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February 11, 2012

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1 previous review
February 10, 2011

The WSHS is an amazing facility where staff and volunteers treat adoptable animals as their own. The physical health of each animal is of extreme concern. Every dog and cat taken in receives basic h... more

February 11, 2012

WSHS has continued to excel in the care of its animals. Last year brought with it a new, cage-free cattery which has reduced stress and disease and has boosted adoptions. The love and respect both staff and volunteers have for every animal is inspiring.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 10, 2011

The WSHS is an amazing facility where staff and volunteers treat adoptable animals as their own.

The physical health of each animal is of extreme concern. Every dog and cat taken in receives basic health care, plus, if necessary, a special diet (allergies, age, disability, etc.) or
further veterinary care, for everything from mange and heartworm treatments to hip replacements and heart surgeries.

The mental health of the animals is also exceedingly important. Dogs and cats get daily playtime and interaction with numerous volunteers. Certain cats get "free roam" time around the building, and dogs with behaviors that may limit their adoptability are trained to become more ideal pets. Some dogs go on outings or "sleepovers" with volunteers. If an animal becomes particularly depressed, extra time is taken with him to ensure quality of life remains high while waiting for a home.

The relationship between staff and volunteers is excellent. There is a open line of communication. Volunteers are encouraged to relate any concerns to staff, allowing quick health care when needed, a constant flow of ideas, and happy, efficient volunteers. The staff has an impressive knowledge of each individual animal and, even after years of service, they are extremely dedicated.

The adoption process is thorough but not outrageous. Many questions are asked to tailor safe, happy, long-term matches between homes and pets. Before any animal is released, it is spayed/neutered (to prevent further pet overpopulation) and microchiped (a permanent form of identification).

WSHS is a no-kill shelter, meaning that no animal is ever put down for lack of space or for taking too long to get adopted. Only in extreme cases of health or aggression is euthanasia considered, and then only as a last resort, as it would be for a personal pet. West Suburban has rehabilitation and rehomed hundreds of dogs and cats who would have been deemed "unadoptable" in other facilities.

I could go on forever about why I am so pleased with the West Suburban Humane Society. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to adopt a dog or cat or to volunteer. It is an amazing experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Meeting adopted animals on the street and at the park with their new, happy owners; watching animals get adopted and move on with their lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Upgrade the building to be newer and include such things as an indoor showing area for potential families to interact with dogs.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 24, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011

WSHS definitely deserves a 5 star rating (I’d give ‘em 10 stars if I could). Their main concern is the welfare of the animals, not only their health but also their happiness & quality of life. The staff & volunteers truly do care about all the animals & love them as their own. It is run by a small, friendly, compassionate staff of employees and many caring volunteers. They rely heavily on volunteers & private donations since they do not receive any government funding, but because of this they are not required and really do try to avoid, at all costs, putting any animals down that they take in. They have a very successful training program; for both dogs & owners. They also have a wonderful foster program. Vaccinations, microchip, spay/neuter & 30 days pet insurance are all included in the adoption fee. So stop in today! I highly recommend visiting the WSHS for your next addition to your family. I know I will definitely adopt my next pet from there.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing & preparing many happy adoptions.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand the facility for more room, not only for more space to help save more animals but also for viewing & interacting.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

February 21, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 21, 2011

Over and over WSHS goes above and beyond to help dogs in need. They are adept at matching household need, wants and abilities with the appropriate dog. Their vast network of volunteers and foster homes speaks volumes to their dedication.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seven pet adoptions

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help get the word out about their fundraisers

February 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 20, 2011

Adopting a dog from WSHS is a great move. All animals come with a 30 day health guarantee, neutering, microchip and are up to date on vaccinations. My fee for adopting my puppy was $200. The staff do a good job fitting your family with the right animal. Our puppy is now almost 4 years old and is the sweetest, smartest dog I ever knew!

There are many volunteer opportunities and they will take donations of money or supplies anytime!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the adopting process.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Allow non-insured people to volunteer.

February 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 20, 2011

A year and a half ago we went to the shelter to find the perfect dog for our family. We took one look and fell in love with Waylon. He was a 1 year old very high energy dog. West Suburban has a wonderful program that they work with a trainer. Before we brought Waylon home he spent a week with the trainer, this was all included with our adoption. We went to the trainer and we picked him up their. The trainer showed us everything Waylon learned and we we're able to bring him home. With those skills Waylon is the best dog!!
Shortly after Waylon's adoption I started volenteering at the shelter. It truely is amazing to see that side of things and how we all fall in love with these aniamals. I also have been fostering dogs through the shelter at my house. I am currently on my 6th foster and probaly one of the best stories. WSHS rescued this 3 month old puppy from Aniamal Control where he was going to be put down because he has a broken leg. Within a few days he went to the vet saw a surgeon had surgery and is recovering at my house. He will make someone very happy when he is able to be adopted!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've adopted two dogs

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any.

February 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 20, 2011

We have adopted several animals from this shelter and wouldn't go anywhere else. They provide more medical care than any other rescue I know of and they have been right on about the temperaments of the animals. The staff has always been thoughtful and thorough in helping us choose just the right cat or dog for our family's needs. they have also provided follow up support whenever we have had questions or concerns. WSHS is part of our pets' family and it's been a great relationship.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our community. They provide a lost and found pet service and take in strays from surrounding towns. I once found a lost cat and I took it to WSHS to see if it was microchipped. It was and withinn hours, the shelter was able to get the cat back to its family, who were very grateful.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them a new facility! They do the very best they can, but their building is small, old and in need of a facelift.

February 15, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 15, 2011

I have been a proud volunteer at WSHS for more than a decade. While I can not speak of how other humane societies work, I believe that WSHS is unique.

This is a true low kill shelter. By that I mean, I know of low kill shelters who will put down animals with health conditions. I am not
talking about terminal ones like cancer, I am talking about ones like hip dysplasia, heart worms... They do not want to be burdened with the cost to correct these issues. At WSHS, they do not see it as a burden, but as an opportunity to save a life, and enhance a persons life in the long run. They use the money to give ANY needed help to the animals in their care. It is not just those animals but ones brought to us in urgent need of vet care. We will take them pay for the care, even if we eventually have to give them to animal control due to lack of space.

Another unique quality of the shelter is the training of the dogs. Again I can not speak for other shelters, but we go above and beyond the call here. Like most shelters, we do a temperament testing on the dogs as they come in. When the need arises, we will send the dogs to off site training. This costs a lot of money, even with the deep discounts given by our trainers, yet we still do it regardless. We have specially trained volunteers call the "star" team. These volunteers spent extra time with our trainers to learn how to consistently train the dogs that have been through training. This assures that the dog gets the same commands, rewards and training time after time.
Now the shelter doesnt stop there. Where many shelters may do the training once, we will do it as many times as it takes. Even then there are dogs that just wont change. These dogs many times would be put down. Not at WSHS. We do everything we can to "fix" the dog, or get it to a a better place. Case in point, Pretender.
Now Pretender was a dog with MANY issues. Cat aggressive, didnt like females, would go for your face to bite among other issues. Pretender went through many rounds of off site training to no avail.
He was unadoptable due to his aggression issues. At most shelters he would have been put down much sooner. Not at WSHS. They found a dog sanctuary way out west. This sanctuary dealt with dogs like pretender and was willing to take him from us. There was only two catches, 1 getting him to Oregon, 2) figuring out what to do with him in the mean time. He was literally going mad, caged up at the kennel. So the shelter sent out a email to the volunteers asking for donations, 1 for the plane ticket out to Oregon, 2) for enough money to keep him in a boarding facility until he could be transported to the sanctuary. The money started rolling in. The volunteers at the shelter, even those who did not even work with the dogs, donated enough money to pay for the boarding and for the flight. Because the shelter and the nature of it's volunteers, Rootbeer, a dog which would have been put down a long time before he found his forever home, got a new lease on life. That just about says it all for what this shelter is, and the volunteers who man it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

SEEING DOGS AND CATS ADOPTED TO GOOD HOMES

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NEWER MORE UP TO DATE FACILITY

February 8, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 8, 2011

West Suburban Humane Society is a wonderful place for animals to wait for their forever homes. Each animal is taken care of and loved as a family member.
Some of our animal favorite things are:
A wonderful apple tree in one of our play yards, and in the fall, the dogs love to eat the
apples, if they don't like apples, they have apple balls to play with while they last.
In the summer the kiddie pools come out and the dogs can take a refreshing dip. Dogs that don't know about the joys of cooling off in a pool will think it is a giant water bowl.
Now, dogs who reside here in the winter have a huge snow mountian to play on, if weather permits. And this year we have the best one ever, thanks to the blizzard ,and a wonderful volunteer who hauls the snow in the play yard and transforms it into the best obsticle course known to dogs.
Our dogs can go on sleep overs with staff and volunteers and even take outings to parks and events.
Now, the cats are not slighted, they have play areas and windows with bird feeders outside to watch, and cat towers to climb on. Also ,lots of laps to curl up on. The cats also get time to roam in the front office.
I really could go on forever at how great our shelter is and how proud I am to be a part of the family there.
We are hoping for a new shelter one day because our facility is not much to look at but it's heart is wonderful

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing our dogs and cats find their forever homes. Also seeing the wonderful transformation of animals that have been abused prior to coming to our shelter. Like, Macie, a pup with an deep indentation across her snout from a rubber band that was put there by her owners . When she came to the shelter she did not trust people, with patience and kindness, over time, she was sitting in laps and playing ball . Macy found her forever home.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

like to have the money to build a new shelter.

February 7, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 7, 2011

When I need help the staff of West Suburban came to my rescue when no one else did. They have remained in touch and helpful as I help two special needs dogs. I couldn't ask for more.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

They provided me with the tools and support to catch and care for the dogs.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more money.

February 7, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 7, 2011

As a 12 year West Suburban volunteer and repeat adopter (4 very special dogs) over the years, I have seen so many animals rescued from hopeless situations and given homes and new lives. West Suburban Humane Society is a top notch shelter that truly cares about the physical and mental well being of all its animals. All animals are comfortalbly housed, recieve general and, if needed, specialized health care. Dogs who come to the shelter exhibiting behaviors that compromise their adoptability become "STAR" (Special Training And Reinforcement) dogs. They are sent to school to learn the kind of behaviors that will make them more adoptable. Upon their return to the shelter, they are only handled by specially trained volunteers and staff, who continually work on reinforcing the good behaviors they learned at dog school. Additionally, animals who are too stressed to live in a shelter environment or have certain medical conditions, are placed in loving foster homes and nutured until they are adopted or safely able to be returned to the shelter population. I could write pages about all the wonderful success stories, but let me suffice to say that any homeless animal that is lucky enough to find its way to West Suburban Humane Society can expect to look forward to the best days of its life!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The adoption of 4 dogs and my 12 years of volunteering.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see a new, state-of-the-art facility built where animals could be housed using the most current technological advancements. The facility would also provide for community educational and outreach events.

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