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Man adopts dog with secret sniffing ability

Man adopts dog with secret sniffing ability

There are thousands of successful adoption stories coming out of the Dane County Humane Society. Countless pets have found homes but News3 traveler Mark Koehn has a story not so much about adoption but about fate.

The story begins one morning this past July; Tim Stephenson was watching the news.

"I saw her on News3, the pet of the week. Then I hear a little bit of the stories that she's not really adoptable," Stephenson said.

Ten-year-old Sassy was brought to the news station but adoptees knew older dogs can sometimes be harder to place.

"Just because she's 10 years old and she has a few problems, it doesn't mean anything. I'm not going to let her die just because of all of that," said Stephenson.

Stephenson said he wasn't going to let her die just because she was 10 years old and had a few problems, but he expected to not have to keep up with such a fast pace.

Pet food chain and Dane County team up for Henry Vilas Zoo

Pet food chain and Dane County team up for Henry Vilas Zoo

Dane County and Mounds Pet Food Warehouse raised $20,000 to be donated to the Henry Vilas Zoo Animal Warehouse fund, according to a release from the Dane County Executive's Office.

According to the release, five stores competed by creating unique displays in each store during the month of May to raise the money.

The Middleton location raised the most, earning employees with a behind-the-scenes-tour of the zoo.

According to the release, the money will be used to purchase toys and materials to keep animals happy and healthy.

Mounds and Dane County partnered in 2011 for the same cause. They raised $18,000 that year.

New African lion arrives at Henry Vilas Zoo

New African lion arrives at Henry Vilas Zoo

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi on Thursday announced the arrival of a new female African lion at Dane County's Henry Vilas Zoo.

The lion came to Madison from the Sedgewick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan.

Ronda Schwetz, director of the zoo, said that Shakura is just over two years old and is a young adult. The Lion Species Survival Plan, which works to preserve a species over generations, sent Shakura to pair with Henry, the older male lion currently at the zoo.

The SSP makes matches to help produce the healthiest and most genetically sound offspring possible for the long-term health of the whole population.

"Shakura is very energetic and fun to watch on exhibit. She has taken to her new surroundings very well," said Schwetz in a Dane County news release.

Zoo to host winter carousel benefit for Vilas, bears

Zoo to host winter carousel benefit for Vilas, bears

Fundraisers will support polar bears and zoo project    

Henry Vilas Zoo said it will host two winter carousel ride fundraiser events in early 2013 to benefit the Animal Health Center and Polar Bears International.

The zoo carousel will be open Jan. 19 and Feb. 23 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. for carousel rides, refreshments, kids’ craft activities and photos with Vilas mascot Henry the Lion.

Rides will cost $2 and organizers will ask attendees make a donation for refreshments and craft activities.

Mayor proclaims Saturday ‘Bird Day’ in the city

Mayor proclaims Saturday ‘Bird Day’ in the city

Local, national protection groups bringing awareness to pet birds    

The City of Madison joins a national non-profit in celebrating the feathered kind on National Bird Day Saturday.

On Dec. 19, Mayor Paul Soglin signed a proclamation making Jan. 5 Bird Day in the city. Soglin wrote he “encourage[s] our citizens to conserve and protect the world’s birds from cruelty and extinction.”

The city’s Bird Day coincides with the same day it is celebrated nationwide through Born Free and the Avian Welfare Coalition.

Monica Engebretson, wildlife biologist with Born Free, said National Bird Day is about to protecting and appreciating birds.

“Birds are actually not domesticated animals like cats and dogs,” Engebretson said. “They belong in the wild and it is very challenging to meet their needs in a home environment.”

Cat adoption fees reduced 85% through Saturday

Cat adoption fees reduced 85% through Saturday


The Dane County Humane Society is offering reduced adoption fees to help with cat overcrowding.

Over 130 cats are currently being cared for at the DCHS, including 21 kittens.  Other shelters are also in need of help, and shelter staff are expecting the arrival of a large number of cats in the coming weeks, said a press release.

"We are already very full, but we want to be able to help all of the incoming cats that need us, too," said Gayle Viney, Public Relations Coordinator for DCHS.

The humane society emphasized that illness can spread quickly among animals in close quarters, so cat adoption is especially important to avoid sickness and significant delays in adoption time.

The DCHS has reduced adoption fees for adult cats, age 6 months and older, to $5 plus tax.  The fee is typically $40.  Fees for kittens are $20 plus tax, down from $125.  These reductions will last Thursday through Saturday.

Bakery donates proceeds to humane society


A local business will donate a portion of their proceeds to charity Thursday.

Silly Yak Bakery and Bread Barn, located at 7866 Mineral Point Rd., will donate 10 percent of their day's sales to the Dane County Humane Society.

Personal donations to the DCHS can be made at the bakery any day in October.