Get to know newsmakers, community leaders and Action 2 News journalists in Cami Rapson's podcasts.
Back in the early 2000’s, Amanda Reitz had a dream, to start an animal sanctuary to give pets the best possible chance at finding a forever home. Problem was, she was still in college and people weren’t quite sold on the idea -- including her own family, initially.
She promised her parents she would graduate and allow them to get to retirement age before beginning her plan. A Bassett hound had other ideas. She was up north with family and just on the road heading back to Green Bay.
Amanda recalls, "a Bassett walked out in front of my car. I was not that far away, I think my family was still outside, And I yelled, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s starting now! I found a dog!’”
“In Wisconsin, most people have deer cross the road in front of them. Amanda has dogs cross in front of her,” adds her brother, Marcus Reitz.
After many attempts to find an owner, the newly-named Walter did become Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary’s first placement. It is a no-kill sanctuary with the commitment to give animals the time and space to rehabilitate and train as needed to be ready for a permanent home -- as the HEA vision states, “Every single one.”
By 2006, Amanda had her parents involved transforming family property in Marion for a spacious sanctuary for animals. A couple years later, Marcus joined on with HEA full-time and they raised funds for a new adoption center in Ashwaubenon.
HEA has since placed nearly 4,500 animals with families.
Hear more from siblings Amanda and Marcus Reitz about HEA’s beginnings, including their plans for HEA's future, in this episode of the Get 2 the Point podcast.
Happily Ever After is holding a fundraiser on March 14, 2020, called Beer and Biscuits. Our own Emily Matesic is serving as MC of the event. CLICK HERE for more event details.
Listen to previous podcasts from "Get 2 the Point" season 2