Direct from the Executive
A Letter from our Executive Director, Jim McMullen

Jim McMullen

Executive Director
As I reflect on the past year, my first full calendar year at HSSW, I am proud of the hard work of our staff and board of directors and I’m grateful for the amazing support we received from our donors, vendors, volunteers, fosters, residents and municipalities. The holiday season means so much more as we celebrate the wonderful memories and the furry lives we’ve saved. Together, we are helping pets go home again!

HSSW, like all other organizations, faced a number of challenges in 2021 due to the pandemic. We received assistance from multiple organizations to help us continue operations while facing staffing shortages and other pandemic-related obstacles on and off throughout the year.

We experienced multiple changes of veterinarians and now have four vets working with us to provide the medical and surgical services we need to support our pets, rescue pets and resident pets in our community. We are excited and recently started doing public vaccination clinics and spay/neuter clinics again in December. We expect to continue doing these throughout 2022 and beyond.

We have had some staffing and position changes as we plan for our new expanded service offerings in our new building. We are aligning our staff resources to focus on our key priority service needs moving forward. Some changes simply allow us to be more efficient and cross-trained. Other changes are already helping us to develop some of the new programs and services that we are planning for. A few of these include: educational opportunities for students in Rock County, a Vet Tech program offering at BTC, internal and external use of our future Community Room including Grief Counseling for residents who’ve lost their pet(s), increased Pet Spotlights, targeted spay/neuter clinics, more events sponsored at our new location, and more!

We recently updated our membership opportunities and now include a Junior Membership option too.

Our new facility located at 4700 S. Hwy G is scheduled to open in March 2022, barring any unforeseen delays due to material availability. We’ve already sold our current location at 222 S. Arch Street to NAPCO, our neighbors to the north, and we are able to continue to operate as tenants until we move. The new facility is a much-anticipated project made possible after years of planning, fundraising and hard work to move the project forward. We will be increasing by approximately 7,000 sq. ft. in space and the floorplan will provide better efficiency and service offerings. We’ll have a full surgical suite, exam rooms, dog and cat intake and recovery rooms, more dog & cat kennels/cages, play areas, meeting spaces and more. We are so excited to move and can’t wait to invite the community in for a grand opening!

We continue to achieve a “No Kill Shelter” status. No animal is ever euthanized for space. If an animal is euthanized, it is truly for humane reasons. We resolve to make the best outcome for every animal no matter their age, length of stay, breed, color, medical condition, or lack of decorum. We are extremely proud of our efforts to maintain our “No Kill” status and routinely fall well below the minimal requirement.

2021 continued to pose challenges for working with fosters and volunteers through Covid requirements and expectations. That said, we are fully operational again with both fosters and volunteers and recently opened up our online application processes for both. We also have new leadership, software and training plans to assist with onboarding and retaining volunteers and fosters. During our move to the new facility, we hope our volunteers and fosters will be instrumental in making it a smooth transition.

So… we are extremely excited to enter 2022 with smiles and enthusiasm. We have new contracts for almost all of our served municipalities and look forward to continued partnerships to benefit the animals and residents in our community.

From our “family” to yours, we all wish you a spectacular new year!  wink