Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Mounds of Money Raised for Henry Vilas Zoo Residents

July 29, 2013
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive

Store Employees, Customers, Team Up Once Again to Support Animals

The county and Mounds Pet Food Warehouse are teaming up once again to help provide valuable care for the animals that call Henry Vilas Zoo home, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


During the month of May, Mounds Pet Food Warehouse staff and customers at all five store locations raised $20,000 for the Henry Vilas Zoo’s Animal Welfare Fund.  The generous donation will be used to purchase new toys and enrichment materials to keep the zoo’s animals happy and healthy.  


“The overwhelming community support we receive for the county’s zoo has helped keep it one of the best zoos in the nation,” said Parisi.  “With the continued support of great partners like Mounds Pet Food Warehouse we are providing free fun for families across the region, and a great home for our animal friends.”


During the promotion, Mounds stores held a competition between employees at their 5 area locations, complete with spectacular displays unique to each store.  Mounds Middleton raised the most donations, and as a result of their hard work, will go on a behind the scenes tour of Henry Vilas Zoo.

The Henry Vilas Zoo has been working with Mounds for several years, collecting donated pet products that zoo staff uses to enhance the lives of the zoo’s residents.  The first fundraising contest was in 2011 and resulted in a generous donation of $18,000 for the county’s zoo. 


“Mounds is always overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the community,” said Heather Sullivan, Mounds Marketing Manager.  “It gives us a great sense of pride  that we are part of a community that is always so willing to give back to animals in need.”


Zookeeper and Enrichment Coordinator, Jennifer Zuehlke spoke about the Henry Vilas Zoo’s important relationship with Mounds, “As a free zoo, we rely so much on the community’s support to keep our animals healthy both physically and mentally.  These donations, and our continuing partnership with Mounds, is an incredible gift for us.”

Although this fundraising event is over, people can still purchase and donate animal toys and supplies or gift cards to the zoo through the Madison area Mounds stores.  You can also donate directly to the zoo’s Animal Welfare Fund by visiting


The Henry Vilas Zoo is one of only ten free zoos in the entire country, and one of the few that also provides free parking for zoo guests.  Admission at the zoo has continued to climb year after year, with the zoo reaching nearly one million guests in 2012 – a zoo record.  


“Everywhere you look on the zoo grounds you can point to a partnership that has made things better for staff, visitors, and our animal family,” said Supervisor Chuck Erickson.  “Our zoo continues to thrive because of that special community connection.”


The Henry Vilas Zoo family can be seen every day from 9:30am to 5pm.  Visitors can also keep up to date on everything new at the zoo at www.vilaszoo.orgor on the zoo’s Facebook page at

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