Show your love for homeless pets on Love Your Pet Day! Stop by any Mounds Pet Food Warehouse store in Dane County today (February 20th) and round up your purchase or choose an amount to donate at the register. Mounds will contribute $2 for every $1 donated to DCHS! Learn more.

Jul 5, 2023

DCHS Honors Staff, Volunteers, and Community Partners


Dane County Humane Society honored staff, volunteers, and a few community partners during our Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 28. Join us in congratulating the awardees below.


Celest Alves, Lead Certified Veterinary Technician

Linn Roth, a Board member, and Jean Martinelli created this award to honor an employee whose dedication and service enables DCHS to achieve its mission, according to Executive Director Pam McCloud Smith. "Linn and Jean seek to recognize those employees whose work not only lifts animals and the shelter, but also enhances the world and our community," Pam adds.

Linn told attendees, "Jean and I are so proud to be associated with DCHS and all its wonderful staff and volunteers. We are truly supportive of its mission and pleased to present this award to someone who really personifies all the good that you and this organization do.

"Our awardee received a very strong recommendation," Linn adds.

Staff and volunteers submitted nominations for the award.

Linn cited some of the quotes in the nomination that best showcased why Celest was chosen to receive the award: “As a leader she strikes the fine balance between providing optimal care for the animals and clients we serve while also ensuring her staff has a manageable and achievable workload. She treats every animal with care and respect… She takes this same approach to the people she interacts with... Everyone is treated kindly."

And, Linn says, "Perhaps most importantly, the recommendation states 'she never loses sight of our mission of helping people help animals.' We are especially pleased that Celest Alves is the awardee for 2023!"

Celest was surprised! In fact, she was told someone else in our Animal Medical Services department would be receiving an award during the Annual Meeting and she was there to show support for them.

Congratulations Celest!

Celest Alves with Jean Martinelli (left) and Linn Roth.
Celest was overjoyed after learning she was the recipient of the Linn Roth and Jean Martinelli Quality of Service Excellence Award.


Five Years

Laurie Ringquist

Amy Good

Mindy Kline

Shelbi Bernard

Melinda Wright

Vicki Fox

Sarah Hudson

Twenty Years

Doug Brown

Joan Johnson

Twenty-Five Years

Sara Hoven


Top 10 Volunteers by Hours of Service

10. Ashley Pleasant-Ryan, 558 hours

9. Lily Babler, 559 hours

8. Chris Cerutti, 575 hours

7. Kenzie Korpela and Bernice, 659 hours

6. Chelsea White, 694 hours

5. Linda Gilsdorf, 765 hours

4. Bill Schloemer, 808 hours

3. Jacki Hershberger, 811 hours

2. Karen Tolle, 1,129 hours

1. Karrie Frantz, 1,259 hours

Top 5 Youth Volunteers by Hours

5. Elsie Johnson, 65 hours

4. Carly Goodlund, 81 hours

3. Ellie Meng, 82 hours

2. Izzy Serio, 87 hours

1. Annika Crabb, 98 hours

Wildlife Volunteer of the Year: Amy Liem

Wildlife Intern of the Year: Geneva Kinzer

Administrative Support Volunteer of the Year – Volunteer Department: Ellen Riese

Adoption Center Volunteer of the Year: Alex Beideck

Individual/Special Recognition – Barkins: Carley Peich Kiesling

Pet Food Pantry Assistant Volunteer of the Year: Bill Schloemer

Reception Volunteer of the Year: Mary Bachhuber

Administrative Support Volunteer of the Year – Development Department: Sue Haeffner

Education Volunteer of the Year:Michelle Lammers

Event Volunteers of the Year: Deb Schieve and Judy Hughes

Independent Fundraiser of the Year: Ian’s Pizza

Photography Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Ebert Lee

Media Partner of the Year: Audacy

AMS Volunteer of the Year: Karee Anderson

Canine Behavior Team Volunteer of the Year: Alex Letourneau

Canine Companion Volunteers of the Year: Chelsea White

Carestaff Assistant Volunteer of the Year: Terry Ryan

Critter Cuddler Volunteer of the Year: Izzy Serio and Cari Serio

Feline Friend Volunteer of the Year: Jan Kinar

Cat Foster Parent Volunteer of the Year: Marian Kontek

Critter Foster Parent Volunteer of the Year: Tessa Collins

Dog Foster Parent Volunteer of the Year: Chelsea White

Ringworm Treatment Program Volunteer of the Year: Clara McGlynn

Thrift Store Volunteer of the Year: Bill Schloemer

Committee Volunteer of the Year – Garden: Carol Enseki

Veterinary Support of the Year: Dr. Chloe Ciarrocchi, Dr. Anna Martel, and Dr. Laurie Peek

Individual/Special Recognition: 25 Years of Service Don Johnson

Rufus Award:

Cannoli the dog

Each year since 2006, staff nominate an animal that has been through our doors for the Rufus Award, named after a special dog that captured hearts when he entered the shelter in 2003.

This year's recipient is Cannoli.

Cannoli came to DCHS in November 2021 after he was found in a crate in an abandoned apartment. He could barely stand or walk and was severely dehydrated, underweight, and was covered in sores and open wounds. After a week of extensive care by our veterinarians in the shelter, Cannoli was moved to a foster home to continue his recovery, according to Pam.

"The more his foster parents got to know Cannoli, the more they adored him!" Pam says. "When he wasn’t playing, eating, or sleeping, he wandered the house in search of snuggles."

In February 2022, Cannoli was healed enough for his next adventure: finding his new family.

"Over the following months, he was adopted a few times. But as much as those families wanted to give exuberant Cannoli the very best life, he struggled to settle into his new surroundings and was returned each time," Pam says. "He really needed that special someone to come along to give him everything he needed. That someone was James Cook.

"After 269 days spent in our care, Cannoli found his forever home with James on August 14, 2022, and, as you can see, they’ve been thriving together since," Pam says.

When James was informed about Cannoli being the winner of the Rufus Award, he wrote, "Wow, this is wonderful!"

James says Cannoli has been doing great. "He settled in and has been a big bundle of love. He's completely spoiled by my partner and my best friend who basically both treat him like he's their dog. We still go out on big walks every day. He still charms everybody he meets and he loves them as much as they love him."

James adds, "I'm honestly grateful to everyone at the humane society and all the work you do, especially as if it weren't for DCHS I would never have found Cannoli and I really think he and I were meant to find each other so thank you all so much."

As you can see from the photos below, staff and volunteers were very happy to see Cannoli and hear how well he is doing with his family.

Read more about Cannoli's story

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Jan 22nd, 2024

Help Queenie Heal

Queenie was in pain, and we asked for your help to fund her unexpected medical needs so she can live without pain and find her new loving family.

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Jan 12th, 2024

Behind the Numbers: Wildlife Center's 2023 Annual Report

What animals were admitted to DCHS’s Wildlife Center for rehabilitation in 2023? How many of what species, and what patients were our favorites? See our annual wildlife rehabilitation report.

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Jan 12th, 2024

Helping Red Foxes with Itchy Situation

Two red fox siblings were among 26 foxes admitted to DCHS's Wildlife Center in 2023, which took our team a lot of time and work. Read their story to learn how they were unique to our program.

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Jan 12th, 2024

DCHS Offers Tips to Keep Animals Safe in Winter

Dane County Humane Society is offering tips to keep animals safe this winter.

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Jan 12th, 2024

Wildlife Center Staff Saves Snake: A Special Serpentine Story

An adult Common Garter Snake was admitted to DCHS's Wildlife Center with a fish hook embedded in its side. Read how staff worked to save this snake.

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Jan 12th, 2024

Risks of Rodenticides in Raptors and Other Wildlife

Rodenticides and wildlife – potent toxins used for a deadly purpose that can lead to lethal consequences for non-target animals. Read about how they affect various species.

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