The start of the new year is great excuse to reintroduce ourselves to our friends, supporters, and neighbors. So . . .
We are a private, non-profit animal rescue based on Mondovi, Wisconsin. Despite our name, we are neither part of nor affiliated with the county government in Buffalo County. We were founded more than 20 years ago and chose a name that indicated the region we hoped to serve. In 2015, we began construction on the Jerome and Judith Benson Animal Shelter, our first permanent building, but the process has not gone smoothly. (Check out Building Updates for more information about the status of the building.)
We sometimes get asked, “what does it mean when you say that you’re a PRIVATE animal rescue?” The short answer: it means that we are not a government agency and not are not affiliated with any local government agency. A more complete explanation requires that we start with some definitions.
There are two basic types of animal shelters / rescues
A municipal or public shelter is sponsored by the local government, typically a city or county. It is typically a government agency; its paid staff are often government employees; and its budget is controlled by the city or county government.
A municipal shelter is typically an Open Admission shelter, taking in every animal that comes through its doors, without regard to whether it has space available for the animal. This means that it must sometimes euthanize healthy animals in order to make room for new animals coming in.
Before anyone comments, it is important to note that NO shelter wants to euthanize healthy animals, but becoming a “no-kill” shelter requires a lot of community support. We recommend watching this video from the Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw of the Orphan Kitten Club, to learn more.
A private shelter or rescue is not part of the local government. Its staff is often made up of volunteers, with any paid staff-members paid by the organization. The budget is entirely supported by the fees collected for services (adoptions, surrenders, etc) and by fundraisers and donations.
A private shelter or rescue is often a Limited Admission shelter, which means that it takes in new animals only if it has the space and resources available for that animal. This means turning some animals away. It generally only euthanizes animals that are suffering or dangerous to public safety.
BCHA is a private animal rescue, supported entirely by donations, fundraisers, and fees collected for our services. We are a limited admission rescue, taking in animals only when we have space for them in our network of foster homes. (Hint: More foster homes means more space which means that we can help more animals.) We generally will only euthanize an animal if there is a medical reason to do so.
So, dear friends, supporters, and neighbors, that’s who we are. It’s nice meet you. We’re looking forward to great new year.