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Madisonians offer sanctuary to many animals

Many shelters have cats and dogs, but what happens to a pig? Or a tiger?

A pig at Heartland Farm Sanctuary.jpeg

Many animals need our care, like this pig at Heartland Farm Sanctuary. | Photo via Heartland Farm Sanctuary

Locally, there are about 13,000 adoptions every year at the Wisconsin Humane Society. In 2022, about 3,050 animals were adopted from the Dane County Humane Society.

But what about animals that aren’t dogs and cats? Luckily, there are several organizations nearby that help our no-legged, two-legged, and four-legged friends:


Reptile Rescue of Wisconsin, 113 E. Cook St., Portage
“We are accepting reptiles others will not.” They accept domestic-bred reptiles such as ball pythons and albino milk snakes and also has all sorts of other reptiles, like Russian tortoises and chameleons.

A snake at Wisconsin Reptile Rescue.jpeg

Snakes, tortoises, geckos, and more are cared for at Portage’s Wisconsin Reptile Rescue. | Photo via Wisconsin Reptile Rescue


Feathered Friends Sanctuary and Rescue, 1570 County Rd. A, Edgerton
For nearly two decades, the organization has provided a safe haven to homeless parrots living in captivity.

International Crane Foundation, E11376 Shady Lane Rd., Baraboo
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the International Crane Foundation works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems on which they depend. Visitors to the facility can see all 15 of the world’s crane species.


Heartland Farm Sanctuary, 424 US-51, Stoughton
Heartland provides specialized care to rescued farm animals, offers education programs, and provides experiential therapy. Animals include donkeys, geese, goats, pigs, and more.

North Winds Rescue and Healing, 3857 W. Jargo Rd., Deerfield
The nonprofit’s work is to rescue, rehabilitate, retrain, and rehome horses.

A tiger at Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue.jpeg

Lions, tigers, and more are cared for at Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue in Rock Springs. | Photo via Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue

Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue, 305 Pine St., Rock Springs
We’re not talking obese tabby cats here, we’re talking tigers, lions, and more. The USDA-licensed organization is a rescue and education center.

Wisconsin House Rabbit Society, Madison
A chapter of the international House Rabbit Society, the organization rescues homeless rabbits and provides education and outreach.

Your typical house pet

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to adopt (or foster) a furry friend? The Dane County Humane Society currently has little to no wait. We’re quite partial to Eeyore, Whiskey, and Beet Root, but can you really go wrong with whoever you choose?