A decrease in lost and surrendered animals at the ECCHA

Highlighting how the ECCHA has done after COVID-19 hit

Sami Geiger

More stories from Sami Geiger


Photo by Submitted

Eau Claire County Humane Association showcases pets of the week

COVID-19 has affected many things, both in positive and negative ways.

So many businesses have had to shut down because of the pandemic, I was happy to hear that the Eau Claire County Humane Association was able to remain open and fight through this virus.

The Eau Claire County Humane Association located on 3900 Old Town Hall Rd hasn’t let the pandemic stop them from helping animals.

While they aren’t open to the public, they are available online and through appointments.

I remember each time my family adopted all five of our animals — yes I said five — it was such a special occasion. I think if I were to adopt an animal right now I would feel sad that I wouldn’t be able to actually go into the shelter to meet them. 

“We have open enrollment, meaning any animal that is considered a pet is welcomed with open arms,” Tracey Newhouse, director of volunteer services, said.

They have received animals from dogs and cats to rabbits and snakes.

They truly embrace the “open to all animals” policy. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in the U.S., all adoptions are by appointments only. The center is not open to the general public like they once were. All applications for adoption can be done online as well as picking up your new furry family member through curbside.

The best feeling about adopting all of my animals was walking out with them, but COVID-19 has ruined that. 

The ECCHA also takes in surrenders and lost animals. Members of the community can bring in animals they have found on the road to be taken in for care. They will also accept any animals from families which can’t take care of them anymore.

All animals are welcomed in with open and loving arms — even scaly ones. 

“In terms of surrenders we see more stray cats being brought in as lost but as far as surrenders go, more dogs are brought in to be surrendered,” Brianna Heath, animal caretaker and adoption counselor, said.

I know this is going to sound unbelievable, but the numbers of surrenders and lost animals have actually decreased since the pandemic started.

I thought for sure that the numbers would have increased. People have spent so much time at home that they could have easily decided they couldn’t handle being a pet parent — but I am beyond happy this isn’t the case. 

Shelley Janke, director of the ECCHA, confirmed numbers have decreased with more animals being fostered and adopted.  

At the start of the isolation, people and families got lonely and wanted that sense of companionship. What better than a furry friend, especially for those who started working from home.

The volunteer program has changed too. Orientations are held online and volunteers have scheduled times to come through instead of coming in whenever, Newhouse said.

ECCHA also has pets of the week which showcase animals that have been there the longest or are harder to adopt.

This week’s pet of the week is Leia.

She loves to play in the yard and her favorite toys are tennis balls. Leia is also food motivated and knows how to sit, shake and lay down.

If you are looking for a huge cuddle bug who loves everyone she meets, then Leia is your girl. She would prefer to not be in a home with other dogs as she doesn’t like other dogs or young children.

Leia’s adoption fee was partially sponsored so the fee is only $100.00 plus tax.

Snatch this pretty girl up before I do. 

This beautiful pup is ready to be a part of someone’s family. If you believe she is your perfect match you can apply here.

Geiger can be reached at [email protected].