Mounds casts off humane society

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, January 19, 2013

— After 14 years and more than 1,300 adoptions, Mounds Pet Food Store has ended its partnership with the Rock County Humane Society.

The Rock County Humane Society was contacted Wednesday and asked to remove animals and other property from Mounds Satellite Adoption Center, 1725 Lodge Drive, Janesville, according to a letter posted on the humane society’s website.

“We were notified in a voicemail yesterday from Mounds’ vice president that Mounds has made the ‘business decision’ to shut down our satellite adoption center and requesting that we remove our a d o p t a b l e cats by Friday at the latest,” humane society Executive Director Angela Rhodes wrote in the posting.

Rhodes wrote that the society considered “Mounds to be a valued partner in the care of our community’s homeless animals for over a decade and is stunned by this abrupt withdrawal of support.”

A statement released by Mounds’ corporate office in Sun Prairie at 4:30 p.m. Friday did not give a reason for the company’s decision.

“As reported, Mounds Pet Food Warehouse made a decision at this time to end its sponsorship of the Rock County Humane Society. Our commitment to the dogs, cats and other animals of Rock County and elsewhere has not changed. Mounds will continue to pursue avenues that support Rock County animal welfare initiatives and the countless homeless animals waiting for their forever home,” the statement reads.

“We are very pleased with the outpouring of support and concern for the welfare of animals in the Rock County community. Mounds will continue to move forward with our efforts to ensure a safe and loving home for every adoptable animal and humane treatment for all animals,” the statement reads.

When asked to elaborate, a Mounds spokeswoman said that the press release sums up the company’s position.

A version of the Mounds website cached by Google on Jan. 6 listed the Rock County Humane Society among the 18 organizations “Mounds is proud to sponsor,” along with humane societies in Dane, Columbia and Sauk counties.

On Friday, the Mounds website no longer listed the Rock County Humane Society as a sponsored organization.

The satellite adoption center at Mounds was home to five cats this week, Rhodes said. Four of those animals found homes in the humane society, and a fifth was recently adopted.

The Mounds adoption center opened in May 1998. In a May 2011 Gazette story about the 1,001 adoptions from the satellite adoption center, Rhodes said, “I just love the Mounds folks, and I love what they provide for us. It’s really fantastic.”

Along with the loss of the satellite adoption center, Mounds told the shelter that it will no longer be able to purchase cat litter at cost or receive donated pet food.

“It is a big impact to no longer have dry dog and cat food donated,” Rhodes wrote in an email to The Gazette. “We very much appreciated their generosity over the past few years by allowing us to receive those donations as other shelters do.”

The change will mean a “huge increase” in costs for the shelter as it tries to find other suppliers, she said.

In her letter on the society’s website, Rhodes wrote, “Although we do not know much about Mounds’ plans, we understand that they intend to continue to operate an adoption center in the Janesville store in partnership with Dane County Humane Society, who houses adoptable cats in all of the other Mounds stores in the Madison area.”

The Dane County Humane Society refuted this in a post on Mound’s Facebook page:

“We have not had any meetings or been offered the Janesville Mounds satellite adoption location at this time,” the post said.

The post from the Dane County Humane Society also said it was providing services to Janesville, Beloit and Edgerton for seized, impounded, abandoned and stray animals. But that’s not the case in all instances. The Rock County Humane Society remains the primary caretaker of strays.

Last updated: 8:01 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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