More below, but: I see that there's a Donor Advisory because OAHS did not list fundraising expenses. While I am not privy to the organization's financials, I do see how they fundraise and advertise in our community, and everything I see (and have been involved with) is done with donated time and materials, via volunteers, social media, and supporting organizations (for example, the local paper runs stories on the Pet of the Week; they've done a few videos courtesy of people who donated equipment and time that get a lot of play on Facebook; PetCo has adoption events; etc.). Especially since they made a commitment to being a lifesaving shelter, but also since they rescued a few high-profile animals (Google "Bernice the Cat" and you'll see what I mean), they've gotten a lot of free publicity. They rock. I know how much they try to make sure all of the animals in their care don't just get a chance to live, but to have a good quality of life. Everyone who works there, from shelter director to janitor, is interested in the animals' well-being - as I've seen when I've been there picking up and bringing in foster animals, sometimes unannounced and at odd hours. For example, I was fostering a cat for them who was very ill (and we had no idea what was wrong) and who was clearly fighting for life. Most places would have put the cat down, but not OAHS. While we discussed that as an option in case the cat was really suffering, we decided that we should take our cues from the animal, and as long as the cat seemed to want to fight for life, we were going to support it. We did, and the cat is now lively and happy in a forever home. (Yay!) They do their absolute best to provide each animal with a positive environment at the shelter or in foster care - the shelter has really nice community rooms and single condos for the cats, playtime and volunteer walkers for the dogs, and every office has animals in it, too, because if there's space, there's no reason there shouldn't be a pet in it. It is a shelter that you actually feel good being in, even when you can't take all the animals home with you. They are constantly trying to find forever homes for their animals, and they are thrilled when it succeeds. I give them money, time, and donations of goods, and am always encouraging friends and family to support them as well. They get a lot of community support, for good reason - but they can always use more, because these animals (and their shelter) always need more help.
The OAHS continues to be a model of how a humane animal shelter, education center and adoption center should be run. The group at the shelter continually show inventive ways to educate the community, foster fostering, increase adoption, and raise funds.
You know when you donate to this worthy cause - that the dollars are going to fund the best possible outcomes for homeless animals.
I'd be hardpressed to get a pet anywhere else BUT the OAHS
The Oshkosh Area Humane Society is an extremely well run non-profit organization. They strive for local education, facility and service exposure, enjoyable special events,successful drives in times of exceptional need. All this and more, is done, secondarily - because at the heart of the organization is the goal to ensure that all animals, not just in the shelter but also throughout the community receive the basic needs, loving care, and respect that all animals deserve - and often times do not get. OAHS does an outstanding job caring for animals, matching up potential foster or adoptive homes, following up with those pairings. Adopting a pet from OAHS is not a one/two time contact - it becomes a relationship where both parties have the best interest of the animal in mind - forever. The staff is top notch: knowledge, caring, realistic, and honest. Without this - the OAHS would not exist as the great organization that it is today!
This is the best run adoption center that I've ever seen. The facility is wonderful and the animals happy. Their comittment to "no kill" is tremendous. I adopted a 16 year old cat from them last year and he has been a wonderful addition to our family. Thanks OAHS!
Review from Guidestar
This is one of the finest animal organizations I've been to. It's clear just from walking in the front door that they put the animals first. I don't know who wrote that first comment but it's clear they are misinformed or have a personal vendetta against someone. The shelter's LifeSaving Mission means that they will no longer euthanize any animal simply because they do not have room. Obviously they have always saved lives but before, when the shelter was full they had to make the difficult decision on whether or not to euthanize an animal to make room for another animal. It's great that they have made this pledge and they've really dedicated resources to try to expand their foster program to find temporary homes for every adoptable animal, until they go to their new forever home. And as far as the claim about the administration being overpaid, that is just laughable - you can look up executive director's salaries online and I can tell you that it's ridiculous how LITTLE people make. You have to admire those who have a passion for their cause that they are willing to work 60-80 hours a week for hardly anything. All in all, OAHS is a stellar organization - one that others should use an example.
Review from Guidestar
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=8416 ... this organization RECENTLY announced a 'lifesaving mission'. What were they doing before? VERY LOW scoring on charitynavigator.org. Administration seems to be overpaid and shelter is open way too few hours in light of the payroll being spent.
My first experience with the Oshkosh Area Humane Society(OAHS) was in 2001 when I adopted my first dog from there. I started in 2005 as a volunteer walking dogs and other odd jobs. While volunteering in January of 06 I started training a puppy named Smokey. After working with him for several months and fostering him I decided to adopt him. In 2008, I was given the opprotunity to join the Board of Directors. All my experiences at the OAHS have been very positive. The new building is state of the art and they have an absolutly outstanding staff to go along with it. They all are very caring, dedicated and everything is done for the animals best interest. Some days I don't know how they do it but they always handle every situation, difficult or not in the most professional, caring manner. I am proud to be associated with such an excellent organization.
I have been volunteering for the OAHS for 14 years now. I started out helping with fund raising and graduated to being a senior volunteer at the shelter. I have done almost everything there is to do there, walk dogs, give them baths, laundry, dishes, clean kennels in a pinch, helped out at the desk. I keep volunteering because I feel very wanted and useful there. I am always thanked when I leave no matter how much or little I've done that day. The staff is very caring and very good at what they do. I know that everything is done with the animals best interest. I will continue to volunteer as long as I can, because the shelter is like my family. If I would have never volunteered there I would also have never had the joy and love of my three dogs and two cats.
I have been a volunteer for the Oshkosh Area for over 6/7 years. I started volunteering there when it was in a small building with limited outdoor space. It was still one of the best operations with which I have been associated. It was clean and as organized as could be. My first and best observation was that the people were so very caring about the animals and ALWAYS kind and helpful to volunteers and patrons alike. There was a warm feeling that all of the employees liked each other and helped each other when the need arose. Now that the OAHS has moved to a bigger and more comfortable facility in many ways, the above values continue. The place is so clean and well-kept. The employees continue to be helpful and caring. The animals are genuinely cared for. Further, the employees are educated in the latest information about caring for animals and help community members with their animals regardless of where the animal originated!!! I love this place. Martha A. Skruby
I have been a volunteer at OAHS for 3 1/2 yrs. It is like home to me. I wear many hats while volunteering and love being there and helping the staff. I see things most volunteers don't see, I see the staff interacting with the public, with the animals, with volunteers. They have always made me feel welcome and know they can ask me to help wherever I am needed. I have helped other volunteers and staff rehabilitate terrified dogs from puppymills and celebrated when they were adopted to a forever home. I have also seen the tears and have cried with the staff and other volunteers over the loss of an animal do to abuse from irresponsible owners. I have seen dedicated dogs that are 11 or 12 yrs old dropped off because owners didn't want to deal with them anymore. Many have been adopted and it lifts our hearts. I volunteer at OAHS because of our dog Penny. She died 4 yrs ago and I wanted to help other dogs that did not have the wonderful life she had. There is no better place to volunteer and I have volunteered several other places.