OCONTO, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oconto Area Humane Society is the only shelter for the treatment, rehab, and training of orphaned animals in this large county in northeast Wisconsin.

It also is the only one in Oconto, Shawano, and Marinette Counties that takes in what’s called pocket pets, such as bunnies.

The Shelter Director, Lexi Woodworth, is marking 12 years in animal rehabilitation and says right now, the number of animals coming into the facility far outpaces the number of animals finding new homes.

“It’s not unique to Oconto County,” Woodworth told Local 5 News. “This is America. A nationwide thing. We’re all facing this, and we need to come together to figure out how do we solve this problem. How do we make it better?”

A new group of surrenders this week has the Oconto Area Humane Society caring for some 60 cats and 20 dogs, not to mention a bunny and a rooster with his flock of hens.

The seven staff members are a determined group that gets help from volunteers and is 100% donation supported.

“Without us, the animals would not be able to survive, quite frankly,” Woodworth shared. “They would have nowhere to go to get treatment, and I think we can all agree that’s not a world we want to live in.”

The non-profit was formed in the early 2000s when Lexi was just in grade school.

Now at the helm, she says she’s seen improvements in the issues of strays and spaying and neutering. Yet humans could use a little more education on what being an animal lover truly means.

“How do we make sure the right animals found the right people,” Woodworth asks. “So, if you were to adopt a dog, make sure it’s a breed and temperament that would best suit your needs.”

The Oconto Area Humane Society takes surrendered animals and handles adoptions by appointment at (920) 835-1738.