Chinchilla update: HAWS thanks community for support; owner still will not surrender animals

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WAUKESHA (WITI) —  HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County is thanking the community for its support as it continues to care for 331 chinchillas pulled from a home in Waukesha last week. HAWS says it continues to care for the chinchillas as it encourages the animals’ owner to release the animals to HAWS.

HAWS said this in a statement to FOX6 News Monday, April 6th — just over one week since the animals were pulled from the home on Melody Lane near Laura Lane.

“HAWS is incredibly thankful for the community’s support and the overwhelming generosity of the public while we continue to care for the over 300 chinchillas seized on March 29th from a home within the city of Waukesha.

Unfortunately, as of (April 6th), HAWS is still only responsible for the housing and general care of the chinchilla herd.

“All we can do at this point is to continue giving them care,” noted HAWS’ Executive Director Lynn Olenik. “Our hands are tied.”

HAWS is working with the owner of the chinchillas to encourage their release to HAWS, so the animals may be placed in adoptive homes as pets as opposed to releasing them to a breeding situation.

It is in the hands of the District Attorney and local law enforcement as to the outcome of this case. It is HAWS’ fervent hope that authorities will do what is best for the lives of the chinchilla herd.”

If you would like to help HAWS care for the hundreds of chinchillas now in their care, you can help by doing one or more of the following:

Donations of timothy hay, chinchilla dust, food and money to cover their care can still be made:

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department tells FOX6 News this case has been handed over to the District Attorney’s Office for review and possible charges. Three children lived in the home the chinchillas were pulled from — ages seven, nine and 17.


  • Marcella Covault

    Whatever happened to giving people a chance to come into compliance (whatever that is), rather than seizing animals (private property) *under color of law* for fundraising and resale? Under our Constitution, due process clause, these people were NOT given due process when their animals were seized. The ONLY time immediate seizure can be justified is if animals are in *imminent danger of dying*—and that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

    • Jenna

      Did you not read the original article? The children were living in filth, the animals in filth. 331 animals, 3 children, and at least one or two adults. The home was condemned. This is a dangerous and terrible situation, for the animals AND the humans.

      • Marcella Covault

        >At least 20 already dead?!??< AFTER they were seized? That's on HAWS. Sorry, but I know two other recent situations where there was collusion to condemn a house in order to seize perfectly healthy animals ("the end justifies the means"—similar to Muslim's Taqiyya that encourages lying to further the cause). It's become "socially correct" to seize animals from anyone who has more than someone else thinks they should, regardless of the condition of the animals.

    • s holmes

      Looks like you understand we don’t live in a free country….unless freedom is submitting to the whim of big government. Now onward to beautiful “community” laws where you have no right to be an individual.

    • Sheila Thiele

      Wow really? Are you sure you watched and listened to the video? It does have credible people on it that WITNESSED the situation. So you’re ok with leaving animals and children in abusive and neglected situations so owners/parents can have their due process? And the chin’s were not in imminent danger of dying? 20 was ALREADY dead found in the house by the authorities when they got there.

  • PetsRProperty

    So you’re saying that you stole 330 healthy animals, made up stories and over sensationalized the situation, threaten the owner of these animals by trumping up charges, threatening to take her children from her and you think she’ll just roll over and sign over the animals?

    I don’t care what the media is saying. These are her animals, her property. Her kids go to school and no one at the school felt there were issues with them there. So all of sudden owning and breeding animals, something the Radical Animal Rights Extremists vehemently oppose, there’s a problem? No due process, just swoop in and steal the animals. Absolutely disgusting and totally un-American.

    • Sheila Thiele

      Where do you get the idea the chin’s were healthy? 20 ALREADY DEAD 1’s found and others living in filth and that is from witnesses so that is over sensationalized and I think it was the fire chief, he over sensationalized the situation too? The chin’s may have been the property of the owners but that doesn’t give them the right to abuse and neglect them. They are HOARDERS, not responsible breeders with just 1 breeding pair. Abused and neglected children are taken so that’s not ok and un-American? I guess they are being stolen too. Say I move turtles off roads that are trying to cross so idiots won’t run them over, do you?

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