The Eau Claire County Humane Association
The mission of Eau Claire County Humane Association (ECCHA) is to be a voice for all animals by providing education, resources, support for the community and compassionate care for homeless animals until they can be placed in forever homes. We emphasize coordinating with other organizations to promote animal welfare.
Animals truly need the voices of their human advocates. All too often, when the interests of man and animal are in conflict, man prevails. Animal welfare refers to the state of an animal in relation to its ability to cope with its environment. It encompasses both the physical and mental well-being of an animal, as well as its ability to engage in natural behaviors and its freedom from unnecessary pain, suffering or distress. Animal welfare focuses on ensuring animals are treated with respect and compassion and that their needs are met in a way that allows them to live full and healthy lives. ECCHA is dedicated to educating the public about the need for the humane treatment of all animals and responsible pet ownership.
ECCHA is the only “open admission” shelter within a 100-mile radius of Eau Claire County. This means we take any animal considered domesticated regardless of age, breed, temperament, medical status or behavior. We serve them all – from dogs, cats, small animals, reptiles and chickens to goats, horses…and more.
Manager of Animal Care
Marketing & Development Director
Director of Community Outreach & Volunteer Services
Customer Care Supervisor
Board of Directors
Stephanie SorensonPresident Stephanie is the owner of Paws & Claws Total Dog and has served as a board member for many years. Her family has always had dogs and cats in their home, plus all of her daycare dogs!
Jennifer SeverinVice President and Treasurer Jennifer has been a board member of ECCHA for several years. She is both a cat and dog person. Currently, she has three dogs! She has nonprofit experience and a business background and she hopes to use those skills to help the shelter continue to provide vital services to the animals and people in our community.
Emily NyquistSecretary Emily Nyquist is an owner of Blue Granite Wealth and has been a board member for many years. She is a long time supporter of animal welfare, though she did not grow up with pets in her home. She recently adopted dog from ECCHA!
Dr. William HethDr. William Heth is a retired medical professional from Mayo clinic. He has always been an animal lover and advocate and has served on the board for many years. You will often see him volunteering his time at the shelter walking dogs, doing dishes or helping us clean!
Shelley ScottShelley Scott is a marketing professional and is a new board member. She has always loved animals, and has a rescue dog and two cats at home. Shelley is the chair of our Education Committee.
Patti MonsonPatti Monson is a new board member but has been involved with ECCHA for many years. She is a huge cat lover and often uses her creativity to help with many ECCHA events and promotions. Patti is on the planning committee for our Annual Cat's Meow Gala in the Fall.
Katie LutherKatie Luther is a new board member and works at RCU. She is a huge dog lover and has been a supporter of ECCHA for many years.
Kevin RenleyKevin Renley is a new board member but has been a volunteer of ECCHA for a few years with his two daughters. Kevin is a big dog lover - you will often find him volunteering his time to walk dogs in the afternoon at the shelter. He and his family just adopted a puppy from ECCHA!
Chris GlenzChris Glenz is a new board member but has been involved with ECCHA for several years serving as our IT person. Chris has always been passionate about animals and animal welfare and is excited to be more involved in the shelter!
Pamela VeithPamela is a long serving board member and our former president. Pamela runs a law office in Eau Claire. She is a big dog lover and just adopted one of her own from ECCHA!
Heidi ConnerHeidi is a new board member for ECCHA. She is a big dog lover and even adopted one from ECCHA over 13 years ago! She is involved in the shelter because she values that ECCHA teaches responsible pet ownership in the community.
Summer of 1974
May 24th, 1978
February 29, 1985
A Commitment to Animals
We wish to contribute to a better life for animals and to inspire awareness of and compassion for all living beings. We aspire to provide a safe haven, loving attention, nutritious food, meticulous health care and daily exercise to each and every animal in our care. We do our best to secure each animal in a permanent, loving and responsible home. We carefully attempt to match companion animals with caregivers to attain a quality and nurturing lifestyle for both pet and owner.
Much of our time and energy goes toward ending the specific problem of pet overpopulation. We will be active in our community educating the children in our schools, bringing the community together with fundraisers and pet-friendly events and ensuring that each pet owner has all the resources and information necessary to care for their pet.
Positioning Statement on Euthanasia
ECCHA is committed to reducing euthanasia. We believe every animal deserves an opportunity. Our goal is to serve animals throughout their lives, with our programs’ primary focus on ending homelessness and addressing the needs of animals. We strive to do the greatest good (given limited resources) to help the greatest number of animals.
In balancing the welfare of the animals with our responsibility to the public, we recognize not all animals are suitable for adoption. Therefore, when the difficult decision is made to end an animal’s life, we believe compassionate euthanasia by injection is the most humane and dignified method. This difficult decision is made ONLY when all other options have been exhausted, including working with other shelters, raising funds to provide medical care and utilizing our network of foster homes.
Our board and staff are committed to the open admission philosophy, responsibility for using our resources to help animals and finding alternatives to euthanasia.
Positioning Statement on Declawing
The Eau Claire County Humane Association is strongly opposed to declawing cats for the convenience of their owners or to prevent damage to household property. The only circumstances in which the procedure should be considered are those in which all behavioral and environmental alternatives have been fully explored, have proven ineffective and the cat is at risk of euthanasia.
Cats’ claws play a vital part of in their ability to defend themselves. They use them to capture prey and settle disputes with or escape from other animals or people who are hurting or threatening them. Furthermore, as part of their daily rituals, cats instinctually pull the claws on their front paws through surfaces that offer resistance. They do this to mark their territory, exercise muscles usually used in hunting, relieve stress and remove worn sheaths from their nails.
Declawing of cats, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw on each front toe. If the surgery is performed correctly and the entire nail bed is removed, the claws cannot regrow. The surgery involves the risk of anesthesia, excessive bleeding and postoperative complications (including infection) and is accompanied by pain that may last several days to much longer unless appropriate pain control is provided.
Various alternatives exist to manage natural scratching behavior and prevent injury from cat scratches. These include having a cat’s nails trimmed regularly in order to blunt the tips. Providing scratching pads, posts, and other appealing structures for the cat is another great way to intercede. You can use behavior modification techniques to induce the cat to use them. Deterrents such as double-sided tape (e.g., Sticky Paws ®) can be used to protect furnishings, and covering the claws with soft temporary pads (e.g., Soft Claws ®) is another excellent alternative.
Owners should also be familiar with cat behavior and proper handling techniques to avoid being scratched. Because declawing has not been proven an effective method for improving other behavioral issues, including aggression towards people or other cats, it should never be used as a behavioral remedy (or as a preventative measure). Instead, behavior concerns should be discussed with trained behavioral experts, who can recommend effective techniques for managing feline behavior issues. Therefore, we believe that it is the responsibility of animal welfare advocates to inform individuals of alternative, nonsurgical methods to address destructive clawing, including referral to a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.
Join Our Crew
Make your love and commitment to animal welfare your career.
To see all of our open job listings, see here
Whether you’re looking to adopt, volunteer or simply want to chat about your love for animals, we’re all ears (and paws). Contact us today!