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The Elections Are Over--
Now What?

Dooley the papillion whose teeth were so badly infected that he couldn't close his mouth.

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"I am hurt but I am not slain. / I'll lay me down and bleed awhile, / And then I'll rise to fight again."
— excerpt from "Sir Andrew Barton," Traditional English Ballad


Puppy mill dog in a Petland Pet Store       The 2016 elections are now behind us. They did not go well for animal welfare advocates. On the state level, candidates whose campaign promises included bringing back and possibly expanding the WI wolf hunt, won. On the federal level, candidates -- including the one for the top position -- who appear to favor big business over any humane or environmental concern, won.

       Big money and special interests won.


       While, in 2016, our state legislature passed much-needed laws that included pets in restraining orders to keep them from suffering at the hands of domestic abusers and made it legal to remove at- risk pets from hot cars, they also ignored efforts to regulate the ownership of "exotic" animals and prohibit hunting and tracking in state parks.

       In fact, they actively supported the hunting special interests (such as NRA, Safari Club, WI Bear Hunters Association, and others) by making it legal to use bright lights to "shine" wild animals at night, eliminating the B license requirement for training hound dogs on bears or baiting bears, and changing the hunting season for wolves (should they be delisted as endangered again) so that there will be more opportunity for hunting wolves with hounds. On top of that, they passed AB 433/SB 338, Hunting & First Amendment Rights, which is essentially an "ag gag" - type law protecting hunters.

Bo Coonhound       So. Removing the licensing requirement for training on bears and the long baiting season has resulted in a larger number of hounds being trained, which in turn appears to have resulted in a record number of hounds being killed by wolves during bear training in 2016. Proponents of wolf hounding are using the higher number of hounds killed to justify actively pursuing the delisting of wolves from the protection of the Endangered Species Act on a federal level. In preparation for that, the hunting season has been adjusted so that there will be less opportunity for the wolf quotas to be met before hounding season starts (as has happened in the past). AND AB 433/SB 338 will ensure that "wolf watchers" will be arrested if they observe too "aggressively" or photograph possible abuses.

       Remember, please, that studies show the vast majority of Wisconsin citizens to be opposed to the wolf hunt to begin with, and even many main-stream hunters oppose wolf- hounding.

       That's just one of the many challenges facing us for 2017. Going in to the elections, our hopes were high that the upcoming legislative session beginning in January would also see a renewed effort to regulate the ownership of "lions and tigers and bears", as well as the continuation of our unfinished war against puppy mills. Since Act 90/s.173.41, the WI Dog Seller Program went into effect in June 2011, many Wisconsin breeders and sellers have been regulated and have either given up the business OR have come into compliance under ACT 90. However, Wisconsin pet stores still import puppies from "commercial breeders" in other states. One of our dreams is a state-wide requirement for pet stores to feature only pets from legitimate rescues instead of selling commercially- bred animals. Another -- to have the same standards of care required for hunting and pet dogs that are mandated for commercial breeders in Wisconsin.

Hunting dog in snow-filled run       Post election, some of our supporters have asked us, given the make-up of our state legislature and their past voting records, is it even worth continuing the fight?

       That answer to that is simple: if we don't, who will??? If we don't, animals will lose. People who enjoy a quiet walk in the woods will lose. Humanity -- the quality of being kind to other people or to animals -- will lose.

       The politicians hope that we will quietly fade away. Guess what? We will not give up!


"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense." — Winston Churchill


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P.O. Box 926    *    Sheboygan, WI 53082-0926   *

Petstore photo Copyright © 2009, by F. Menish. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Bo Coonhound photo Copyright © 2016, by Pat Crean, Flying Spots Photography. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Hound in the snow photo Copyright © 2010, by the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission

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