Tour season at HAWS official starts with the beginning of the school year in September - with about 1,700 people coming through to see our facility and learn about what it is we do in Waukesha County. But it really goes full force in April and May near the end of the school year.
Most of the tours are given to kids between the ages of 5 and 14 -- many of them scouts.
Tours generally begin with a talk about what we do at HAWS and the reasons animals end up there. We also discuss what kinds of responsibilities are involved with pet ownership and encourage kids to do research before they get a pet so that they can be sure that they are committed to proper can and that the type of animal they get is right for their lifestyle.
Then we walk through the shelter -- introduce our adoptable dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals. We walk through our kitchens and laundry area. If the visitors are old enough we stop in our SNIP clinic and talk about 0ver-population and the benefits of spaying and neutering pets.
Today's visitors were from Girl Scout Troop #2684. The 10 and 11 year old girls asked great questions, melted over the animals that they saw, and brought a ton of donations.
At the end of every tour we bring out a few animals for our guests to meet. Today the girls met Dotty the English Spot rabbit, and Jessie the puppy. They had such a great time they really didn't want to leave; we hope they come back soon.