Marshfield Area Pet Shelter Adapts to COVID-19

marshfield area pet shelter cat
MAPS kitty for adoption, Grimm

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, local animals still require rescuing and care, so Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS) has had to adjust their operations in response to the ever-changing world surrounding the virus.

“Due to coronavirus, we made the heartbreaking decision to temporarily dismiss our 60 dedicated volunteers that we relied on to help care for our animals every day,” said Karen Rau, Executive Director. “Our three paid staff members have rearranged their work schedules to ensure we have daily care for our animals every day of the week. Our volunteers stay connected to our animals through weekly updates and pictures sent by our staff.”

“Our greatest need is monetary donations and adopters,” said Rau. “We rely on our fundraisers to provide much needed income for our day-to-day operations.”

With MAPS’ March fundraiser being postponed and the uncertainty surrounding the future of all events this year, they, like all non-profits, are concerned for their financial future.

“Now more than ever we need monetary support, but we also understand many individuals and families are also facing financial hardships right now,” said Rau.

MAPS was also expected to move into their new facility next month, and as of now that plan tentatively remains the same.

maps under construction
MAPS’ new building on Downwind Drive

“At this time, construction work is still in progress at our new facility, but we are unsure how the COVID-19 situation will affect our timeline to move into the new building,” said Rau, “Things change daily in the world we live in today, so we are constantly adapting, but hopeful. The move is tentatively planned for some time next month.”

Even though MAPS is currently closed to the public, they are still encouraging adoption because there are many pets still needing homes.

“With ‘kitten season’ right around the corner and the possible influx of animals coming into our shelter, we need to make sure we are controlling the number of animals at our facility,” said Rau. “If interested in adopting, please complete our online application and once approved, we will schedule an appointment for the applicant to visit their desired pet.”

At this time, MAPS is not seeking immediate foster homes as they have not yet reached their maximum capacity and the animals are in comfortable living conditions at the shelter. Their primary focus is currently adoptions.

marshfield area pet shelter cat
MAPS kitty for adoption, Calipso

“If our numbers increase to the point we can no longer comfortably house the animals, we may reach out to the public for foster homes,” said Kaitlin Loberg, Shelter Manager. “As always we encourage people to follow our Facebook page for the most recent updates and information.”

“Just like any other crisis, we will get through this together,” added Holly Henschke, Medical Coordinator. “Our community has been so generous to us, and we would like to return the favor by inviting those in need to visit our free pet food pantry.”

MAPS keeps a table stocked in the front entryway with a variety of cat and dog food that anyone is free to take.

“No questions asked, and everyone is welcome,” said Henschke. “Our only request is that you only take what you need so that we can supply as many people as possible.”

MAPS has also partnered with the United Way to ensure they are reaching people who may need food for their pets.

“The UW is sending out over 100 emergency food boxes/week and we asked them to include a slip explaining our free pet food pantry. So far, Prince and the Country Store have donated food for this,” said Rau. “We are also asking people to drop off donations of cat and dog food between our front doors to make sure we have enough food for the folks that need it.”

Find MAPS’ COVID-19 response page here.

Breanna Butler
Author: Breanna Butler

Breanna Butler is an award-winning multimedia producer born and raised in Central Wisconsin. She enjoys exploring and writing about the community. She lives in Marshfield with her husband and furry family.