Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin

Dog FAQ

What the Humane Society Gets Asked Most Often About Dogs

I saw a dog on your website – is it good with kids?

While we try to give you a pretty good first description of a dog’s behavior based on our assessments at the shelter, we always recommend a family introduction for every adoption. HSSW life is very different for dogs than a home, and every dog’s personality is different – even among its own breed.

Does it get along with other animals?

This is definitely a pet by pet basis. Some animals prefer to be in a one-pet home whereas some pets are very social and love to be around other pets. Before we send dogs home, if there are other dogs in the home, we do a dog introduction between the perspective adoptee and the families' current dogs in the home. Upon request, we will also do a cat evaluation with them to see how they react to cats to have an indication of what it might be like once they are in the home. This way we can ensure it is a good fit so we can send them home in confidence.

Did it come in as a stray?

Many of our dogs come in as strays. Some have been surrendered by their owners. All are loved and cared for with compassion from the minute they arrive. Strays are held for 5 days to allow owners time to locate their pet, after that time period they are put up for adoption or occasionally transferred to other shelters.

Is it already house trained?

Since the majority of our pets come to us as strays, we don’t always know their behavior history. There is a good chance that they are, but just in case they aren’t, we offer excellent tips and advice if the adopted pet hasn’t quite gotten the potty training thing down yet.

What age-range are your dogs?

Our dogs can range anywhere from 8 weeks old to seniors. Our initial assessments of teeth and health can get us close to an age, but they are estimates.

Are older dogs trainable?

Yes, dogs learn over a lifetime – you really CAN teach an old dog a new trick. Dog training is just about making new experiences. Older dogs with strong learned habits may need a bit of time and may need to get to know you over a longer period to develop trust and obedience.

Do all your dogs have all of their shots?

We do administer the rabies vaccine to age appropiate dogs.

What do your dogs eat at the shelter?

 Blain’s Farm & Fleet Adult Maintenance

Are all shelter dogs spayed/neutered?

Yes, all of our adoptable pets have already been spayed or neutered. This helps to keep the pet population down and prevent further breeding since so many HSSW pets are waiting for their forever home.

What happens if my adoption doesn’t work out?

Adopting a pet is a big commitment that requires a lot of time and patience and, of course, an acclimation period. Transitioning from the shelter to a home is a big change. In the rare case that a relationshp doesn’t fit a match, we ask that you bring the pet back to us. There is a 30-day period that the animal can come back to the shelter. Because we are a non-profit, the adoption fee isn’t refundable. Depending on circumstances, we may grant an adoption voucher toward another adoption. We want to work with you to make this a beautiful relationship for both of you. Many ties, just some advice and guidance can make a big difference.

Upcoming Events


Evansville Community Wellness Day

April 27, 2019

Come on out to Creekside Place in Evansville for Evansville Community Wellness Day! There will be music therapy, free massages, yoga with cats from HSSW, and more!...

Bark in the Park - “Pups Night Out”

April 28, 2019 (2pm) -

Join the Beloit Snappers and the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin for their first of three Bark in the Park events at Pohlman Field!

The first 50 dog owners...

News & Announcements


Humane Society launches efforts to raise funds for new facility

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...

Shelter plans plethora of fundraising events

JANESVILLE - The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin has packed in numerous events and fundraisers over the next few months to raise money for the shelter and its...

Lost Pet Portal