Jul 5, 2022

DCHS Celebrates Staff, Volunteers, and Community Partners


Dane County Humane Society honored staff, volunteers, and community partners during our Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 29.


Paige Pederson

The Linn Roth & Jean Martinelli Quality and Service Excellence Award is a special new award. Linn, a DCHS Board Member, and Jean wanted to recognize DCHS employees whose work not only lifts animals and DCHS, but also enhances the world and our community, according to DCHS Executive Director Pam McCloud Smith.

Paige, Wildlife Operations Supervisor at DCHS's Wildlife Center, received numerous nominations for the award.

"Paige is always working on projects related to improvements at the Wildlife Center - whether it's applying for grants, helping figure out how to improve pens for the wild ones in care, or organizing, she's always making improvements to DCHS's Wildlife Center," says one nomination.

"Paige is always thinking up new ways to make things better for the animals and the people taking care of the animals," another nomination reads.

"Paige is always there to answer questions, provide insight, and help. She always goes above and beyond what is required and always with a calm attitude in the most challenging situations," another nomination says.

"Paige is always very kind and steady in her approach to working with animals and all the volunteers at the Wildlife Center," says one nomination.

Congratulations Paige!

From left to right: Jean Martinelli, Paige Pederson, and Linn Roth after Paige received the Linn Roth & Jean Martinelli Quality and Service Excellence Award.


5 Years

Kenzie Korpela

Michelle Kuyoth

Sarah Karls

Deidra Topel

Mike Sullivan

Nikki Darga

10 Years

Jackie Sandberg

Randy Viney

Leah Hartman

15 Years

Dawn Sands

Beth Rodgers


Top 11 Volunteers by Hours of Service

559 Allison Forsythe

560 Emma Lewandowski

585 Patrick Wang

588 Renee Rice

603 Bill Schloemer

620 Linda Gilsdorf

769 Dani Gatica

801 Uri Donnett

874 Karen Tolle

908 Laura Strimpel

1120 Karrie Frantz

Top 5 Youth Volunteers by Hours

42 Anika Kaehny-Walz

73 Ellie Meng

84 Julia Flynn

99 Izzy Serio

134 Carly Goodlund

Wildlife Volunteer of the Year:

Dee Czarniecki

Administrative Support Volunteer of the Year – Volunteer Department:

Terri Regner

Adoption Center Volunteer of the Year:

Donna Slotten

Individual/Special Recognition – Barkins:

Marina Haan

Reception Volunteer of the Year:

Stacy Newman

Administrative Support Volunteer of the Year – Development Department:

Ronelle Wedig

Education Volunteer of the Year:

Sue Rogers

Event Volunteer of the Year:

Chelsea White

Independent Fundraiser of the Year:

Putts for Pups

Photography Volunteer of the Year:

Jerry Murphy

Media Partner of the Year:

Cats and Dogs of Madison

AMS Volunteer of the Year:

Anne Marie McPartlin

Canine Behavior Team Volunteer of the Year:

April Johnson

Canine Companion Volunteers of the Year:

Gail Merkel

Gerald (Jerry) Meslar

Carestaff Assistant Volunteer of the Year:

Megan Paulson

Critter Cuddler Volunteer of the Year:

Connie Lueck

Feline Friend Volunteer of the Year:

Lisa Mettauer

Cat Foster Parent Volunteer of the Year:

Ashley Pleasant-Ryan

Critter Foster Parent Volunteer of the Year:

Joan Johnson

Dog Foster Parent Volunteer of the Year:

Kristine Engel

Ringworm Treatment Program Volunteer of the Year:

Dan Haeffner

Thrift Store Volunteer of the Year:

Karen Tolle

Individual/Special Recognition

Dr. Sandra Frank

Sue Sells

Karrie Frantz

Karrie Frantz was recognized for accumulating more than 20,000 volunteer hours. She has been serving as the program assistant in DCHS's Foster Program since 2009.

Rufus Award:

Louise (fka Beverly) the cat

Since 2006, DCHS staff select one animal out of the thousands that come through DCHS's doors in need of help to receive the "Rufus Award." The award was named after Rufus, a special dog that entered our shelter in 2003.

This year's award recipient, Louise the cat, first came to DCHS as 4 weeks old on September 8, 2021. She was suffering from severe medical issues with her front leg and paw, including a large infected wound under her right leg, and she had lice throughout her coat. Our Animal Medical Services team quickly deduced that her right leg would need to be amputated, but surgery at her age and size was risky.

Luckily, Louise's body was responding to treatment that allowed her to spend time in foster care until she was an appropriate surgery weight.

"Soon after arriving at her foster home, Louise’s friendly and outgoing personality really started to shine," says Pam. "It didn’t take more than a day before she was zooming around her playpen and chasing toys."

Once Louise reached an appropriate weight, surgery was performed to amputate her leg. She then went back to her foster home to recover and rest. "It didn’t take long for Louise to bounce back, quite literally, from her amputation," Pam says.

A friend of the foster parent was interested in adopting her first cat, but her spouse was very allergic to cats and dogs. "Thanks to recent advances in allergy therapy, Bug and her husband, Alex, were able to welcome sweet little Louise into their family," Pam told the crowd.

Above: DCHS Executive Director Pam McCloud Smith shares Louise the cat's story as she is held by her pet parent, Bug. Top of story: Louise the cat with her pet parent Bug (left) and foster parent, Kenzie.

"Louise has brought so much joy to the lives of her new family," says Pam.

Her new family lovingly reports that “Louise is among the most perfect of cats. Every night, Louise tucks me into bed by laying on my chest and purring for about five minutes before laying in her favorite spot next to my bed. After her 7:00 am auto-feeder meal has been devoured, she wakes me up likewise, getting love and attention for about an hour until I finally leave bed.”

"We are very proud to have been able to save Louise and give her the happy ending she deserves," Pam adds.

Read more about Louise's story

Next Story

Apr 10th, 2024

YOU Can Help Wildlife's Youngest Patients During Baby Shower Week

Spring kicks off the busiest time of year for DCHS's Wildlife Center: wildlife baby season. Read about some of the patients we've admitted so far and learn how you can help with their rehabilitation.

Full Story

Next Story

Apr 10th, 2024

Big Brown Bat Rises

A Big Brown Bat was near death when he arrived at DCHS's Wildlife Center earlier this year. After steady care from wildlife rehabilitators, this bat made an amazing transformation.

Full Story

Next Story

Apr 10th, 2024

Braving the Cold and Saving Babies

DCHS's Wildlife Center admitted its first baby wild animals of the season. Read more to learn about what it takes to care for the youngest members of the wildlife kingdom.

Full Story

Next Story

Apr 10th, 2024

The Reptile Recovery Center at DCHS's Wildlife Center

DCHS’s Wildlife Center has been housing five patients in our Reptile Recovery Center (the RRC) since this past winter. Let's learn more about them.

Full Story

Next Story

Apr 10th, 2024

Intern Q&A: What Inspired You to Apply for This Wildlife Internship?

We asked DCHS's Wildlife Center Spring interns: what inspired you to apply for this wildlife internship and what are you hoping to learn? Below are their answers.

Full Story

Next Story

Mar 20th, 2024

Donut Defies Distemper

During Toto's Gala on March 15, 2024, we shared the story of Donut and his three siblings, who became sick with distemper, a deadly virus.

Full Story