Social Services

WisCARES social service offerings are always expanding–currently we offer

  • Resource gathering and assistance
  • Short-term boarding and long-term foster
  • Pet food and supply pantry
  • Landlord education
  • Linking with existing resources in the Madison area (food pantries, etc.)
  • Navigating emotional support animal and service dog questions relating to FHA and ADA laws
  • Navigating veterinary health care beyond what the WisCARES program is able to provide
  • Animal surrender assistance
    • WisCARES’ primary goal is to keep pets with their owners; we are not a pet rescue and we do not accept surrendered animals. However, we understand that there are extraordinary circumstances in which a pet owner may decide that it is in their family’s best interest for the animal to be re-homed. In these situations, we can help you navigate this process.

Boarding and Fostering

You must qualify as a WisCARES client to access this program. WisCARES’ foster and boarding program provides a temporary, safe place for pets to stay when their owners are experiencing homelessness or receiving in-patient medical or mental health treatment.

The program does NOT provide immediate emergency services or help with more typical boarding needs, such as traveling out of town.

Foster Care
We offer up to 90 days of care off-site in a volunteer’s home. Foster is available for cats, dogs, and small animals such as reptiles, birds, etc.

Boarding (only available for cats)
We can provide up to 2 weeks stay in an on-site kennel at our clinic.

Process For Program Entry:

  1. Contact WisCARES via email or phone to complete client qualification and fill out a boarding and foster program application. This paperwork can also be completed by a caseworker or someone with power of attorney on the client’s behalf.
  2. Each pet that is being considered for placement must receive a wellness exam at WisCARES. A veterinarian will determine if the pet is medically and behaviorally able to enter the program, all pets must be up to date on their vaccines. We can administer any needed vaccines during this exam. Pets may be required to be spayed or neutered to enter the program.
  3. Acceptance into the program is dependent on availability of an appropriate foster home or on-site boarding space.

WisCARES has limited foster placements available at any given time. We can only accept animals into the program when a suitable foster site is available. Here are alternatives to consider:

Pet Food Pantry

Our pet food pantry may be accessed at our clinic, 1402 Emil St in Madison, WI, 53713. This service is for current clients only, but if you qualify, intake can be done the same day you pick up supplies.

Available items vary with donations but typically include:

  • Cat food (wet & dry)
  • Dog food (dry)
  • Cat litter
  • Cat carriers
  • Dog leashes, collars, & harnesses
  • Jackets & boots (dogs)
  • Musher’s Secret (to protect paws from pavement, salt, and ice)

Give us a call and leave a message or send us an email letting us know what you need. We will get back to you with an answer within 72 hours. Existing clients, we need at least 24 hours notice to get a request processed and ready for pick-up.

ESA/Service Animal Information

WisCARES cannot provide letters certifying an ESA. This needs to be completed by your physician or mental health care provider.

However, if you are a person with a service or emotional support animal, a landlord with a tenant who has a service or emotional support animal or a service provider advocating for a client, we can help you understand this process. Contact us at 608 262-3950 or via email.

The links below describe how service and emotional support animals are defined in the City of Madison and State of Wisconsin, and what kind of access these animals are legally entitled to.

Tenant Resource Center

Disability Rights Wisconsin

City of Madison, Wisconsin