donors!

Thank you for your patience! Due to all the wonderful generosity this Giving Tuesday, our donation form below may take a minute or two to load.

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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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