Saving the World, One Dog at a Time

The Jackson County Animal Shelter is located at 403 Pine View Road, in between the Pine View Nursing Home and the Fairgrounds. Animal control officer Barb Pfaff has worked at the shelter for 11 years. According to its website , the main purposes of the shelter is to:

  • Shelter and care for lost pets until they can be reunited with their owners
  • Accept unwanted and stray companion animals and make attempts to place them in caring and responsible homes.
  • Humanely euthanize those animals which are inadaptable or unwanted.
  • Respond to complaints of inhumane treatment of animals and refer the complaints to proper authorities.
  • Encourage pet owners to have their companion animals spayed or neutered to reduce the pet overpopulation problem. 

Middle and High School students are encouraged to volunteer at the Animal Shelter, as the animals who are staying there may be homeless, but still deserve all the love of the pets that students keep at their homes. “[If you want to volunteer] just walk through the door,” Pfaff said.

There is a lot of variety in the volunteers, from students in Brad Markhardt’s Small Animals class, to the elderly ladies who have been volunteering for years.

Contrary to what most would think, the cost of adopting a pet has gone down since the beginning of the economy’s recession. The funding has gone down, and rescues like Badger Rescue Transport Services (B.R.A.T.S.) and For Hope Inc., which actually transports dogs to where they are most likely to be adopted, are left in a lurch.

“There is a certain type of dog that is more likely to be found in different areas,” Pfaff said. “In Milwaukee, there will be more small dogs, but up by Green Bay, there will be more large dogs.”

While she said that the Jackson County Animal Shelter does not have a certain type of dog that is most often in the shelter, there is a kind of “black dog syndrome” in many shelters. This is where a large amount of black dogs are consistently in shelters, mainly due to the fact that there are many breeds that have black fur.

The recent police case involving Gabriella Bernabei and Robert Grassi and their freezer full of dead cats has caused a large influx of cats in the shelter, as the living cats are being held as evidence against the couple in court. Unfortunately, they are unable to be adopted due to the fact that they are still property of Bernabei and Grassi. The animals, including cats and kittens, have brought a few minor problems with them: colds.

“Anything they may have is very contagious.” said Pfaff.