'Situation is growing dire,' says Oshkosh Area Humane Society amid drop in pet adoptions: Weekly dose

FILE - Employee Jenny Mosman spends time with Meela on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at the Oshkosh Area Humane Society.

OSHKOSH - Oshkosh Area Humane Society said in a news release Thursday that construction on Bowen Street is affecting access to its facility as visitor and adopter traffic has “slowed significantly.”

“It’s been challenging for staff to get here every day, so we are definitely concerned potential adopters are choosing to not deal with the construction,” said OAHS Executive Director Jessica Miller in the news release. “We’ve seen a drastic decrease in adopter visits since construction began.”

The facility is at 1925 Shelter Court and is open for adopter visiting hours 1-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays-Fridays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Appointments are encouraged for dog adopters to ensure staff is available for introductions and consultation.

Pet adoption has decreased across the country since the pandemic, the news release said.

OAHS Admissions Manager Jennifer Ollanketo said in the release: “During the pandemic when people were staying home, we had a rush of people adopting, and our shelter was probably as empty as it ever has been. Then when things started opening up and people went back to work, many realized they no longer had the time for their animal, or they got a new job and moved where their pet wasn’t allowed. Add to that a nationwide veterinarian shortage coupled with inflation and we can see how these multiple factors contribute to the decrease in adoptions.”

The situation is “growing dire” and affects the scope of services the organization can provide, OAHS explained in the news release.

“We need adopters and foster homes right now,” Miller said. “We need to open up space in our building. When we’re as full as we are, it really limits the number of animals we can help.”

Staff at OAHS hope those who are able and willing to add a pet to their household look to their local shelter first.

OAHS has several kinds of animals — including cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits — available for adoption.

“We hope people will look online at our website at www.oahs.org and realize it’s worth the trip to meet these fantastic animals,” Miller said.

Animals available for adoption and information about the adoption process and fostering can be viewed on the OAHS website.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society also announced it is receiving a $20,000 grant from Petco Love, a national nonprofit, to support its lifesaving work for animals.

Petco Love, founded in 1999, has invested $350 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. The organization also helps find homes for pets in partnership with Petco and other organizations, such as the OAHS.

“We’re seeing more and more animals come in with medical conditions that require treatment, and this grant allows us to provide the care they need so they are as healthy as possible before going to their new homes,” Miller said in a news release.

Welcome to your weekly dose.

Here is more news from throughout Winnebago County in your weekly dose.

Boys & Girls Club named Friend of Education by OASD: Oshkosh Area School District recently honored the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh with the Corporate Friend of Education Award.

The club received the award for its commitment to serving thousands of students annually while school is not in session. The club offers a safe environment after school, on non-school days, in the summer and throughout the pandemic.

The Oshkosh Area School District recently honored the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh with the Corporate Friend of Education Award. Pictured are, from left, Beth Wyman, OASD Board President; Jeff Trembly, BGCO Board President; Tracy Ogden, BGCO CEO; Lindsay Clark, BGCO Senior Director of Operations; and Dr. Barbara Herzog, OASD Board Vice President.

More than 700 students take part in the club’s after-school programs each day.

“We are honored to receive this award,” said Tracy Ogden, CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh. “In partnering with the Oshkosh Area School District, we’re ensuring that the communities’ children have a safe place to go when not in school and the resources they need to become their best selves. It’s a true joy to watch the youth and teens in our community succeed, and as a club, we’re always ready to do whatever it takes to help make that happen.”

Oshkosh West principal named to new OASD post: Erin Kohl, principal of Oshkosh West High School for the last 10 years, has accepted a new position in the Oshkosh district as director of elementary schools.

The new position begins July 1. Until then, she will continue at Oshkosh West, helping with the transition to a new principal.

In a letter to families, Kohl stated: “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Oshkosh West High School community for the past decade. I am grateful for the relationships that I have formed with students, families and staff through the years. Oshkosh West is an incredible community with talented and passionate students, supportive families, and a talented and dedicated faculty. I have learned so much during my time as your principal and will use what I have learned to support principals across the district in ensuring that all of our students are successful.”

Menasha's Tayco Street bridge to close for day May 31: The Tayco Street bridge in Menasha will be closed from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 31.

The Winnebago County Highway Department and the city will do cleaning and maintenance on the bridge. Traffic will be re-routed over the Racine Street bridge.

Blood donation opportunities to benefit local Red Cross office: The American Red Cross is seeking donations of blood or platelets. There has been a recent drop in donation appointments that could lead to fewer transfusions for patients in the weeks ahead. Type O blood donors are especially needed.

Local blood drives will be held in Oshkosh.

The first will be 11:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 5 at Algoma United Methodist Church, 1174 Algoma Blvd.

Another will be 2 to 6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 2580 W. Ninth Ave.

To make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 800-733-2767.

UWO graduates above national average in landing a job: According to a new survey, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh graduates continue to land jobs or other opportunities above the national average.

There were more than 1,500 responses to the First Destination Outcomes survey. Of those, 88.95% of new alumni reported an outcome — meaning they are either employed, involved in military or volunteer service, continuing education or not seeking employment. The U.S. average is 84.1%.

The survey also shows 76.8% of respondents’ first destination is in the workforce, including a full-time or part-time position, entrepreneurship, a postgraduate fellowship, freelance work or another paid position. That is significantly higher than the national average of 60.2%.

Released this week, the annual study gives insight to the post-graduate endeavors of students who graduated with bachelor’s degrees during the 2021-22 academic year.

The findings also show that nearly 85% of UW-Oshkosh graduates are staying in Wisconsin. That includes more than 44% of graduates who came to Oshkosh from outside the state.

The survey is administered by the UWO Career and Professional Development office. Information is first collected from undergraduate students and then updates are given three, six and nine months after graduation.

Read last week's top stories:

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  2. Film contest: Oshkosh North students took 2nd in a national film contest on human trafficking. Here’s what they learned.

  3. Courts: Fox Crossing man convicted of killing girlfriend at their shared apartment in 2021

  4. Officer-involved shooting: Oshkosh officer's actions justified in March police shooting, Winnebago DA says

  5. Podcast: Oshkosh North students launch podcast on teen issues as school unveils first new band uniforms in 30 years: What to know

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This article originally appeared on Oshkosh Northwestern: Oshkosh Area Humane Society pet adoptions drop, says situation is dire