MARATHON CITY (WAOW)-- With 17 years of veterinary medicine under her belt Dr. Karla Sathre knows her way around animals. When she saw a need for a no-kill animal shelter in the greater Wausau area she moved forward. Many call her the driving force behind New Life Pet Adoption Center in Marathon.
"I come out almost everyday. So, generally 5-6 days a week to check things out," said Dr. Sathre.
Following seven years of planning, developing, and fundraising, the doors opened in 2008. For more then three years now, the facility has housed dogs, cats, and the occasional rabbit.
"We are thrilled with how it's working," she said.
Dr. Sathre practices full-time as a veterinarian besides her almost nightly routine at the shelter. The dedication she shows to animals also extends to the nearly 100 volunteers that make the shelter run.
"Anybody that comes out here with any regularity is just wonderful to me and are appreciated. It's just fabulous that there are people that care enough to come out and spend their free time cleaning cages and walking dogs," she said.
Some of the animals come in from rescues, but most are surrendered by their owners. The staff carefully evaluates potential adoptive parents to ensure the right match.
"All the cats and dogs have a personality profile and then prospective adopters fill out a survey that helps us know which personality profile is going to match what they're expecting or what lifestyle, home setting, that type of thing," said Dr. Sathre.
About 40 animals stay at the shelter right now with the opportunity to hold three times as many cages. There's a four month waiting list before they can take in more cat and dog surrenders. During several months 15-20 animals have been adopted from the facility. The goal is to adopt a pet a day. It's one Dr. Sathre knows they'll eventually reach like so many along the way.
"We always said we can do this with all volunteers. We can do this with people who are committed and love the idea, and, yes, we are-which is huge," she said.