I am happy to celebrate Macy’s one-year adoption anniversary. We adopted Macy one year ago from you. Oh my, what we have learned about each other in the past year!


I learned she is a sweet and very loyal dog once she claims you. She was a bit slow to claim our family as hers, but once she did, she shows 100% commitment to us. She gets very upset at bedtime if one of us is not home yet (my teenage daughter in particular).  I learned she is best buds with our two boy cats – Darius and Scotty. I think she claims them as her puppies, complete with full tongue-baths. I learned she is afraid of our girl cat Bootsie. I learned she is grumpy if you wake her up during the night. I learned she loves belly rubs, but only from people she is comfortable around. I learned she is an absolute clown when given ice cubes to play with. I learned she is an incredibly amazing dog!


Macy is learning too! This past spring she attended Doggie Bootcamp to learn good dog manners such as sit, heel, down, kennel, and stay (“come” is still a work in progress!) We are currently attending training classes for reactive dog (she gets very anxious around other dogs) and signed up for disc-dog class to start soon. She is slowly getting better at car rides. She loves the idea of getting in the car, just doesn’t like it when the car moves!  Such a silly girl. I am impressed at what this girl has learned and how much she has taught us!


I want to thank each and every one of you and your staff for everything you do for these pets. I cannot tell you how happy we are to have Macy in our home. She has enlightened our lives so very much. Thank you and Merry Christmas!


I wanted to take a moment to give you a quick update on Clark’s adjustment to his new home. First and foremost – THANK YOU! Clark has been a wonderful addition to my life and house. He’s slowly getting used the new place, but is certainly beginning to make himself at home. We’ve already made some progress as he’s getting used to day to day activities (like doing dishes! He didn’t care for that much to begin with – too much noise). He’s slept throughout the night since the first day with no ‘accidents.’ He’s met the neighbor dog and they get along great. He even barked a couple times over the weekend. He’s not very food motivated (dog treat-wise), but I roasted a chicken on Saturday and found his motivation! Anyway, things are going better than I expected and I wanted to share a quick progress update along with a picture.

I adopted Bucky (formerly known at Tux) almost 2 years ago. He’s enjoying his favorite place…but wishing the window was open!! Thanks for the great kitty!! Michelle E.

Editors: Thank you Michelle for the update! We love to hear from our adopters and especially our kitty adopters! We love to have the opportunity to share how much cats add to our lives. What an excellent photo!

We wanted to give you an update on Samson (now Copper). He has settled into our home perfectly from the start. He gets a ton of exercise every day when he helps with horse chores in the morning and at night and he is so much fun to hike through the woods with. He has been taught how to stay in the pack and has mastered most of our voice commands. He hasn’t chewed much and has had very few accidents in the house.

He and our lab/rot mix Lily are in love with each other. They play constantly and keep each other busy. Most mornings they run several laps around the house. They are both pile sleepers and love to snuggle up together and with us. We made a dog bed out of old couch cushions so they could have their own bed to curl up in and he sleeps on it every night (not in a crate!). He is also best buds with our kitten, Rafiki. He’s respected all the cats and the others want nothing to do with him, but Rafiki wrestles with Lily and Copper and acts like one of the dogs. We often find all three curled up together on the bed.

He really likes our family and loves his life on the farm. He’s been a perfect boy and we’re so pleased with him. We’re blessed that everything worked out like it did. Thank you folks for all your hard work and for bringing this sweet boy into our lives!

I wanted to give you a happy update on Sadie the Beagle that we adopted at the end of January. She has been a perfect fit for our family and she has been such a good girl. She is very smart, healthy, is very happy, and has made our lives such a joy. We couldn’t have asked for a better dog. She enjoys walking with us and using her Beagle nose, and loves taking trips to the dog park. I have attached a picture of Sadie with my son. Thank you for all that you do!

The reason I’m sending you this email is to whole heartedly thank you for introducing me to my new best friend Pete (formally Merrick). I can’t quite express how blessed I feel to have Pete in my life! The moment he walked through the door he fit right in. He is so smart and is learning new commands every day. He always comes when called and will do anything for a tennis ball! He goes swimming at least twice a week and literally flies off the dock when he sees water.

Although he is the messiest eater in the entire world (most of his food ends up on the floor rather than in his mouth), he is the best foot warmer a girl could ask for. He has already figured out chasing clay disks at the shooting range and we look forward to taking him on his first official hunt come fall. He loves to be outside and we go on long hikes nearly every day when I get home from work.

Having been a person who had never adopted from an animal shelter, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After welcoming Pete to the family, I will forever recommend adoption to my friends. Again, thank you for taking such good care of my him during his stay with you. And thank you for all you do for so many animals still looking for homes.

Dezzy (aka Dixie): A new name for a new life. I was once a good ol’ country girl but now I am a city girl, and I’m doing great! Boy it was scary going to this house with these new people, but I am brave. I have been through a lot in my life, but all is forgotten with a good belly rub. I learned quickly that the two furry kitties are friends not overgrown squirrels, they are to be respected not chased. But when my new owners said no, I stopped. I really want to please these new people. Now I just ignore them, even when they pick a fight with me. I was a little sad at first, unsure of myself, and not sure what dogs are supposed to do. The first week I would sleep, get belly rubs, and follow my people around the house. They bought me all these funny toys that squeak and balls that roll, but I have no clue what to do with them. They confuse me. I am going on many walks, which I love!! This is where I see squirrels and chipmunks. I wish I could catch them, but these silly people keep telling me to heel. Again I am trying to listen, but it is so hard to not chase these furry creatures. I knew how to sit before I came here but I am now laying down, rolling over, and staying very well. I think they are pleased with how fast I learn because I get these great treats. I don’t bark, chew, jump up, or beg for food. I love to go for rides too. They take me places with long trails and even a river where I take a quick dip every time. I am always looking at my people to make sure I am doing the right thing. I am most happy on my dog bed with my people right by me. I even sleep in my crate at night by their bed, where I feel the safest. I’m having some difficulty with other dogs, I don’t want anything to do with them, they make me nervous. We are working on this, and hopefully when I start to know myself better, and with good training, I will become more comfortable with other dogs. People on the other hand, I love all people.

Molly (formerly Missy) is extremely happy here! She is so good! We are all thrilled to have her join our family and she has adjusted well. Of course the three of us have taken her on long walks, including three today, so she mostly lies down and cat naps when she is in the house. Her personality couldn’t be better and her markings are lovely. Each day we all build more trust together. We can let her go free and now rarely use the leash. She always keeps a close watch for us and we for her. Thank you for all the good work you did with her, it really shows.

Here is Sadie sleeping in the sun. Sadie is living the good life in her new home after living in the shelter for about 2 years. She is an old cat and only has 3 teeth left so she must eat soft foods. She hated living in the shelter and would loudly protest her displeasure to anyone who would listen. It wasn’t until she arrived in our home that her true personality started to shine. Sadie loves attention and is a wonderful greeter when visitors come to our home. She is very social and wants to hang around with us all the time. She is totally cool with the dogs and our other cat. We adore her!

In June 2009, Lex became a member of our family. After looking at the VCHS website, we initially picked him out and hoped that when we went there he would still be available for adoption. He entered our home and hearts that day. Initially when we met him he gave us a barely audible, muffled growl. He was maybe afraid as he wasn’t sure what was happening. He had been at the shelter for quite some time I believe. As soon as we entered the greeting room, all fears passed immediately. He has become our loyal companion and has grown to be quite a beautiful dog. He enjoys full range of our large yard and observes the comings and goings of all the beautiful wildlife that we are surrounded by. We rarely miss a daily walk and he leaps in excitement each time I ask him if he is ready to go. Ernie will take him on a run each day as he follows him on his 4-wheeler. He loves his runs and walks both the same.

He takes his special treats outside to eat as maybe he thinks we’ll want to eat it too. My husband always teases me when he says, “Lex gets eggs made to order.” On occasion, I’ll make him an egg over easy and place this on top of his food in his bowl. He really enjoys a cut-up boiled egg too.

The huge cottonwood tree behind Lex was left from our second flood in 2009 which was quite devastating to us after having had a very destructive flood in 2008 10 months earlier. The clean up crew we hired to help us asked us if we wanted the tree to be removed. The tree is 3 feet wide in diameter and about 45 feet long. I said, “No, it tells a story.” Just as Lex has his own story; all impacts of nature continue to tell us a story which will remain in our minds and our hearts forever. Please, if you are considering adopting a dog or cat, contact the Vernon County Humane Society. You will not regret it. If people would realize they must neuter or spay their pets, their job would be less difficult. There are sad stories each day of unwanted pets. But, there are great stories of pets who have been adopted that give us unconditional love. We are very fortunate to have such a great facility in our area. Thank you. ~Carol Peterson

isabella (42K)Isabella now is an official volunteer at the thrift store where I spend my Thursdays. She proved to be a wonderful greeter and quietly walked behind me while I sorted or placed articles that were donated. The manager went to the store and got some mini treats for her and assured me that she is welcome to come every Thursday with me. Today she volunteered with me to drive veterans to dialysis at Platteville. She spent time on their laps and kissed their beards. They loved her. Again thank you for Isabella as I think she already is a therapy dog for me and those whose lives I touch with my volunteer acts. Shortly she will be riding with me when I sort and deliver food pantry boxes to those that are shut in. She is an asset and a wonderful companion for me.

Bull_3_sm (19K)

Little Bull gets bandages removed!

Little Bull has been a wonderful patient and he healed faster than expected, amazing the veterinarians. His foster home cleaned his wounds diligently and he didn’t get an infection. We are not fundraising for his expenses any longer. He was adopted by the foster family who helped bring him back to total health. They love him. We wish to give a HUGE THANK YOU to his donors and friends! Read the full story.

Reese (16K)WOW is all I can say. Reese is doing AWESOME so far. She has pottied outside 3 times already and our Beagle “Scanner” is adjusting GREAT. We already bought her a huge cage, just for until we know how she will do by herself at night, I am thinking she is going to do quite well. She has yet to meet the cat but it should be ok. She is a great dog thank you for the chance of adopting her. Just a pic I took to put on FaceBook. She LOVES attention.

wiskers (7K)I just wanted to let you all know Weasel now has a new name. His name is Wiskers. And he is doing GREAT here—he is so sweet! He is doing well with all of us, including the Jake our dog. He loves to pick on Jake—it is really funny to watch because Jake is scared of Wiskers unless they are both on my lap together…lol! Wiskers slept with us most of the night last night. I have never giggled as much as I did last night when Wiskers decided to play with my husband’s feet in the middle of the night—mind you my hubby’s feet are VERY ticklish hahaha! Thank you all so much for this wonderful cat! He fits in great at his new home.

dolly-fritz (39K)We (Dolly and Fritz) just wanted to thank you for taking such good care of us, our mom, and our siblings. We love our new family—a human mom and dad plus three dogs! Our new mom has made us three different fluffy beds where we sleep cuddled together. Our favorite is a basket with a fleece blankie. We played with all the ribbons on the gifts under the Christmas tree, very fun! (We were very good and didn’t bat at the ornaments or climb the tree.) One problem with our mom—she picks us up and wants to hold us, but we’re too busy exploring and playing. Same problem with the dad, he kisses us too much. Regarding the dogs: we did a good job scaring the Beagle—he is afraid of us and runs away. The Golden Retriever is a big lover who just wants to check us out and get in staring matches. The little Eskimo mix is loud and sassy, but after she gets one good sniff of us a day she leaves us alone. Well, gotta go. The sunshine is pouring in a south window and we love to sleep on the back of the reading chair. We’ll stay in touch. Mom says: May God continue to bless you for your loving care of his creatures!

ruckus (15K)We are so in love with Ruckus! Remember when we first met him, and I told you we wanted a cuddlier cat? Stephen and I went back and forth on how he was interested in everything but us in the cat room. I thought that it was just the other cats that were distracting him. Well, my instincts were right, and his natural curiosity has brought out the big lovies in him. He purred for days after we let him loose from the crate. He’s learning to get along with our rabbit, Willow. She’s teaching him to mind his manners. He’s very interested in her hay bin, and has walked right into her cage a few times! Willow growls and swats at him, and he backs down most of the time. So far, no aggression on his end. The vet says he’s in great shape, and says that he’d been very well-cared-for at VCHS. Thank you for taking Ruckus in and caring for him at the shelter. Stephen and I are lucky to find such a great cat!

Maddax1 (136K)Maddax is well-adjusted to his new adoptive home, and his family loves him very much. Nicknames are: Max, Bugsy, Big-head Todd, Chunk-a-Lunk-a, Frog-leg. He loves to follow Mom and Dad around the house, and will sit and watch them intently with those huge dark eyes, making little snuffling noises in his throat when responding to petting and love talk. He loves to chase bugs anywhere he finds them. He loves visitors. He has recovered most of his former muscle mass in the leg that was repaired (anterior cruciate surgery), but it does look a bit less full than his other leg. He might be suffering from some occasional arthritis in his front shoulders; possibly he is a middle-aged dog. His only flaws are chasing one of his two kitty housemates, and being fear-aggressive in vet clinics. Thank you ever so much to all of the generous, caring people who donated to his surgery!

bear (2K)Just wanted to let you all know that “Parker” our cat we adopted about a month ago is doing great! Although we changed his name to “Bear.” He fits right in with our family! I don’t know why he was never adopted before I came in there and got him! He is the most awesome house cat! He’s spoiled rotten! The kids love him as well and he is great with them! They can mess with him all they want and he never scratches or bites them! We absolutely love him!

Manny_Meko (5K)Meko and Emanuel now live in Lawrence Kansas (yes there is a crazy lady there that drove all the way up here to pick them up – virtually site unseen!). Our new mom went to a lot of trouble to build a very nice dog pen and dog house and super plush dog beds in the house for us when it is cold but we decided we prefer the sofa and bed. We love our new housemates, Bela and Shugrrr, even though they are cats. You know what they say, “Cats are from Mars, Dogs are from Venus.”

We love our new neighborhood too. They don’t get many coondogs down here in these parts so we are somewhat of a novelty. Everyone treats us like we are part of their family. Sometimes one neighbor comes over to get us so we can ignore his cats and watch TV. Sometimes another neighbor fetches us to play with their dog in his yard. We get lots of walks but it’s very hard to decide on which kind we want: In the woods by the river where we pretend we are real hunting dogs; walking through the neighborhood alleys where there is a buffet of dog, wildlife and food smells; or walking downtown where everyone lines up to pet us.

Thanks for taking such good care of us so this lady could find us. Life is good!

UPDATE JUNE 2010: Sadly, Vera passed from cancer and Vern passed a few weeks later of grief.

Willa, right, and Merle, leftI came to the VCHS one Saturday to work a bit with a friendly basset hound named Price. When I got there I found that he had been adopted by a wonderful family who was coming to pick him up within the hour. So, I asked if there was another dog I should spend some time with. I was told that the “puppy” [named Poppy] could use some training time. She was five and a half months old, a skinny twenty-three pounds and had been there for six weeks. That’s quite unusual for a puppy, since most are adopted within a week or two. It was clear why. Although friendly, sweet-natured and heavily fond of people, she was a quasar of energy … so much so that apparently most folks thought she would be too much to handle.

I had my rescued dog Merle with me (photo, seated left), a border collie mix who’s become my number one partner in dog training. A little over two years of age, he is great with other dogs, tremendously obedient, and loves to play. I took the puppy outside on a 30 foot lead, opened the van door and said, “Merle, come play and wear this girl out!” They took one quick smell of each other, then exploded into play and went hard at it for an hour … until the young pup was pleasantly spent.

Willa-1 (5K)After all that energy was burned off, I returned Merle to the van, put the little girl on a standard leash, and went off with her on a walk. She responded to me immediately, so eager to please! (And, she was amazingly calm … yes, that’s the power of exercise.) Three blocks into the walk, I heard that voice in my head … the one that said, “You have to take her into your pack. She needs one thing in this world, and that one thing is you! You exercise Merle every single day, why not her too?” Within a few blocks I had myself completely convinced that she had simply chosen me. The voice convinced me that only I could give her the life she needed and deserved. Please understand, I see and connect with a lot of dogs, but I don’t make a practice of bringing them home. She was different.

A few days later, Merle and I went back to sign the papers and change her life forever. Their affection for one another was, and is, a sight to behold, and it was immediate. It’s part of why I knew she belonged with us. The energy was perfect right from the start. Oh, and did I mention she’s a carbon copy, scaled-down version of Merle (above photo, seated right)? I mean, it’s uncanny. I named her Willa. She is a most joyful dog. It’s been a few months now and she has come a quantum leap in her training. I continue to present her with every opportunity possible to socialize her with dogs and kids and strange places and weird stuff she might find scary. She’s pretty fearless. She was a piece of cake to crate train and house train and she is doing terrific on recall and heeling off leash. She is a very obedient little girl, and learning more about patience and good manners every day. At home, she is calm and behaved and always eager to snuggle up for a nap with Merle or me, or anyone else. Best of all, she goes to bed “dog tired” every single night because she gets plenty of exercise. And, she’s well on her way to being a training dog, just like Merle.

Sometimes a dog chooses you. I’m so happy she waited for me to respond the way she did, because my family and I (and Merle) certainly adore her. I remember, on Willa’s first night in our family, after six long weeks in a pen … after a long day of exercise and training and her first-ever date with a big rawhide bone, she lay on the floor, all tuckered out, and looked up at me and said,

“Is this heaven?”

“No honey babe,” I said, “it’s home.”

By Clay Riness, Owner, Good Dog! Canine Obedience Consultants


thea (5K)

Hello to my friends at the humane society where I was so well taken care of and loved for so long. I miss all of you very much. Well, here I am at my new home. Did you know when I left there that I was going to go to a home that had a dog that is deaf, blind and he actually likes cats?! Well, anyway, I made like I did not like him for a few hours by trying to hide. Well…I fooled him, when he came to his dish to eat, I was right there and ate with him!! So far at my new house, I have found the garbage, and now it is always tied up or covered. BUMMER. I have found out that my dog-brother does not eat in the corners of the dish, so I can sneak some of the time! My new mom caught my new dad giving me a smidgen of chicken…not good for him! I can nap on the bed, back of the couch and also on the back of an overstuffed chair. I try to take over my brothers chair, but NOOOOOO he has to have it! I have been a good girl and have gotten a lot of kisses and hugs. My new dad and mom love me a lot and are taking good care of me. I will write more later. Love THEA

austin (6K)

Hello, it’s me, Austin! Here I am on my couch on a Sunday afternoon. My big sister Greta and me just took a long walk in the hay field with Mom and I’m resting. We go on a lot of walks together. Sometimes my family’s two kitties Lucy and Tilly follow along behind us. I’m living the good life. Thank you Vernon County Humane Society for taking good care of me for those five months that I lived there. Thank you to the volunteers who walked me, especially Kristen who gave me many snuggles and hugs after our walks. Thank you to all of the people and businesses who donate money and services to help homeless animals like me. If it weren’t for all of you, I don’t know how I would have survived being homeless especially in the middle of winter. Hey, Mom wants to tell the world I’m a coonhound, and that that a coonie like me is a WONDERFUL addition to a family. Coonies get along great with people and other dogs and most of us can be trained not to “sing” too much.

Remember the energetic black lab named Lyle? Well we’re happy to report he has adjusted to life in his new home in Madison remarkably well. He is happy as can be and so are we! We have renamed him “Hero” because we thought it appropriately reflected his strength and courage after his long stay in the shelter waiting for his new family. We are so glad he waited for us, because we think he is awesome! Hero is getting lots of exercise and happily takes several walks each day, plays fetch with the tennis ball and goes to the dog park regularly (lucky dog). Life is good and he knows it! As a result of all of his new activity he has lost about 5 pounds and the vet says his waistline looks great! Hero is a smart dog and we he came to us he already knew “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Since we’ve had him, we’ve also successfully taught him to “heel” on the lead. In the five months we’ve been together we’ve seen him become more relaxed and more “happy go lucky”, and even the neighbors have commented on how well he is adjusting to his new life. There is no doubt that Hero was born a natural hunter as he loves chasing the squirrels and bunnies (and occasionally our cat) whenever possible. Thus our favorite image of Hero is when he’s at the dog park bounding through the open fields of tall grass. The look on his Labrador face is one of true bliss! We want to thank the staff and volunteers at VCHS for taking wonderful care of him while he was waiting for his new family. We promise to continue to provide him with all the love and care he deserves for the rest of his “diggity-dog” life.

Ellie has adjusted to her new home very well and is enjoying living on the lake. She gets along with her new kitty sister Sophie very well and they love to sit next to each other by the screen door and watch the birds. When we first got her I tried to take her jogging with me but she lagged behind so now we just go on long walks instead.

Ellie has made friends with the neighbor dogs and loves playing with Chloe, the terrier who lives next door. We took her to the beach twice so far. At first she was afraid of the water but after a little bit of time she now likes going in. She only goes in up to her knees or so and we’re hoping that as she gets used to it she’ll start to swim.

We are looking into some obedience classes because neither of us have ever trained dogs before and we’d like her to know basic commands like sit, stay and come. Since she doesn’t know “come” yet we haven’t been able to let her off leash while in our backyard or at the beach. She loves being out on her tie out in the backyard though and never goes bored with all the new smells outside.

We have quickly fallen in love with Ellie and are so happy to have her.

Bo’s Not So Excellent Adventure

I am about to tell you a “tail” that I would rather forget. I wish it never happened and to be honest it could have been over much sooner.

I adopted Bo (“Anton” at the shelter) from VCHS knowing he was fearful and would need a lot of TLC. Because I am now somewhat of an empty nester it was a win-win situation. Bo and I bonded quickly. Watching Bo come out of his shell has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

Long story short about 4 weeks after he came into my life he got loose and was missing for two weeks. I will say it again: TWO WEEKS.

My family and I did everything we could to find him: put up flyers, drove around, walked around, called shelters, looked at shelters, listed him on Craig’s List etc. I was devastated. I missed him terribly. Mostly I was flat out worried about him. Once again, to be honest I never had one bit of hope of finding him. I did everything to look for him but I never thought I would see him again for a few reasons.

We hadn’t had him very long. He was very, very fearful so I didn’t think he would come when I called him. He didn’t know his neighborhood. He was last seen blocks from home…and I hadn’t had a microchip put in when I took him home from VCHS. There is no particular reason why I didn’t; just didn’t think about it. But not thinking about it didn’t help Bo any when he was out on his own, scared and hungry.

Two weeks and a day after he went missing I opened the door to let our other dog out and there was Bo! (I had been leaving the gate open in the hopes he would come back. Our boxer sticks very close to home.) He was skinny and full of ticks. The vet bill was huge but he was treated for parasites, given an antibiotic and a microchip.

Some of you reading this may have noticed that he came back on his own, a fact that doesn’t really make the case for a microchip. If, God forbid, Bo ever gets loose again maybe he will get stuck in someone’s yard or picked up by animal control. The chip will bring him home sooner and in better condition.

There are a few morals to my story.

One: adopting a shelter animal is hugely rewarding. I love my boxer who we purchased as a puppy but from now on its shelter animals for me. They need the home and it is true what people say—you can tell they appreciate it.

Two: If you have a missing pet, don’t give up hope that you will be reunited. I had little hope but looked for him as if I did and thankfully he returned.

Three: Get a microchip!!!! Every single time I talked to a shelter or went to a shelter, or a vet, I was asked if he had a chip. Period.

The Vernon County Humane Society can microchip your dog or cat. The cost is $40.

Lucy (“Dava” at the shelter) has been with us for three weeks now and she has become very well adjusted to our household. She has made herself at home on our bed during the day and early evening but sleeps on her own bed at night. She loves to run and has a few favorite toys. However, she is afraid of the car so we are working on that. She was afraid of many things when we first brought her home, but hotdogs work wonders! She is completely housetrained and has been all along and she has not chewed anything in the house. And she doesn’t shed! She is very affectionate and loves to play. She barks when someone comes to the door, but otherwise not at all. So all those things together make her a wonderful dog. You would think she has lived here forever! Some of the pictures that I have attached were taken at our lake cabin in Minocqua. She absolutely loved the water! She now has a microchip so if she runs away we will be able to find her. She also has a collar with our name and phone number. We are grateful to the Vernon County Humane Society for taking such good care of her until we adopted her.

Ginger, formerly LucilleI just wanted to give you a quick update on Lucille … who had a name change to Ginger. (See photo, right.) She is doing great! She is about 35 pounds now and seems like she gets bigger every time I see her. We will be completing our first puppy class next week and we plan on attending more as time goes on. She has an appointment set up to be spayed on March 11 so we didn’t forget about that. I’ve attached a couple of pictures for you. She has been a great addition to our family and we are very thankful for her. Thanks again for your help.

HobbesHello, Hobbeswanted me to write to let you know he is doing great. Last fall we went through beginner dog training at Packerland Kennel club. He did very well. We are going to continue his training this winter. He loves to run around the yard and play with the kids or his buddy Bruno. Bruno is a chocolate lab who isn’t quite a year old. He lives two doors down and comes to visit Hobbes every chance he gets. Hobbes, on the other hand, never leaves the yard unless I have him on a leash. Hobbes also rarely barks. He seems to have outgrown his digging phase. Last year he dug holes everywhere, but this summer he only dug one. When he’s not playing his favorite game tug-o-war, he can be found sitting in the front yard with his paws crossed watching anyone who passes by. He still hates riding in the car though, I have to pick him up to get him in. Even with treats he won’t budge. He’s just a little goofy.

wandaRemember Wanda, our very sweet “special needs” Treeing Walker Coonhound who lived at the shelter for many months? Wanda needs a special diet. She was adopted by a truly exceptional family north of St. Paul, Minnesota, on Labor Day weekend 2008. This family fosters dogs for a local rescue, so they are very knowledgeable and loving. Wanda’s skin and ear problems have greatly improved, her family reports, with the support of their veterinarian. She is also getting chiropractic care to treat a sore neck and shoulder. Here at right is Wanda surrounded by her family, including her “sister” black Lab Matilda, her “grand-dog” Pug Joey, and Dad, Steve. Mom is holding the camera, or we would see her too!

Luke and LauraWednesday afternoon, my boyfriend and I were honored to welcome a new addition to our family. His name is Luke, and he’s a beautiful yellow Lab. Luke waited patiently at the Vernon County Humane Society for over three months before we discovered him. I can’t believe that no one else took him home, but we’re sure lucky we got to him first!

On the message board that my boyfriend frequents, one of the posters had mentioned looking for a dog and considering a shelter animal. Someone replied that when you get a shelter dog, you’re only getting “somebody else’s problems.” That really burned me, and so I’d like to share Luke’s story as an example of what you can REALLY get when you adopt from an animal shelter.

Luke is perfectly housebroken. He is extremely well-trained and so very smart—he already knew “sit”, “come” and “stay” when he came to us, and in four days I taught him “down” and “out” (as in, you’re not allowed in this room). He doesn’t jump, either on us or on new friends. He doesn’t bark, except for the occasional woof when a car pulls into the driveway. He doesn’t chase the cats, even when they run from him. He doesn’t beg for food—in fact, if you lay a plate on the floor, he won’t touch the food that’s on it until you tell him he can have it. He is gentle in the extreme, whether he’s asking for a belly rub or taking a treat from your hand.

To make a long story short, Luke is probably the best dog I’ve ever met and by far the best dog I’ve ever owned. Someone obviously loved him and took good care of him, and his old family is probably heartbroken to have lost him.

Animal shelters are full of stories like Luke’s. Every animal deserves a second chance. Adopting from a shelter is a perfect way to bring some new love into your life, and bring love back to an animal who needs and DESERVES it.

After my sweet Ulla who was a Chow mix passed away, and my boyfriend’s dog Dakota passed away a month later, I was sure that I was not going to ever adopt another dog. I was done! But my boyfriend couldn’t stand not having a dog around the house, so he started looking on Petfinder. He found a dog named Apache who happened to look a lot like my dog Ulla. So he called the Vernon County Humane Society and asked questions about Apache. He sounded great. So we drove from Apple Valley, Minnesota to Viroqua, WI. I was so nervous driving so far to pick up a dog. When we got to the Humane Society, I was stunned how he had strong similarities to my dog Ulla. We took him outside so he could get used to us. Then he lifted his leg and peed on my foot. I was stunned of course, but after a minute I just laughed. He then looked up at me and gave me this look: take me home, I’m yours. After adopting Apache, we got him in my SUV and started driving home. He looked out through the back window for miles and miles. I wondered if he was already missing the people that loved and took good care of him for so long, since January. But it was Apache’s time to leave the Humane Society to be adopted. My cat Sophie who missed her friends Ulla and Dakota very much, now has a new friend in Apache. He is the best friend anyone could want. I would like to thank the Vernon County Humane Society for taking such good care of Apache. It was meant to be!!!!! Allison and Roy

My family and I adopted Lilah (right) just over a year ago, and we love her very much. She is such a well behaved dog that we have a hard time understanding why she was separated from her first family. Lilah came to us as a very mellow and fully trained dog, which instantly alleviated our fears of adopting a fully grown dog. Our two young children love her, and she is very patient with them especially our two-year old daughter. Our son bonded with her immediately, and she became an instant family member. She was just the dog that we were looking for. Lilah is a wonderful addition to our family, and we feel lucky to have found her.

Hi, me and my family adopted Tiki (right) before Christmas and I want to let you know she is wonderful, and we love her to bits. She is the best thing that happened to me this year. She fills my heart with joy and beyond. Having her around is like having a two-year-old child. She loves being naughty but she only does because she wants us to give her attention.

Jasmine (left), a VCHS resident for many months, was adopted by Capable Canines of Wisconsin and will become a service dog after training. What an honor! She is a loveable, large, stout Lab/Rottweiler mix. She was chosen for this very special role because of her good listening skills and willing attitude and because of her size; a large dog is needed for this family’s need. In a phone call, we were told that Jasmine gets along very well with everyone, including kids and other dogs. Here are a few words and picture of Jasmine. “Here is a picture of Jazzy in her harness. She will be trained for an 8-year-old autistic child and will have to learn basic and advanced obedience, tethering to her new owner, alert the parent if the child has left certain boundaries, search and rescue, seizure alert and behavior calming. She will be with our service dog trainer for 6-9 months.” Kudos to Capable Canines for selecting a shelter dog for this very special role.

Remember Luger? Our handsome, huge, extremely boisterous young Lab? Here is Luger with his new family in the photo at left. We hope to get an update from them soon!


We finally got a couple shots of Silas (right), renamed Mack. Actually we named him Lightning McQueen after the Cars movie star. Mack continues to improve. He’s pretty good on leash, sits very well now, and is learning stay. His barking is pretty much under control now, and except for one bad night when he had an upset stomach, his house manners have been great. His cat manners still need working on, but for the most part he isn’t too hard on them. Mack has learned to fetch very well. I think he’d play all day if my arm would last that long. I enjoy that; I’ve never had a dog that actually enjoyed playing fetch. So, he is alive, well and happy. We’ve had him on a diet, but I can’t really see that he’s lost any weight. I’ll take him into the clinic and weigh him one day soon, just to see it it’s doing any good.

Hello everyone back at Vernon Co. Humane Society! Do you remember me? I’m Mort, and I have remembered my manners with my new adopted masters. I get to run all around the farm, meet new animals; cows and cats. Speaking of cats … My lady of the house has a house cat, and for the life of me I don’t know what that cat is thinking! He just stalks me all over the house. No, he don’t fight, maybe hiss, but this following a fellow around all the time makes me wonder what he is thinking. However, I just lie down on the cool floor and ignore him and he gives up and goes away. I had my lady of the house take a picture of me showing my handsome profile. I thought that you would like to see how sleek and shiny they keep me. And, if I’m extra good they will give me a bite of their table food, or even a doggie treat. After I got use to being on the farm, it really isn’t half bad living. I love chasing birds, but you know, I still haven’t caught any yet! I’ll just keep trying! But, the best of all, is on the really hot summer days, they let me come in the house where it is air conditioned. That is a real treat! Gotta go now. Maybe when the weather gets a little cooler, my masters will bring me by and let me visit.
Sincerely, “Mort” from the Clark residence.

Josie and Winnie (formerly Sadie and Cheyenne) are doing great. Winnie is growing like a weed! They love going for walks and playing with our mini potbelly pig. Winnie and the pig are best friends. They sleep out in the sun right next to each other. Josie is very well-behaved, and hopefully Winnie will learn from her mom.

I just wanted to give you an update on T.J., whom we’ve actually re-named Jake. We tried out a couple of different names right away just to see how he responded, and he loved his new name so much that he had actually learned it within an hour of getting home! Jake is such an amazing dog, and we’re so lucky to have found him. As you know he’s been staying at my parents’ house for the last month, until I move into my new dog-friendly house next week. I can’t wait to bring him down to Madison with me. He’s had a great stay at my family’s house though, and he gets along very well with other dogs—he’s great friends with Callie, Gus, and Corky. His favorite thing to do (besides play fetch with absolutely anything) is to lay down in my lap and roll over so I will pet his belly!

When I first brought June home from the Vernon County Humane Society, it took her a while to warm up to a new family. But, before we knew it, she was making us laugh so hard our stomachs hurt. It wasn’t long after that I decided June’s sister needed a loving home as well, so I went back to the shelter. We named her Midnight, and it suited her because, for the first while, she would only wander the house at night. Soon June brought out Midnight’s playful side and the two are now quite the pair. Thank you Vernon County Humane Society!

Bandit, formally known asBalto, has been a very nice addition to my house. He is very well behaved. My niece and nephews love him. He is so great with them. Relaxing on my couch or on my lap are his favorite spots. I just love having him around. I hope everyone can find a pet as nice as Bandit.


Chyna has plenty of yard to explore. She now has a 40 foot 850 pound test cable so she has plenty of room to roam around the back yard. She likes to go for walks; you can tell when she gets hold of a scent (squirrel, deer, turkey doesnt matter) she goes into overdrive. Her nose works in double time and she runs back and forth (as far as the leash will allow) sniffing, wagging her tail and if the scent is strong enough she’ll even whine a little and try to tug to get us to move faster. … She’s very much a people dog. So far she hasn’t met anyone she doesn’t like. … She does not like having to get up early and get out of bed to go out, but we have to leave for work, so she doesn’t have a whole lot of choice. We go for a quick walk, then I hook her up to her cable and she stays outside and roams around until my father-in-law gets up; then he lets her in and she usually goes back to bed for a couple hours.

Paris, who we have named Sadie, has become a wonderful addition to our family. We can not say enough good things about her. Who ever had her before us trained her very well. She is loving, quiet, playful, and loves to chase the squirrels across the yard. She has become a great sleeping companion for Jeremy, our five year old. She loves to ride in the car and goes with us all the time.

Opal and her babysitter.Opal, one of the dachshund mix puppies born to Pebbles in fall of 2005, is happy in her new home. Dennis and Julie say, “We sure are enjoying Opal. She sure is a cuddler and loves to take a nap in someone’s arms all covered up.” It looks like she enjoys napping with her canine babysitter too! Opal is mostly white with a few dark spots.

Hi Everyone—it’s me Gus! I was a shy little puppy who was full of ticks and scared from being out on my own for so long. The nice people at the shelter gave me a warm place to sleep and lots of food to eat. Yanicka was one of the first people I met at the shelter. She plucked all the icky bugs off me and gave me a nice warm bath. Now I’m living at her house and I love it here!!! I have a big brother named Roger and we romp and play. Our favorite game is tug. My mommy and daddy say I’m such a good dog. I’ve decided I’m a couch dog and a lap dog. Having a family is so much fun! I hope you find your next furry friend at VCHS too!!! Love, Gus

I'm Miss Lemon, but you might remember me as Sylvia.Hello. My name is Miss Lemon. Miss Felicity Lemon. I was called Sylvia when I lived at VCHS for 9 months, but I reminded my new friends, Jim and Sue, of that stuck-up secretary who works for Detective Hercule Poirot on TV, so they renamed me. Turns out I’m not all that stuck-up, though. In fact they think I’m quite lovable. I amuse them by chasing my tail, talking to them in a purry voice, sitting on laps, and politely greeting guests. Sometimes I sleep in their bed, but I’ve become fond of a chair downstairs, too. I don’t get into a lot of trouble. My only real vice is climbing up on the kitchen counter to watch birds outside the window. Oh. And eating. You might notice that I’ve put on a couple of pounds since you saw me last. But never mind that. I’m happy living here and Jim and Sue love me.

Sammy and his special girl at his new home.Sammy was an older dog who was at the shelter for months because no one wanted an older dog. He had cataracts and a broken fang. Apparently he had been dumped off, found around Genoa. He howled at the shelter, this mournful sound. Then Petco had an Adoption Day for VCHS, and although there wasn’t room in Kim’s van, Sammy’s friend, volunteer Barb Karwoski, decided to bring Sammy in her car. He was adopted that day. But all was not well. After a week or so his new family returned Sammy to the shelter because he was restless at night and cried. Sammy wanted to be with people at night, not by himself. Later, Barb told his former family how unhappy he was back at the shelter, and Barb walked Sammy almost every day because he was so lonely. Then one night Sammy’s former family called and said they wanted him back, wonderful news!!! They had new plans for him at night, and he would have his own pillow by their bed, etc. It worked great and they love him to death as does the little girl (photo at left). Sammy sleeps with her every night and is all adjusted now.

“Dear VCHS, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to adoptJethro (photo at right). He was scared at first but he is so much happier now. He’s learning how to play fetch and he already knows how to sit and lay down. I couldn’t have asked for a better match! Thank you so much for helping me find a life-long friend!”


Duke with his new family. Look at that big grin on his face!Duke was older, had a limp, cataracts, and was found wandering around town one day (photo at left). Very sad face, he hated the shelter. It looked hopeless–no one wants an “older” dog. We took him to Petco one day with 3 other dogs hoping they would find homes. Two did and Duke just sat under the table, very sad and quiet, not getting up at all. Until this lady walked by looking at the dogs. He got up and went over to her–they bonded right there. She wasn’t even looking for a dog. One of her dogs had died recently and she was shopping for her other dog. It was fate. She happened to be a massage therapist and worked on Duke and turned him into a new dog. His eyes are clear, he plays ball and romps around. What a step up! He is happy!


Couch potatoes!Meet Scooby Doo, adopted in October by Joanne Stout and family, of Viroqua. They LOVE Scooby Doo. He has it made–look at these two guys watching TV, photo at left. He is a real member of the family.

“This is Maxx, right, adopted from the shelter in Nov., 2002, out in time for Thanksgiving! He was 8 years old then, a black lab/rottweiller mix. He had a family all his 8 years, kids and other dogs, but they had to move and couldn’t take a large dog. He was extremely sad at the shelter. As I went up to walk the dogs as a volunteer, I fell in love with him. He seemed to know I would always be back. He is a gem. He is my house dog. He has a happy tail!” This success story is from Barb Karwoski, a former VCHS volunteer. Here is Maxx with Santa, at right.