Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin: Capital campaign calls on extraordinary local women to help build new facility

Media Contact:

Jim Geisking

Geisking Public Relations


Dogs, cats and other animals are very important to most people. We love them, we nurture them, at times we even baby them. For the majority of us, a pet is undeniably a member of the family. We want what’s best for them under any circumstance.

This love of animals extends beyond our homes, though. We find it absolutely heartbreaking when we hear about abuse, injury, and mistreatment of any animal. When an animal is neglected or harmed in any manner, we get upset and angry and we want to help. Thus organizations like the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin (HSSW) come into play to assist animals in need.

As it turns out, though, the HSSW has needs, too. They began using their facility in 1976, and it is desperately in need of an upgrade. So they are putting out the call for the community – beginning with women – to help them construct a brand new facility that will better benefit all the animals that are placed with them.

“Our staff and volunteers have done a remarkable job keeping our animals safe and comfortable in a 40-plus year-old building,” says Mike McManus, Executive Director of HSSW. “It’s time to do better. It’s time to do more for the animals. They deserve it, and with some fundraising assistance, we intend to give it to them.”

The HSSW is asking women throughout Rock County and beyond to be the first with their support – through the 100 Extraordinary Women Initiative ( This is a way for women in the community to come together in support of a new facility for the animals cared for by the HSSW, leading the campaign by raising the first $100,000 or more, and serving as ambassadors for the HSSW and the animals it serves.

100 Extraordinary Women empowers women to join together to support causes they believe in and create a bigger impact than they could on their own. 100 Extraordinary Women is asking a minimum of 100 women to each donate or pledge $1000 to the HSSW capital campaign. Pledges can be made over 5 years ($200 per year; $18 per month); gifts and pledges can be made directly on the 100 Extraordinary Women website Everyone who pledges will be invited to a luncheon on May 8th at the Janesville Country Club.

In return, the HSSW will permanently list each woman’s name (or the name of a woman she wants to honor or remember) on a special plaque in the lobby of the new building. Women are also welcome to form groups for one listing, and men can donate via 100 Extraordinary Women to honor or remember a woman who is important to them.

The capital campaign is called “Help Pets Go Home Again,” and the need is clear. The current 9,000 square foot facility was built as a dog pound. To this day, surgery and clinic operations are currently conducted in a retrofitted box truck parked behind the building. Staff desks are in closets, a garage and every available space. The HVAC system needs total replacement. Kennel rooms are poorly designed with no direct outside access. Space is generally inefficient and cramped. The facility is inconveniently located to serve the entire Rock County area.

“Each year we become more efficient in what we do, but this can only go so far in the current facility,” says McManus. “It is now time to go to the next level with a new facility that will support our mission’s success; not hold it back.”

The new design is a one story, 23,500 square foot and highly energy efficient facility. It is a healthy and highly functional design for an expanded humane adoption center that will incorporate a number of critical design considerations that will allow them to be even more successful, more efficient and more cost-effective.

The building project, including land, pre-construction and construction, as well as equipment for veterinary and animal care and housing, is estimated to cost under $195 per square foot. Other animal shelters being built in the country right now are being built for numbers more in the range of $275 – $350 per square foot.

By giving to this venture, donors will know that they are helping thousands of animals in need, including the HSSW’s “spokes-dog,” Sunny. Sunny is an incredible example of HSSW’s work. She is a beautiful yellow lab who was tragically scalded with boiling water then taken into custody by HSSW. Sunny is the mascot for the “Help Pets Go Home Again” capital campaign.

“Sunny is a happy, healthy girl who loves to help out,” says McManus. “She loves everyone and is a shining example of how our animals are treated even in our current home. Just think of what we could do with a modern, highly functional facility! Although our mission is helping pets, it takes people to make it possible.”

About Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin

The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin (formerly the Rock County Humane Society) is a private nonprofit 501c3 organization whose mission is to provide shelter and humane care to lost and homeless pets, reunite lost pets with their families, promote positive pet adoptions and educate our community in order to inspire compassion and responsible pet guardianship. More can be found at

About 100 Extraordinary Women

100 Extraordinary Women’s founder Jodi Sweeney has been committed to non-profit organizations for more than 20 years, including executive and leadership positions with the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools, Capital Fund Raising Committee, and Madison Community Foundation. She helped found the Junior League of Madison, WI, the Madison Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the National Association of School Foundations. 100 Extraordinary Women has helped raise millions of dollars for charitable organizations like The Milwaukee Soldiers Home, the Fine Arts Foundation of the Westby Area, the A1. Ringling Theatre, several Wisconsin-based public libraries, and RE:new, a Chicago-based non-profit that gives hope to refugee women.