Helping PAWS Pet Rescue

is a locally based, non-

profit and no-kill animal

rescue in northern



Adopt an AnimalMake a Donation

Page Quick Links:   Adopt/Foster/Donate     Our Programs     About Us     Adoption Notes     Our Partners

Get Involved

Save an Animal

Our Mission

To help stop the suffering of companion animals caused by homelessness, overpopulation and mistreatment.

Adopt or Foster a Pet

We focus on young, healthy, homeless animals that have been surrendered. We also focus on animals who have medical or surgical needs that prevents other rescue organizations from taking them in. We are unique as we have continued veterinarian support on site.


By appointment only. See contact information in this page’s footer.

Make a Donation

We need YOU to support Helping PAWS Pet Rescue! Helping PAWS Pet Rescue is a locally based organization dedicated to enhancing our community through programs that work to end the suffering of companion animals due to homelessness, overpopulation, and neglect. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, our life saving work relies entirely on the support of individuals, groups, businesses, and foundations.

All types of in-kind and financial donations are gratefully accepted. We especially appreciate recurring donations (monthly, quarterly, or annually) which helps you spread the impact of your donation, and helps us with long-term planning. We welcome support in a variety of ways.

Thank you!

What we do

Our Programs

Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome

At-risk companion animals are admitted, provided all needed medical, surgical, and preventive care, and kept safely until they are adopted. Since its inception, our Helping Homes program has rescued and placed well over one thousand homeless companion animals.

Helping PAWS for Heroes

We recognize and honor the service of men and women in the US Armed Forces. To show our appreciation, we offer donation-free or donation-discounted adoptions.

The Many Hats of Our Foster Cats

This innovative foster program allows our available pets a chance to give back to our community while enjoying a more enriched environment in several creative homes.

Critters Without Litters

Helping PAWS Pet Rescue provides the communities of northern Wisconsin with high quality and affordable ways to spay or neuter their pets.



Animals Saved to Date

  • Canine 3% 3%
  • Feline 97% 97%



Animals Saved

  • Canine 2% 2%
  • Feline 98% 98%

About Us

Helping PAWS Pet Rescue is a nonprofit organization that has been active in the Washburn, Bayfield, and Ashland area of northwestern Wisconsin since February 2006. The goal of our organization is no adoptable companion animal should ever be euthanized for lack of medical care and a good home. This is not limited to dogs and cats, but extends equally to horses, rabbits, birds, and other domestic animals.

We are unique in that we care for not only young, healthy homeless pets but also surrendered animals and animals that have medical needs that would cause them to be rejected or euthanized at other rescues. We are also often on the receiving end of puppy mills and hoarding situations. For these animals, HPPR is often viewed as their “last chance to survive.” As a professional non-profit organization, we collaborate with volunteers, animal welfare partners, and other shelters to rescue animals in need. We are a no kill animal rescue, and as such, adoptable animals remain with us until they find their forever home.

We strive to provide unparalleled care to our adoptable animals. We have daily continued veterinarian support. The animals in our care are provided with natural, high-quality nutrition, regular exams, and all appropriate vaccines and preventive care. Any medical issues that may arise are treated appropriately, and all surgeries are performed with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a surgical laser.

Board of Directors

Helping PAWS Pet Rescue board members are responsible for overseeing the organization’s operations, while maintaining a commitment to the organization’s mission. Current board members are:

  • Erika Lang
  • Heather Wisner
  • Valerie Damstra
  • Deanna Regan
  • Elizabeth Macky


Helping PAWS Pet Rescue is primarily a volunteer-run organization. However, occasionally, we hire part-time contractors to help us with our programs if funds are available. If you are interested, please contact us.


Dr. Gretchen Gerber – DVM

Dr. Ralph Weichselbaum – DVM

Get Involved

Helping PAWS needs your help! We have a variety of opportunities available.


Pet Adoption Notes

Adopting VS Buying

There are so many reasons to adopt a rescue animal. All of our animals at Helping PAWS Pet Rescue are in need of a second chance for a variety of reasons. By choosing to adopt, you will give one of them a new life in a loving home. When you adopt, you help 3 souls – the animal you are adopting, the next rescue animal that will take its place, and yours. You are also supporting a valuable community organization that does great work!

Finding the Right Fit

Animals are like people. They have unique personalities and temperments. Also, adding a new member into the family, be it feline or canine, is similar to adding another human. You have to learn about each other and learn how to communicate and work together. This is a decision that needs to be taken seriously. We are here to help you with that decision.

Thank You!

Our Supporting Partners

Current Supporters & Partners

Thank you to these wonderful businesses, organizations and foundations for helping us to do our important animal rescue work! They include: 

Foundations & Organizations:

  • Petco Foundation
  • Bissell Foundation
  • Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • Chequamegon Bay Area Community Fund

  • Maddie’s Fund
  • Thrivent Foundation
  • Best Friends Animal Society
  • Chequamegon Humane Association

  • Catkins Animal Rescue (Wisconsin)
  • Montgomery County Animal Shelter (Kentucky)
  • The Fix Is In (Wisconsin)
  • Critter Harbor (NW Wisconsin)

Business Sponsors:

  • AdventureUs
  • Backwoods Nutrition
  • Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau
  • Brownstone Pharmacy
  • Cenex Bayfield
  • Cenex Washburn
  • Chequamegon Books

  • Craft Connections
  • Darling’s Grocery
  • Hansen’s IGA
  • Harbor House Sweets
  • Huhn Drug
  • Iron River Foods
  • Neighborly Bar

  • North Coast Coffee
  • O’Brien’s C-Store
  • Solstice Outdoors
  • The Fat Radish
  • Tractor Supply
  • Washburn Chamber of Commerce
  • Washburn Hardware & Sport

Is your business interested in supporting Helping Paws Pet rescue? Click the Learn More button to explore options.

Helping PAWS is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are primarily a volunteer-run organization. If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, please contact us.


126 West Bayfield Street, Suite 3
PO Box 294|
Washburn, WI 54891


Preferred Contact: @ Email Us

Alternative Contact: 715-513-6106

By Appointment Only

Hwy 13 Detour Instructions

If you are coming from the south/southwest into the City of Washburn, there will be a detour due to road work. Follow the detour and turn right (R) on to Omaha Street. From there, travel a little further east and turn left (L) on 2nd Avenue West. The rescue's parking lot will on your right.


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