Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin

Dog ‘houdini-ed’ his way out of enclosure, humane society says

November 26, 2018

A dog at a Rock County humane society briefly broke out of his enclosure overnight Thursday, according to the organization. 

The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin said Friday that Big Papa, a 7-year-old Lab mix, was able to get out of his kennel sometime Wednesday night. Staff members arrived Friday morning to find Big Papa's room empty. 

"Big Papa had houdini-ed his way out of his kennel," HSSW wrote on its Facebook page. "We believe he got the drain covers in his kennel and the one next to his off the hinges, crawled through the drain, and snuck out the kennel next to his."

The humane society said the escape points to a larger issue that the organization is working to fix: its aging building. HSSW plans to kick off a capital campaign to fund a new building to better house the animals in their care. Executive Director Michael McManus said the humane society has already received some donations toward the campaign.

"Renovations to our existing building have gotten us a long way and with each project we improve our ability to house and care for our pets," the humane society wrote online. "However, despite our efforts, our building is just plain old and we long for the day we can walk into our new building and feel confident that we are doing all we can to keep our animals safe."

Humane society staff said Big Papa has a few scratches from the escape adventure, but he is "happy and well." A photo online showed a dog wearing a plastic safety cone with some scratches to his nose. 

In August, a burglar broke into the building, smashing through glass to steal a cellphone. No animals were harmed in the incident. 

Information about the capital campaign is available on the HSSW website at


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