Kristyn Coral Botic
City Business

Animal Antics

The Wisconsin Humane Society's three Animal Antics stores sell pet supplies, with all profits supporting its work with animals.

By - May 18th, 2014 02:48 pm
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Birds, Cats, Dogs, Wildlife. Photo by Kristyn Coral Botic.

Birds, Cats, Dogs, Wildlife. Photo by Kristyn Coral Botic.

For 130 years, the Wisconsin Humane Society has been on a mission to save the lives of animals. In 2013, the WHS found homes for 10,053 animals. The non-profit also has a retail store, called Animal Antics, where adopters — or anyone with a pet — can purchase food, toys, clothing for themselves and more.

While the WHS has been in operation since 1879, its current facility in Milwaukee, at 4500 W. Wisconsin Ave., opened in December 1999. The WHS also has two other locations: Ozaukee Campus in Saukville, which opened in March 2011, and Racine campus which opened in January 2013. And all three campuses have an Animal Antics store.

The store’s clever, alliterative name was chosen by the designers who consulted on the building construction.  The first Animal Antics opened as part of the new Milwaukee Campus in 1999. “At our old location there was not room for a retail store, so our new shelter was designed with it in mind” says Brent Jensen, the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Retail Supervisor.

What sets Animal Antics apart from other pet food stores? 100 percent of all the profits go to WHS. “When you visit a ‘big box’ pet supply store, they may donate 1 or 2 percent of their profits to animal welfare,” Jensen notes, “but when you shop at Animal Antics, you know that 100 percent of the proceeds directly benefit the animals in our care.”

And the stores have a large inventory: from chew toys for your dogs to wooden chew blocks for your rabbits, and even handbooks about taking care of animals. Their products come from a variety of well-known manufactures and distributors of pet supplies. “We take care to ensure that the products we carry are those that are recommended by our veterinary and behavior staff at WHS,” says Jensen. The staff will even test new products with their own pets before the decision is made to sell them in Animal Antics — “to be sure they are safe and durable,” Jensen notes.

Humans can even get WHS gear for themselves. The stores sell a variety of t-shirts with their logo and other slogans on hoodies. Brandon Eggert at Swag Promotions is in charge of bringing the ideas for the t-shirts to life. “We have a number of creative folks on staff at WHS that have helped to design our WHS-branded merchandise, and Brandon Eggert turns our ideas into reality,” says Jensen.

WHS has many volunteers (myself included) that work with the animals. But Animal Antics also has volunteers. “We currently have 18 volunteers that each help out for a 2-4 hour shift once per week in the store, all extremely knowledgeable about the products we carry,” says Jensen.

Animal Antics also has an online store, which carries almost all the same inventory. “You can have the items shipped to you for a low cost, or you can choose free in-store pickup and know that your order will be ready and waiting for you at the shelter,” says Jensen. And online orders over $75 are shipped free. And get ready to wag your tails, Urban Milwaukee readers: “We’d like to offer an exclusive 10 percent discount for Urban Milwaukee readers by using the code URBMKE at shop.wihumane.org” says Jensen. This offer is good through June 30th 2014.

I.D. Photo by Kristyn Coral Botic.

I.D. Photo by Kristyn Coral Botic.

Animal Antics helps WHS meet it mission “to build a community where people value animals and treat them with respect and kindness,” says Jensen. “Non-profits are always looking for additional revenue sources, and sales at Animal Antics can not only provide some of that revenue, but we can also help to ensure that animals adopted from WHS go home with the right supplies – toys, food, brushes, crates, etc. – to set up their new family for success. And our prices are comparable to other local pet supply stores, the difference being that by spending your money at Animal Antics, you’re directly impacting the work that WHS does.”

Animal Antics (Milwaukee campus) is open Tuesday-Friday noon-8pm, Saturday 10 am-5pm, and Sunday 11am-4pm and is closed Mondays.

If you would like to donate to WHS, become a volunteer or foster parent, check online or call 414– 431-6270.

And if you would just like to donate something to the animals, WHS and their wildlife rehabilitation department (at the Milwaukee campus) has a wishlist as follows:

–         Unscented baby wipes
–         Canned and dry cat food
–         Dry dog food
–         Cat litter
–         Dog treats
–         Dog toys
–         Baby food
–         Fruits and veggies, or meat varieties for wildlife
–         Bird seed
–         Unflavored Pedialyte
–         Unsalted nuts

You’ll find a comprehensive wishlist on the “donate” section of the website.

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Categories: City Business

One thought on “City Business: Animal Antics”

  1. Bethany says:

    I love the store! I buy all of our cat and dog food, toys and even cat towers there. Prices for a lot of items are less than at a pet store and all of the money stays at WHS to help the animals. It’s a win-win!

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