Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin

Humane Society launches efforts to raise funds for new facility

April 10, 2019

Full building rendering 2

JANESVILLE - While at the halfway mark of fundraising for a new shelter, the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin is kicking off more efforts to raise approximately $2.375 million that still is needed.

Executive Director Mike McManus said about $2.5 million has been raised or pledged, so far. He hopes to break ground on a new $4.8 million shelter by the end of the summer. McManus said the goal is to have the remaining balance pledged for by then. He said the shelter currently is in the process of negotiating with contractors.

"We realize it's a little aggressive, but we have to get moving," McManus said.

To help raise the rest of the funds, the Humane Society is asking women throughout Rock County and beyond to support the campaign by joining the 100 Extraordinary Women Initiative, which empowers women to join together to support causes they believe in and create a bigger impact than they could on their own. The initiative is asking for 100 women or more to donate or pledge $1,000 to the Humane Society's capital campaign. Pledges can be made over five years. In return, McManus said the Humane Society will permanently list each woman's name (or the name of a woman they would like to honor or remember) on a plaque in the lobby of a new building. Women also may form groups for one listing, and men can donate to honor a woman.

All of the women who join the initiative will be invited to a luncheon on May 8 at the Janesville Country Club.

McManus said the shelter has about two-thirds to three-fourths of the 100 women already signed on.

"They somewhat become ambassadors for us," McManus said. "If we get more than 100 that's great. Every penny gets us home for the new shelter."

The Humane Society's campaign is called "Help Pets Go Home Again," and McManus said the need is clear. The current 9,000-square-foot facility was built in 1976 to serve as a animal holding facility. McManus said surgery and clinic operations are currently conducted in a retrofitted box truck behind the building. Staff desks are in closets, a garage and every available space. The building needs a completely new heating and air conditioning system, and kennel rooms have no direct outside access.

"Our staff and volunteers have done a remarkable job keeping our animals safe and comfortable in a 40-plus year-old building," McManus said. "It's time to do better. It's time to do more for the animals. They deserve it, and with some fundraising assistance, we intend to give it to them."

The design for the new facility is a one story, 23,500-square-foot, energy-efficient facility. An estate donation allowed the Society to acquire the 44-acre parcel between Janesville and Beloit on Prairie Street (County Highway G) just south of the Dollar General Distribution Center and about a mile north of Blackhawk Technical College in the Town of Rock.

"Each year we become more efficient in what we do, but this can only go so far in the current facility," McManus said. "It is now time to go to the next level with a new facility that will support our mission's success; not hold it back."

He's hoping the new facility will serve as a pet-lover's destination with a dog park and nature walk that are open to the public as well as a memorial to remember deceased pets.

In addition to the 100 Extraordinary Women Initiative, McManus said the shelter has numerous fundraisers planned to fund the capital campaign as well as shelter operations, such as four events with the Snappers, a musical event in Telfer Park in Beloit called "Woofstock" and others.

McManus said Sunny the dog has become the shelter's "spokes-dog" for its capital campaign. The yellow lab was scalded by boiling water last year.

"Sunny is a happy, healthy girl who loves to help out," McManus said. "She loves everyone and is a shining example of how our animals are treated even in our current home. Just think of what we could do with a modern, highly functional facility. Although our mission is helping pets, it takes people to make it possible."

The public can donate by going to and finding the humane society's campaign or by visiting The also can reach out to DeShawn Christiansen, assistant executive director of development & fundraising, at or by calling the shelter at 608-752-5622.

Source- Beloit Daily News

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