Founded in 1921, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) is an open-admission shelter that cares for approximately 7,000 animals every year—including companion animals, exotic species, farm animals, and injured or orphaned wildlife. It accepts all animals regardless of age or health condition. In 2003, DCHS partnered with the University of Wisconsin's School of Veterinary Medicine to become the first organization to treat ringworm, an infectious disease once thought untreatable in animals, and has since saved the lives of more than 650 cats.
Every animal that enters DCHS’s facility receives necessary medical treatments. After being microchipped and evaluated for behavioral issues, companion animals are placed with permanent families. The organization also helps rehabilitate ill, injured, or orphaned wildlife through its Four Lakes Wildlife Center program. When not working directly with animals, DCHS advocates for humane animal laws and provides outreach programs to teach people about animal welfare.
The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin strives to ensure bicycling is safe, accessible, and fun for residents across the state to achieve its vision of making Wisconsin one of the world’s best places to ride. Along with supporting campaigns such as Bike to Work Week and youth bike camps, the federation works to create bicycle-friendly policies that support riding opportunities throughout Wisconsin, reduce air pollution, and lessen traffic congestion. At neighborhood bike rides and safety presentations, city alders, community members, and police officers are invited to participate and learn about cycling options in their neighborhoods.
A long-term, community-based housing program, Home for Good helps participants become and remain self-sufficient. In addition to housing assistance, supportive services aim to increase residents' abilities to live independently and maintain employment. Nearly all Home for Good participants are receiving mental-health treatment, which can place an incredible strain on their limited monthly budgets due to the cost of copays for doctor’s visits and prescription medication.
Through VSA’s Open Doors Studio program, adults with disabilities who are interested in visual arts learn to manipulate two-dimensional media in studio classes. On average, classes include about 12 students, and focus on creative development and self-expression. After the 10-week program, participants can present selected artwork at VSA’s annual public exhibition.
Since each woman's needs differ depending on her unique situation, Lean On Me provides customized support to survivors of domestic violence that typically reaches up to $200 worth of services for a woman and two children. Emergency resources may include toiletries (about $15/person), a night of shelter ($25/person), emergency transportation (about $20), and kennel services for one dog or cat ($15). Due to lack of funding, many of Wisconsin's domestic-violence programs, including Wisconsin Coalition for Domestic Violence, are struggling to accommodate growing numbers of women who have experienced domestic violence and need emergency resources.
The transitions-camp program runs for two weekends in February and May, and hosts activities that teach life skills such as money management, grocery shopping, and cooking healthful meals. The camp prepares young adults who will be living without their parents’ care and attendance for the first time, and participants can learn at their own pace in a relaxed camp environment away from the challenges and stresses of home and school. Campers can also learn to network with potential employers or educational programs, and work on their individual goals to achieve greater independence, such as learning to brush their own teeth or count money. Easter Seals Wisconsin is in need of additional funding to sponsor a scholarship for the transitions camp, which covers the costs of meals, lodging, staff support and care, and supplies.