Featured Grant Stories

Coulee Region Humane Society Grant Unleashes Hope

December 12, 2023

By La Crosse Community Foundation
Coulee Region Humane Society Executive Director Heather Drievold with Nikki, a dog who's available for adoption

Coulee Region Humane Society Executive Director Heather Drievold with Nikki, a dog who’s available for adoption, says LCF’s grant will keep the organization running as it completes its capital campaign.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog has been edited to reflect the correct grant amount.

$25,000 grant a game-changer

The Coulee Region Humane Society recently received a game-changing, unrestricted $25,000 grant from La Crosse Community Foundation. And it’s not just the animals who are winning.

The grant comes at a pivotal time for CRHS as it nears its capital campaign goal of $3.5 million to renovate and expand its facility to become a better-equipped, larger Fear Free Shelter. The project is more than a facelift; it reimagines animal care. The updates will increase in-house medical care; improve housing for dogs, cats, small animals and wildlife; and add a proper dog education and training space, among other improvements.

“This grant means we can keep going amid our capital campaign,” said Heather Drievold, executive director of CRHS. “As many of our top donors have made very significant pledges to our capital campaign, the grant allows us to continue our essential services in the meantime. Our goal is to create a space where animals feel safe and where our community members feel welcome and supported in their journey of pet ownership.”

Grant helps animals and humans alike

While on the surface the grant enables the Humane Society to care for animals, it also represents a commitment to the well-being of the entire community.

“When we’re taking care of animals, we’re taking care of the people standing behind those animals as well,” added Heather, pointing to the human-animal bond and the many — and sometimes unexpected — ways pets benefit humans beyond the life-changing companionship and unconditional love they offer.

Heather has seen instances where children, struggling to read and embarrassed about it at school, have built confidence through reading to a dog, a nonbiased, nonjudgmental being next to them — and become the cool kid who gets to read to a dog. She’s also seen older people who had pets before moving into nursing care make better progress in physical therapy when they have a dog alongside them.

Gives hope for the future

“We see so many positive transformations when animals and people are working together,” said Heather. “Our capital improvements, and the grant that keeps us going during it, give us a lot of hope for the future.”