Humane society recognizes Marvin Popp


Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

Contributed Photo Marvin Popp recently retired after decades as president of the Shawano County Humane Society board of directors.

The directors and staff of the Shawano County Humane Society recently recognized outgoing President Marvin Popp for his decades of service. Marv was a pioneer of the society.

Marv commented: “In the early 90s, my niece Renee Oh and her friend Kim Schmeider approached me asking for help. They had a rescue barn for stray and unwanted animals, but it didn’t have heat or water, and they knew they couldn’t shelter the animals in it over winter.

“The city had a wooded lot on Airport Road. They agreed to lease the lot for $1 a year. The lot was wooded and had to be cleared to make room for a small building. I remember taking down 18 trees, splitting the wood and selling it. The money was used for building materials.”

Dohn Zimmerman donated his time and equipment to bulldoze the stumps. The goal was to get the building built before winter.

Marv commented: “I remember pleading with my cousin Duke Moesch to put the sewer lines in even though it was getting pretty late in the year. It was right before deer hunting, and it was already getting cold. He agreed and worked through the night by the headlights of our vehicles.”

Veterinarian Becky Barr was also a pioneer of the society. Popp and Barr worked hard to get the cement work done. The shelter was completed in time for the animals to move in before the cold of winter. Within a month, every cage was filled.

M & I Bank supported the efforts of the society by giving them a small loan. Members of the community were happy to have a place for the stray/unwanted animals. Donations started coming in and the small shelter was paid for in the first five years.

Marv commented: “The society was fortunate to have a veterinarian on the board. Funds were tight and we couldn’t afford to pay Becky Barr. She generously donated her services during those initial years. We really owe her a debt of gratitude.”

The need for sheltering stray or unwanted animals continued to grow, and the initial building was too small to serve the needs of the community. Plans were put in place to build a bigger shelter. It was completed in 2001. The address of the humane society is 1290 Jaycee Court (in the Industrial Park).

Marv concluded: “There are so many people who have supported the humane society over the years, I can’t begin to name them all, but I want to say thanks to each and every one of them. I believe the society is on solid ground and in good hands. I’m proud to have been a charter member of this wonderful nonprofit organization.”

The current board of directors of the humane society includes Dustin Martzke, president;, Lorna Marquardt, vice president, Phil Zuhse, treasurer, Jill Birr, secretary, J.R. Habeck, Becky Barr, John Seidel, Jacqueyln Pische, Chris Olson and Sarah Magee. Robin Hogan is the shelter director.

There is currently a Feline Adopt-a-Thon; the cost to adopt a cat is only $50. This includes spay/neuter, vaccines, snap test and ID chip. If you purchase a cat or kitten from a breeder, or if you get a free kitten, the vet cost to have this done ranges from $249-$350.

The society would love to be able to give the animals to loving homes at no cost. However, as you can see, it costs us money to get the animals ready for adoption. We do keep our costs as low as we can. Right now, with the special on cats, we are losing money, but our cages are full and we hope many of them will find their fur-ever home.

The cost to adopt a dog is $210. The dogs receive all of their shots, receive a snap test, are spayed or neutered, and have an ID chip. If you do all of this yourself after purchasing a dog or puppy from a breeder, the costs range from $316.50-$484.50.

So far, this year, the humane society took in 153 cats and 127 dogs. We are pleased to report 35 dogs and 27 cats have been adopted, and 15 dogs and 94 cats have been released to other area shelters. In addition, 42 of the dogs were returned to their owners, and one cat was reunited with its owner.

The shelter is in desperate need of kitten food. Please consider donating a bag of hard kitten chow (any brand) if you can.

Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. Just stop out at the shelter and complete a volunteer form. The staff would welcome you and so would the animals!

Answer to last week’s question: Art Tic had the first shoeshine stand in Shawano in 1936.

This week’s question: How did Huckleberry Harbor get its name?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.