Coulee Region Humane Society

Onalaska, Wisconsin

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About Coulee Region Humane Society

Coulee Region Humane Society has been serving the people and pets of the Coulee region since 1971. They're the designated stray holding facility for La Crosse County. No animal in need of care or shelter will be turned away regardless of age, health, behavior, or circumstance. The society’s mission is to rehome as many healthy, adoptable animals as possible while reducing the number being needlessly euthanized every year. By working with and educating the public, they hope to inspire responsible pet ownership and humane animal care.

In addition to a comprehensive adoption program the society also offer the following community services:

  • Animal control
  • Lost and found pet service
  • Pet therapy
  • Dog training classes
  • Volunteer programs
  • Free owner surrendered intakes
  • Low-cost spay/neuter clinics
  • Licensing services
  • Humane education programs
  • Working cat program

Considering adoption from Coulee Region Humane Society? Keep reading below for more info on their adoption process and fees.

Contact Info

911 Critter Ct
(608) 781-4014

Hours of Operation

Mon, Wed, Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue, Thu: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat, Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Adoption Process

If you're interested in adopting a new best friend from Coulee Region Humane Society, the process is as follows:

  1. Begin your search on the shelter’s website, where all the animals available for adoption are listed with photos and details about age, breed, sex, personality traits, etc.
  2. If you spot one that steals your heart, contact the shelter's amazing staff to find out if they're still available.
  3. You can submit an adoption application before meeting to speed up the process. Add any details about animals you're interested in adopting. It's also a good idea to attach proof of current rabies and distemper vaccinations for any current dogs and cats in your home.
  4. Once your application is approved, an Adoption Counselor will contact you to arrange an appointment to visit the shelter.
  5. On the day of your visit, allow enough time to meet any pets you may be interested in adopting and complete the necessary paperwork.
  6. Coulee Region Humane Society's aim is to keep the adoption process as easy and pain-free as possible. Every effort is made to be able to take your new friend home on the same day!
  7. Remember to bring a collar and leash if adopting a dog and a pet carrier for cats.

The following are list of adoption contract requirements, which must be carried out within a specified time period:

  • Health exam within 14 days of adoption
  • Up-to-date rabies vaccination and licensing for all existing pets
  • Licensing at the time of adoption
  • Spay/neuter surgery within 30 days (for unaltered pets) or at 6 months old for kittens/puppies

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at Coulee Region Humane Society are as follows:


  • Puppies (up to 1 year old): $350
  • Adults (1+ years): $300
  • Seniors (7+ years): $250


  • Cats already spayed/neutered: $60
  • Cats in need of spay/neuter surgery: $30

Other Small Animals

  • Rabbits: $50
  • Guinea pigs: $15
  • Mice, gerbils, and hamsters: $5
  • Rats: $10
  • Birds and exotics: Vary


  • Two cats or small animals for the price of one
  • Extended stay (1+ months at the shelter): 50% discount
  • Special needs animals: 50% discount

Adoption Process & Fees

Our writing team is hard at work researching this shelter's adoption process and fees, so this page will be updated soon!

In the meantime, here's some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

Why Rescue A Shelter Dog?

Because shelter dogs are full of love!

Is it because they know you saved them and love you harder for it?

I can't say for certain, but yes.

Jokes aside, there are three things all shelter dogs need to thrive in their new home:

  1. Love
  2. Patient
  3. Training

Older shelter dogs, generally 1+ years old, may have experienced a lot of trauma, which often results in one of 8 common behavioral issues:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Aggression toward people & pets
  3. Resource guarding
  4. Destructive behavior
  5. Housetraining regression
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Leash reactivity & barrier-related aggression
  8. Constant whining

These issues are correctable! Your dog isn't broken, they're just damaged. You can fix them with enough love, patience, and a good training plan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding good dog trainers can be hard. Like everything else, dog training is moving only. but there are great online dog trainers that are proven to work and can help get your new pup on the right path.

Animal Shelter vs Humane Society vs Rescue: What's the Difference?

You can learn a lot about an animal welfare organization just by looking at their name.

Animal Shelters

  • Most Animal Shelters are city or county-run organizations, often operated by the local Animal Control department, that manage strays and handle owner surrenders.
  • They usually have kennel facilities you can visit to adopt animals, and they usually have less stringent adoption requirements, lower adoption fees, and same-day adoptions (because their goal is to get animals out of the shelter).
  • Unfortunately, they usually know very little about each animal, including their true personalities and any behavioral problems.

Humane Societies

  • Most Humane Societies are non-profit organizations, many of which are no-kill shelters.
  • Some (but not all) are affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States.
  • They exist to improve animal welfare in the local community and often partner with city or county-run Animal Shelters that often euthanize animals due to capacity restraints.
  • They usually have kennel facilities, sometimes at multiple locations, and usually offer other services to the community such as low-cost spay/neuter clinics, community education programs, and more.
  • They may also have some animals in foster care.
  • There's a lot of variation in process and fees among Humane Societies, but they usually have really good websites that detail everything for you.


  • Most Rescues are foster-based organizations that don't have physical facilities.
  • They usually have websites and contact emails, but not all of them have phone numbers.
  • Because they don't have a physical facility, you need to view animals in their foster network online, usually on their website but sometimes on their member pages on either PetFinder or Adopt-a-Pet.
  • If you see an animal you'd like to meet, contact the rescue using the process listed on their website or via email. They'll help you through the application process and set up a time for you to meet the animal at the foster's home.
  • Adopting from a rescue generally is the most expensive option here and takes the longest, but you get an animal that's been cared for in a loving home environment and their foster can tell you a lot about their personality.

6 Tips to Improve Your Adoption Experience

Adoption processes vary drastically from organization to organization, but here are some general tips that apply in most instances. Note that we'll use the term "shelters" here for simplicity but it includes all types of rescue organizations.

  1. See an animal online that you'd like to meet? Call the shelter before your visit to make sure the animal is still available. This especially applies for puppies, which are adopted out quickly.
  2. Usually, you'll need to get some paperwork in order: a photo ID, vaccination/medical records for any pets you currently have, possibly your vet's contact info and a couple of personal references, and (for renters) proof you're allowed to have a pet (copy of your lease or your landlord's contact info).
  3. If you need to provide contact info for your vet, let your vet know ahead of time. Otherwise, they may not release your information.
  4. Many shelters require your current dogs to meet adoptive dogs. Your current dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. Some shelters require you to schedule a home visit to ensure a suitable living environment for the new animal.
  6. Adoption fees may seem excessive, but they're actually amazing values. Truthfully, caring for a pet is expensive. Most adoption fees include required medical care to get the animal ready for their new home including (but not limited to) spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, general vet exams, flea/tick treatment, deworming, heartworm testing/treatment for dogs, and feline leukemia and feline AIDS testing/treatment for cats. In general, your adoption fee is less than the cost of this care, so you're saving money in addition to your new animal's life!

If you have any questions about adopting an animal (what you'll need, what to expect, etc.) feel free to contact the PetLists team!

For more information about what's included in your adoption fee, or any other questions about the adoption process, reach out to
Coulee Region Humane Society
directly using the contact info above.

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All information on this page is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge. If you spot an error, please contact us using our contact form.
Note: Hours of operation and other information on this page are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic.