Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter to open in December!

After more than 10 years of almost continuous fundraising and donation requests, Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter (RABAS) volunteers will soon see their long-awaited dream become reality.
The RABAS Board of Directors recently hired Staci Roth to fill the full-time shelter manager position. Staci is from Wauzeka, WI. She has many years of experience in animal health care as a Vet Tech in LaCrosse, as well as operating her own parrot rescue in Coon Valley, WI. Staci is passionate about helping homeless animals find their forever homes and is very excited about being the manager of Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter. The Board of Directors feels that Staci is a “perfect fit” for the organization and hopes that her enthusiasm for animal rescue will be contagious to the entire community.
Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter was started more than 10 years ago by Dr. Jami Quick, DVM, who realized the need for an animal shelter in this area. What started as a small group of citizens concerned about animal welfare in the PdC area, slowly grew into a volunteer organization that became a force to be reckoned with.
The volunteer group holds many fundraisers on an annual basis, sometimes sponsoring more than 1 event per month. Past Events have included motorcycle poker runs, dog walks, dog washes, bake sales and brat stands. Some fundraisers have become much anticipated annual events, including Nelson True Value Pet Expo, Chicken Q, Pasta for Pets, Princess for an Evening, Prairie Pool Puppy Paddle and Wake Up Santa.
There were times when we felt that the shelter would never become a reality and we were ready to give up. But then a donation would arrive in the mail or we would be successful in rescuing a pet and we became re-energized in our efforts. Little by little our bank account grew as did our confidence and community support. Even without a physical building, people turned to our volunteers for help with unwanted & homeless pets. The donation of 2 acres of land at the intersection of East Campion and 22nd Street by Steve and Lynda Welter bolstered the group’s enthusiasm. Encouraged by the generosity of donors, the group persevered as they saw their dream come closer to fruition. At the prompting of the city, RABAS swapped the 2 acres of land on East Campion for 3.4 acres of land north of Prairie du Chien, just off State Highway 35N, located west of Country Inn and Suites. This new property would benefit the organization in a number of ways – more land, a more rural setting and a location between the Mississippi River and the beautiful bluffs to more closely match the name of the animal shelter.
A Building Committee, headed by Paula Gutzmer and Don Iverson, was formed with the goal of benchmarking successful shelters to identify ideas to incorporate into Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter. After much investigation and design work, the group took a leap of faith and broke ground on October 25, 2016. Top Notch Construction of Bloomington, Wisconsin was chosen as the contractor and construction began on November 1st 2016.
Just a little over a year from the start of construction, the Prairie du Chien area has an animal shelter that the community can be proud of thanks to our great contractors, local business and private sector support and our wonderful volunteers. Final touches are being done to ready the shelter for accepting dogs and cats in need. The Board of Directors, consisting of Cheryl Statz, President; Bev Pozega, VP; Donna Heilmann, Secretary; Jill Cipra, Treasurer; Randy Paske, Dr. John Kurt, DVM, Lynn Rider, Joe Kramer and Staci Roth, are excited to announce that Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter will open on Monday, December 4th. In its early stages, the animal shelter will be open on a “by appointment basis only”. Appointments can be made by contacting Staci at 608-790-2473 or emailing her at rabasmanager@gmail.com. A Grand Opening will be held in the spring of 2018.
The Board recognizes the fact that fundraising and dependency on donations will always be a way of life for Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter as it is for most animal shelters. Volunteers will play an important role in the day to day operations of the animal shelter as Staci is the only full-time employee at this time. If you would like to volunteer at the animal shelter, please contact Staci. Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization and your donation is tax deductible. Donations can be mailed to RABAS PO Box 421 PdC, WI 53821. Another way to support Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter is to purchase a memorial tile. Memorial tiles can be purchased for those who would like to leave a lasting legacy in memory or in honor of a loved one or beloved pet. The tiles will be displayed on an interior wall at the entrance to the shelter.
For more information on Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter or the memorial tile fundraiser, please visit our website at www.riversandbluffsanimalshelter.org or like us on Facebook.