Prairie du Chien businesses make it easy for community to support animal shelter*

/ 8:28 AM
Two local businesses are making it easy for community members to support the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter in Prairie du Chien and shop at their retail establishments at the same time.

Nelson True Value has begun an ongoing program, Partnering for Pets, through which shoppers can help support the animal shelter. According to Bev Pozega, RABAS vice-president, customers at True Value who purchase pet products or store brand Wild Bird Food products will have 10 percent of those purchases gifted to the shelter.

“They’ve been trying to come up with a way to help us and we’re so grateful,” Pozega said. “This is a great way for customers who already buy their pet products from True Value to give back to us at the same time.”

For seven to eight years now, Kwik Trip has been offering gift cards, which can be used for gas or groceries at its convenience stores, to citizens who wish to contribute to the shelter. It’s a simple program. For example, give Rivers and Bluffs $25 in cash and you will receive a $25 Kwik Trip gift card. Then, Kwik Trip will give 5 percent of the proceeds to RABAS. From there, you can shop as you normally would at Kwik Trip with the cards. If you purchase groceries with the card, an extra 10 percent will be given to RABAS.

“Basically, you’re not out anything. You get the same value out of it as what you put into it. You just use the card at Kwik Trip and Kwik Trip is the one that makes the actual donation,” Pozega explained. “The cards make great gifts and they help out our organization.”

More ways to give
In addition to these fundraisers, RABAS is selling 4x8 and 8x8 tiles to those who wish to honor or memorialize someone. Tiles will be erected inside the animal shelter.

Plus, the shelter is collecting old cell phones and inkjet cartridges to be sent to Texas, from which RABAS gets a “kick back,” according to Donna Heilmann, RABAS secretary. The size of the old phones and cartridges must be smaller than the palm of your hand to donate. The shelter, Tender Care Animal Hospital, Computer Support Plus, RadioShack and Mediacom all have boxes for these items.

“Every little bit adds up,” Pozega said.
-----------------------
*Permission granted by By Correne Martin, Courier Press
Two local businesses are making it easy for community members to support the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter in Prairie du Chien and shop at their retail establishments at the same time.

Nelson True Value has begun an ongoing program, Partnering for Pets, through which shoppers can help support the animal shelter. According to Bev Pozega, RABAS vice-president, customers at True Value who purchase pet products or store brand Wild Bird Food products will have 10 percent of those purchases gifted to the shelter.

“They’ve been trying to come up with a way to help us and we’re so grateful,” Pozega said. “This is a great way for customers who already buy their pet products from True Value to give back to us at the same time.”

For seven to eight years now, Kwik Trip has been offering gift cards, which can be used for gas or groceries at its convenience stores, to citizens who wish to contribute to the shelter. It’s a simple program. For example, give Rivers and Bluffs $25 in cash and you will receive a $25 Kwik Trip gift card. Then, Kwik Trip will give 5 percent of the proceeds to RABAS. From there, you can shop as you normally would at Kwik Trip with the cards. If you purchase groceries with the card, an extra 10 percent will be given to RABAS.

“Basically, you’re not out anything. You get the same value out of it as what you put into it. You just use the card at Kwik Trip and Kwik Trip is the one that makes the actual donation,” Pozega explained. “The cards make great gifts and they help out our organization.”

More ways to give
In addition to these fundraisers, RABAS is selling 4x8 and 8x8 tiles to those who wish to honor or memorialize someone. Tiles will be erected inside the animal shelter.

Plus, the shelter is collecting old cell phones and inkjet cartridges to be sent to Texas, from which RABAS gets a “kick back,” according to Donna Heilmann, RABAS secretary. The size of the old phones and cartridges must be smaller than the palm of your hand to donate. The shelter, Tender Care Animal Hospital, Computer Support Plus, RadioShack and Mediacom all have boxes for these items.

“Every little bit adds up,” Pozega said.
-----------------------
*Permission granted by By Correne Martin, Courier Press
Continue Reading
Recent adoptions
Zoey is off to her new home today!
She walked out the door and didn’t look back.
These two ladies are going to be the best of friends.

GRAYBAR ADOPTED! New owner
was camera shy so this is the best picture
we have of Graybar the grey kitten who went
 to her new home yesterday.
 The other 3 are still available

Thunder has found his forever Family!!!
He is such a sweet deserving dog!

Big George finally found his furever Family!

Miss Muffy stole the hearts of
this sweet couple today
so they decided to take
 her home. We couldn’t be
 happier for this old girl!


Recent Adoptions

by on 7:36 AM
Recent adoptions Zoey is off to her new home today! She walked out the door and didn’t look back. These two ladies are going to be th...

Above: Weston Cejka, his younger sibling and
their mom stopped by the Rivers and Bluffs Animal
 Shelter in Prairie du Chien a few weeks ago
to visit with the dogs and cats. They were
 interested in taking a pet home.

As the adage, “If you build it, they will come” implies, the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter facility has been 10 years in the making, but it’s finally complete and open in Prairie du Chien, and volunteers have shown up. So have the cats and dogs.

Two months after the shelter officially opened Dec. 4, an average of two dozen cats and kittens along with about 10 dogs and puppies are living at the shelter. It seems, when some are adopted, others often arrive. Most have been surrenders thus far, though a few cats have been strays.

The important thing is that, now, if people have to give up a pet, there’s a place for them to go, be cared for and treated with love.

“I didn’t anticipate that we would be helping people, not just pets,” RABAS Vice President Bev Pozega shared. “These are like our pets. They’re not just animals in a cage.”

The kind treatment animals receive at Rivers and Bluffs is apparent the second the front door opens. Visitors walk into a big, open reception area, oftentimes greeted by not only the manager, Staci Roth, or volunteers, but also a friendly dog ready for petting. That physical interaction is instantaneous. On either side of the room, there are large glass windows behind where adoptable dogs and cats roam, play or rest with their friends, with murals of comfy outdoor scenes as the backdrop.

“This place is pretty awesome,” Roth acknowledged. “There’s plenty of space for the animals to run around and be social. There’s a daily rotation where even the animals that aren’t as social with others have the opportunity to get out and run around. The more we can interact with them, the more people who come in here will want to take them home.”

The way the shelter works is that dogs and cats are either surrendered by their owners or brought in as strays. Other types of animals, such as birds, bunnies, and guinea pigs, as well as feral dogs and cats, are not accepted.
Several dozen cats and
kittens are currently living at Rivers and
 Bluffs Animal Shelter, playing
and looking cute, in hopes o
 finding their “furever” home.

The animals are held in an isolation room for 48 hours for the purpose of disease prevention, Roth said. They’re checked for fleas and ticks and given tests for conditions such feline leukemia, distemper, rabies, and heartworm. They receive vaccines and are scheduled with a local vet clinic for spaying and neutering. If they are found to be contagious, wild or aggressive, they may be kept in a kennel or cat condo separately from the other animals until the perfect home is found. According to Roth, these protocols were determined by RABAS’ board of directors by way of veterinarian advisement.

The shelter is a “low-kill” organization, meaning animals are only euthanized for certain medical reasons.

“We will work with aggressive animals to improve their temperament or try to find someone who has knowledge about working with such issues,” Pozega stated.

Currently, strays from the city of Prairie du Chien are taken to Southwest Vet, per a contract between the two. However, Roth noted that RABAS intends to take over that contract once approved by the city. The shelter has a separate side entrance for police and animal control officers who may bring animals from emergency situations after hours. Aside from that, Rivers and Bluffs is not staffed 24/7, it does not have a veterinarian on staff and it is not an on-call facility.

Thanks to an outpouring of support and volunteers since the shelter’s opening, supplies are well-stocked, daily duties are done on schedule and adoptions are happening regularly. Certainly, Roth said, RABAS believes the newness surrounding this long-awaited facility has attributed to the forthcoming of assistance in the beginning.

“Initially, we got on a list to receive a pallet of dog and cat food and cat clay litter but we’re going to go through that fast,” Roth said. She said the shelter is always going to need those things in addition to dog and cat treats, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry soap and bleach.

Roth and RABAS Secretary Donna Heilmann explained that they would appreciate “scoopable cat litter.”

“It’s easier and will help us to be less wasteful,” Roth said.

“Cash donations are probably also atop our list,” Heilmann added to the perpetual needs.

Over 25 rotating volunteers have stepped forward already. Most have agreed to be scheduled to address the site’s morning, afternoon and evening animal accommodations. These activities include walking the dogs four times a day, cleaning and sanitizing condos and kennels, mopping, feeding the animals, doing laundry, cleaning dishes and other light housekeeping. Volunteers not on the schedule can simply stop in during regular hours to play with the cats and dogs because that’s necessary too.

“There are responsibilities but it’s also a lot of fun. Everybody who’s there enjoys being there,” Pozega pointed out.

In fact, there were five well-attended volunteer training prior to the shelter’s opening.

Heilmann said many of the volunteers have even joined the Friends of RABAS membership.

“We’ve been so very impressed with the outpouring of support we’ve gotten so immediately,” she commented.

In total, 17 kennels including two double kennels, two cat rooms with 24 condos in each, cat and dog viewing areas, cat and dog intake rooms, an exam room, two outdoor play yards, a kitchen and an office make up the layout of the facility. Architecturally, the set-up is meeting RABAS board and volunteer expectations. They hope that the public takes the time to stop in and check out the new space.

“We wouldn’t have a building right now had it not been for the donations from area community members,” Pozega said.

That includes all contributions, from the tens of thousands of dollars in personal gifts to the small purchases and participation at RABAS fundraisers.

“Just the other day, we had a little girl bring us some treats and blankets she made herself,” Heilmann mentioned. “That, to me, is just as fulfilling since it came from her heart.”

Pozega agreed that this organization has taught kids, and adults too, to give back and learn how to volunteer, all while having fun. “Even if it is just to play with the kitties,” she said.

The first Rivers and Bluffs fundraiser was held back in 1997. Since then, bake sales, food stands, poker runs, rummage sales, dog walks, basket raffles and a few tried-and-true events have become key parts of the journey. Some of the upcoming fundraisers are among the favorites, like the Pet Expo at Nelson True Value, Pasta for Pets, Princess for an Evening and others.

“We’ve got quite a following. People have come to know the quality of what we offer,” Heilmann stated. “Now, when you adopt an animal from us, you know you’re getting a healthy, friendly pet ‘furever.’”

“The reward has made it all worth it,” Pozega affirmed. “After all these years, we’re finally making a difference.”

Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter hours are Mondays, noon to 7 p.m.; closed Tuesdays and Thursdays; Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to stop by, behind Country Inn and Suites, during these times or call the manager, (608) 380-1559, to set up an appointment. Watch for animal features and adoption success stories on the shelter’s Facebook page, and visit riversandbluffsanimalshelter.blogspot.com to sign up for RABAS’ newsletter.
------------
*Permission Granted for reprinting by Correne Martin- Courier Press
Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter opened on Monday, December 4th. In the past  8 weeks, we have
truly made a difference in the lives of the pets in our care, All are well—cared for and loved and l really don't think they know they are living in an animal shelter. Dogs are walked at least 4 times per day, no matter what the weather, Neither rain, nor hail, nor sleet, nor snow, nor hitter cold, nor dark of night, shall keep the dedicated dog walkers of Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter from the completion of their daily walks. Cat condos are cleaned at least 4 times per day. The cats and kittens in our care receive much attention throughout the day.  It is therapeutic to watch the cats and kittens interact. Their playful antics bring smiles and laughter to everyone in the shelter.
The hours of the animal shelter have recently changed to be more accessible to all, no matter what their schedules. We are open from noon to 4 on Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Hours on  Monday are from noon - 7 p.m. The shelter is closed on Tuesday and Thursday.
Our newest additions are two beautiful Red Bone Coon Hounds — Bones and Skitter. Bones is a very well mannered, mild tempered dog, He walks nicely on a leash and is very gentle. He always seems so content. When Skitter first arrived at the
shelter, he was a hit rough around the edges. But Cheryl has given these two Red Bones the extra love and attention they were craving and it is amazing to see the difference in both, especially Skitter. They love being brushed. All of these dogs have been neutered and are current on vaccinations. The dogs are house-broken - they do not alert when they need to go outside as that would be difficult to do in a shelter environment. Because of the frequent, regularly scheduled walks, there have been very few messes in their enclosures.
We have many beautiful cats and kittens in need of their forever homes. All of the cats are friendly and would make excellent Companions. The cats are current on vaccinations and are spayed or neutered.
In addition to making a difference in the lives of the pets in our care, we are also making a difference in this community. For people who are forced to surrender animals they love, they have found peace of mind knowing that their beloved pets will be loved and well cared for as they await their forever homes.
At this time, I would like to join Staci in thanking the many volunteers who have come together to make our first 8 weeks such a success. Your continued commitment to the animals in our care is amazing.

Welcome to Rivers and Bluffs

by on 9:09 AM
Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter opened on Monday, December 4th. In the past  8 weeks, we have truly made a difference in the lives of the ...
Here we are in our second month of being open and things are running smoothly. There have been a few kinks to work out here and there, but I think everyone is getting the hang of it and schedules are working out nicely. In the first month and a half, RABAS has taken in over 40 animals, the majority being cats. Seventeen cats and five dogs have been adopted.
I can’t say enough about our dedicated volunteers who come to the shelter three or more times a day to walk, feed, clean and just to give some love to our shelter animals. The support of this community has been overwhelming and so much appreciated! We still need more help though! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to give, half an hour here and there to stop in and visit the animals helps to keep them socialized. Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to stop out to tour the new shelter and to see the animals waiting to be adopted.

A Message from the Manager

by on 9:08 AM
Here we are in our second month of being open and things are running smoothly. There have been a few kinks to work out here and there, but...
PdC Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 will be held on March 22nd. Members of the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce will be invited to Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter for an Open House. The Chamber of Commerce will take care of all PR. We will need to supply refreshments.
The event is held from 5 – 7 p.m.

Pasta for Pets will be held on Wednesday, April 18th at Huckleberry’s Restaurant and Banquet Hall. More on this to come as we get a bit closer to the date. For now, please save the date. This event includes a Salad, Pasta and Dessert Buffet, Live Auction, Basket Raffle, and a 50/50 Raffle.
We will need people to set up, bake desserts for the Dessert Buffet, bus tables and clean up. We will also need volunteers to provide baskets for the basket raffle or items for the Live Auction. Now is the time to start thinking about putting together a basket, either individually or as a family or group. If you would like to donate a large ticket item (either handcrafted or purchased) or cash to purchase large ticket items for the Live Auction, please reply to this email or contact Bev, Donna, (phone numbers on page 2 or Tina (608-412-0179). Tina will once again be promoting Reserved Tables for Groups.

RABAS Garage Sale – City Wide Garage Sale (April 19, 20 & 21st -half day) – Since we now have a big, beautiful garage, we thought, why not have a garage sale. Please save any items suitable for resale for the garage sale. No junk, please. More information on this to follow as we get a bit closer to April. For now, please start collecting any items you may have. We will not accept garage sale items until we get closer to the dates of the garage sale.

Save Your Shoes For RABAS – Bev wants to try this again, even though everyone else thinks she is crazy. But now that we have our own place, complete with a big garage, shoe collection and storage should be much easier than the first time we did it. Once again, if you are cleaning out closets, please save your gently used shoes, boots, flip-flops, and sandals. They do need to be clean and in good shape. The collection will start in May. The start date has not yet been decided, but it will be after the Garage Sale.

Mothers’ Day Food Stand & Bake Sale at Nelson True Value is set for Friday and Saturday, May 11th and 12th. Again, for now just save the date.

Rooster Andy’s Chicken Q – Jill will check with Rooster Andy’s about available dates.
Painting Party Fundraiser – Brenda suggested a Painting Party. Janet contacted Lynda Coon for more information. Janet will get available dates from Lynda.

Memorial Tile Orders-To date we have received orders for 36 tiles for a profit of $2,988.00. We only need 14 more tile orders before we can place our first order. If you are planning to purchase a tile in memory or in honor of a beloved pet(s) or animal lover, we would appreciate it if you would please consider doing it soon. Tiles can also be inscribed with a family or business name. The engraved tiles make excellent gifts for the animal lover in your life. Cost of a 4x8 tile is $75 and cost of an 8x8 tile is $150. Memorial Tile Orders can easily be placed online by going to our website www.riversandbluffs.org. Click on the link and you will be able to order online using Paypal or print off an order form which can be mailed along with payment to RABAS PO Box 421 PdC, WI 53821. The tiles will be displayed on a large interior wall near the entrance of the animal shelter.


Kwik Trip Gas sales  The sale of these cards can play an important role in funding the monthly
operational costs. The Kwik Trip cards can also be purchased at the shelter. The cards can be used in the store for products or at the pump for gas. A simple swipe at the pump and you will be on your way without waiting plus you will be helping Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter. We make 5% from every gasoline purchase and an additional 10% for every in-store purchase. Kwik Trip Gas Cards make excellent Christmas gifts for that person who has everything or for that student on your gift list. Please support Rivers & Bluffs


Other Ways to Help Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter

Phoneraiser - Please continue to save and donate your old cell phones, smartphones and ink cartridges. They can be dropped off at Tender Care Animal Hospital, Radio Shack or just bring them to a RABAS meeting. Donna, as always thank you for your time and effort in this project.


Schwan’s  – To support RABAS by placing an order from Schwan’s, please visit the following website: https://www.schwans-cares.com/campaigns/31390-rivers-and-bluffs-animal-shelter. Schwan’s will donate 5% of each order placed to RABAS.


Amazon Smile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Please consider either or both of these fundraisers when shopping online from Schwan’s and Amazon. It doesn’t get any easier than this.

An Additional Way to Help Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter can now be done through an automatic ACH withdrawal from your checking or savings account on a regular basis. This automatic withdrawal can be made for any amount and can be done as often s you would like – weekly, monthly, whatever you would like. These regular donations, no matter how big or small, could easily help

Another Way to Help is to purchase supplies when you are out shopping. Things that we will always be in need of include: paper towels, clumping cat litter, bleach, garbage bags, copy paper, envelopes, stamps, and dog and cat toys to name a few things. Before purchasing any large items for the shelter, please check the “Needs List” that can be found on our website or contact Donna or Cheryl

Rivers & Bluffs Tee Shirts and Caps are available for purchase at the shelter. If you would like one, contact Staci, Bev or Donna.

UPCOMING FUNDRAISERS

by on 10:40 AM
PdC Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 will be held on March 22nd. Members of the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce will be invited ...

Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter
460 Cliffwood Drive
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Ph. 608.380.1559

Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter is a 501(c)(3) volunteer-run charitable organization. State License 468354-DS