Kenosha’s Safe Harbor Humane Society is merging with one of the largest non-profit animal shelters in the country, the Wisconsin Humane Society.
The Kenosha shelter is facing economic challenges and announced Wednesday it would become the Wisconsin Humane Society Kenosha Campus.
Most non-profit animal shelters are separate organizations with independent overhead costs. WHS Vice President of Communications Angela Speed told WTMJ that lower overhead costs as a result of the merger will allow more donation dollars to directly fund animal care.
“We explored all sorts of solutions and ultimately decided that a merger was the only way to really keep the doors open to Kenosha’s animals and families in need of help,” said Speed.
Employees from both organizations will benefit: The merger gives the over 30 employees working at Safe Harbor access to health insurance and other benefits. WHS will not make any pay cuts or lay-offs, and rather plans to hire additional staff to support the acquisition. The Kenosha shelter also lacks an on-staff veterinary, a position that WHS will be able to fill with one of their ten DVMs.
According to Speed, the adoption process will be more streamlined with things like same-day adoptions that help get animals adopted faster. She said all animals in the WHS adoption program have as long as it takes to find a new home.
“The Wisconsin Humane Society practices a pretty progressive, people-centered adoption process that removes barriers to adoption and welcomes people into the shelter,” said Speed.
This merger is the fifth acquisition of WHS in the last 20 years. WHS has merged with Ozaukee Humane Society, Countryside Humane Society in Racine, the Bay Area Humane Society in Green Bay and the Door County Humane Society. All acquisitions have been the result of independent shelters requesting assistance from WHS.
“Southeastern Wisconsin is a wonderful place for animals,” said Speed. “The support from the community makes things like this possible.”