Our Story

In Short. . .
You've heard the story before about the successful business that got its start in a garage. Our story has that element too. Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We were founded in 2006 by Amanda Reitz (at the age of 21) and her parents Ken and Lois Reitz.

The passion and dream of one young lady got us off the ground. She brought with her a vision for creating sanctuary and a refuge for the companion animals that need it most. Millions of animals face the fear of death in shelters every year. Happily Ever After provides a place where those fears don't exist; a place where life is a guarantee. Today it is the dedication and commitment of our volunteers, adopters, donors, board of directors and the communities of Northeast WI and beyond that are driving our mission and vision into the future.

While we got started in a garage, that didn't last long. The need is much greater than the capacity of a small garage. Today, our facilities consist of our Sanctuary (a 90+ year old renovated barn of the late Lester Bork) located on 40 sprawling acres in Marion, WI and our Adoption Center in Green Bay, WI.

As we provide both temporary and lifetime care to companion animals, these five pillars guide the success of our mission:
  • Adoption
  • Education
  • Spay/Neuter
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sanctuary
Our laser sharp focus on our mission has allowed us to:
  • Pair more than 4,000 animals with their forever families
  • Educate our communities through various educational platforms
  • Spay/Neuter more than 6,000 animals
  • Rehabilitate hundreds of animals with special needs that would have otherwise been destroyed
  • Provide ongoing, lifetime Sanctuary care to those that require it
Our first rescue was a dog named Walter. We found Walter abandoned and wandering the woods of northern WI. This got the ball rolling. Saving the life of one animal quickly turned into ten, then a hundred, then a thousand and so it goes. Needless to say, our story does not end here. While we have accomplished so much together, there is so much more that needs to be done.

Today, it is estimated that 1.5 million companion animals are still being killed each year in shelters across the US. Whether you are new to the Happily Ever After family or have been with us since day one, thank you for your support as we continue our work to displace unnecessary killing with other life-saving solutions.

Our impact. . .
Each year, Happily Ever After serves as many dogs and cats as our resources and forward-looking strategy allow. As a Sanctuary, there are pets in our care that we're a forever family to, just as if they were our own pets, because they are. You make it possible for that to happen. In 2018, Happily Ever After's save rate was 99.6%. There were two lives out of 487 that we were unable to save or be a family to, but that's not to say we didn't try.
2018 Shelter Animals Count statistics
Since our founding in 2006, we have seen great progress in the companion animal welfare world. Needless killing in shelters continues to decline. Organizations across the country are moving toward a no-kill measure. The agreed upon no-kill measure has been defined as a 90% live release rate. Our view is that 90% isn't enough. We are determined to see the day when the remaining 10% receive continued care and love too.

Innovative solutions are produced when killing is removed from the equation.
2255 Fox Heights Lane
Green Bay, WI 54304

Walk-In Hours:
Monday - Friday: 6p - 8p
Saturday & Sunday: 11a - 4p

E5714 Bork Road
Marion, WI 54950

Visit by appointment.