Shelter News

DNR & WI Conservation Congress Spring Hearings

Dane County Humane Society encourages everyone to attend the upcoming DNR Spring Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress County Meetings. Take this opportunity to learn about issues related to Wisconsin animals, express your opinions and cast a humane vote. Your opinions will help conserve the Wisconsin enviornment for our future generations.

Date: Monday, April 14 at 7 pm

Dane County Location: Middleton High School Performing Arts Center, 2100 Bristol Street, Middleton, WI 53562

Other state wide locations

Individuals interested in natural resources management will have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote 80YearLogoand testimony to the Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin. In addition, DNR Wildlife Management staff will provide a brief overview of the status of the deer herd and some upcoming changes to the deer season that are a result of the implementation of the Deer Trustee Report.

Visit the WI Conservation Congress site for more information regarding the 2014 Spring Hearing agenda and proposed changes.

County residents have the option to run for election to the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their county views regarding natural resources on the Conservation Congress. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process.

Click for more information on Delegate Elections



DCHS Opposes Mandatory Pit Bull Spay/Neuter Ordinance

March 20, 2014

Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) is pleased with the Common Council's decision Tuesday night to "file" proposed Ordinance Nos. 23.60 and 23.61.  Had this legislation been enacted, the spay/neuter of pit bull type dogs would have been mandatory in the City of Madison.  In choosing to file the ordinance, its proponents removed the legislation from consideration in favor of looking at alternative solutions to the problems identified.  

DCHS looks forward to working with the Common Council and all other stakeholders on this issue in an effort to provide positive solutions for the community and the animals affected.  We also thank the community and our members for voicing their concerns with the proposed ordinance.



March 18, 2014

Letter from DCHS Executive Director, Pam McCloud Smith, to Madison Common Council


My name is Pam McCloud Smith and I am the Executive Director of Dane County Humane Society (DCHS).  I write to formally voice DCHS's opposition to Proposed Ordinance Nos. 23.60 and 23.61, which mandate, among other things, the spaying and neutering of pit bull type dogs in the City of Madison and the municipal registration of pit bull breeders....

CLICK HERE to read Smith's entire letter.


CLICK HERE to read the ASPCA Position Statement on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws


DCHS urges the citizens of Madison to email or call their alders on the Common Council and ask them to vote NO (or state their opposition) to Ordinances 23.60 and 23.61.

The city council will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed ordinance at its March 18, 2014 meeting commencing at 6:30 p.m., 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., Room 201.

The contact information for the Madison Common Council can be found at their website.



March 17, 2014

An Open Letter from Brent Toellner (President of the Kansas City Pet Project) to Madison City Council Members

Dear City Council Members in Madison, WI:

I recently read an article that Madison, WI was considering a new law that would mandate the spay/neuter (MSN) of all pit bulls in their community.  I am writing to you unsolicited in order to encourage you to NOT pass this MSN legislation.

I am the President of the Kansas City Pet Project.  Our organization currently operates the Kansas City, MO Animal Shelter and cares for more than 8,500 animals per year that enter our open-admission shelter.  We are also the largest shelter in the Kansas City, MO area.  We took over the shelter contract in January 2012.

Kansas City was, to my knowledge, the second city in the United States to enact a MSN law for pit bulls.  The law has led to no increase in public safety, and only an increase in teh number of dogs killed at the Kansas City, MO shelter.

Click here to continue reading the rest of the letter:



March 14, 2014 

While Appreciative of a Recent Meeting with Alders Strasser and Weier, DCHS Remains Strongly Opposed to the Proposed Mandatory Pit Bull Spay/Neuter Ordinanace


Yesterday afternoon, March 13, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) Executive Director Pam McCloud Smith met with Alders John Strasser and Anita Weier to discuss the proposed mandatory pit bull spay/neuter ordinance.  Others in attendance included the Division Director of Environmental Health Madison-Dane County, two animal control officers, and two representatives from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

While DCHS appreciates the opportunity to have participated in the meeting as well as the open dialogue that occured, DCHS's opposition remains firm on the proposed ordinance.  Alder Strasser proposed minor changes to the ordinance, but they do not address the fundamental concerns that DCHS has repeatedly raised in numerous communications on the issue released to date.

It remains DCHS's opinion that a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance will NOT address the alleged problem of overpopulation.  Educational programs and low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter options should be the focus of discussion.  In addition, as has been explained to Alders Strasser and Weier, the city should focus its animal control concerns with "backyard breeding" through greater coordination with the State of Wisconsins's Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection which is delegated by state law to regulate and monitor illegal breeding of animals in this state.

As a private, not for profit animal shelter affected by all legislation directed at animal welfare in Dane County, DCHS believes that all ordinances directed at animal control and welfare must balance societal needs with the interests of the animals.  While the humane society continues it steadfast opposition to the ordinance as now proposed, DCHS is hopeful that future collaboration on other animal initiatives is possible and looks forward to its continued positive working relationship with Dane County and the City of Madison.

DCHS urges the citizens of Madison to email or call their alders on the Common Council and ask them to vote NO (or state their opposition) to Ordinances 23.60 and 23.61.

The city council will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed ordinance at its March 18, 2014 meeting commencing at 6:30 p.m., 210 Martin Luther King Blvd., Room 201.

The contact information for the Madison Common Council can be found at their website.


March 12, 2014 

Ask Madison Common Council to Vote NO on March 18th


Your voice is needed immediately to defeat the proposed mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for pit bull terriers (Ordinance 23.60). Please contact your Madison Common Council member/alder and ask them to vote NO at their March 18th meeting!

Encourage the Common Council to study the issue and consult with persons and entities with knowledge of these issues. Reiterate that mandatory spay/neuter does not address overpopulation. Encourage them to develop educational programs and low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter options and incentives to increase responsible pet ownership practices in Madison.

The contact information for the Madison Common Council can be found at their website.

DCHS welcomes the opportunity to be an active partner in assisting the City of Madison in finding a positive solution to the issue of unwanted pit bull terriers, but the proposed ordinance is NOT the solution.

Based on recent studies* of communities that have enacted similiar ordinances, this ordinance will not reduce the number of pit bull terriers the municipality seeks to control. In fact, studies found an INCREASE in the number of pit bull terriers admitted to, housed and euthanized by animal shelters where these ordinances were passed.

We recommend that resources targeted for enforcement of a mandatory spay/neuter ordiance for pit bulls instead be targeted to provide low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter options.

The Madison Common Council will have another vote on Tuesday, March 18. It is very important for us to voice our opinions now!



Press Release March 12, 2014


DCHS Opposes Mandatory Pit Bull Spay/Neuter Ordinance:

Asks Madison Common Council to Vote NO on March 18


Research shows mandatory sterilization leads to an INCREASE in euthanasia and animal intake at local shelters

MADISON, WI –Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) welcomes the opportunity to be an active partner in assisting the City of Madison in finding a positive solution to the issue of unwanted pit bull terriers, but the proposed mandatory pit bull terrier spay/neuter Ordinance 23.60 is NOT the solution.

Current research in communities that have implemented mandatory spay/neuter programs, such as the one proposed by the City of Madison, does not show a decrease in the populations the municipalities sought to control. In fact, these programs INCREASED the number of dogs admitted to, housed and euthanized by animal shelters.

Additional concerns with the specific local ordinance as currently drafted:

  • Poor definition of pit bull dog, based on breed, looks, and actions
  • Subjective identification of pit bull dog based on “looks like or acts like a pittie”
  • Reinforcement of pit bulls as “bad dogs” — DCHS has a longstanding position statement disavowing the use of breed specific legislation.
    • DCHS’s position statement reads, “Laws that ban specific breeds do not prevent or stop harm or damage caused by companion animals.  Owners and guardians of all breeds must be held accountable for the actions and behaviors of their companion animals. They have the ultimate responsibility for any harm or damage that their pets do to people, property, or other animals.” 


Besides a documented increase in euthanasia following implementation of mandatory spay/neuter legislation, other information is available that directly relates to reducing unwanted animals.

    • Studies show that the number one reason people do not alter their animals is cost. They cannot afford the cost of surgery.
    • When laws requiring mandatory spay/neuter are implemented, people with lower or fixed incomes are most affected. When they get caught not complying, they are fined. They cannot afford both the fines and the cost of sterilization, so they choose to surrender their dogs.
    • Studies show a significant correlation between owners stopping veterinary care for their dogs (including regular required vaccinations which state and local laws requires) and mandatory spay/neuter. People who do not want to alter their dogs (or cannot afford to) are afraid that their veterinarian will report their non-compliance. The same people will no longer license their dogs for the same reason.
    • Some people simply do not want to have their dogs altered. When they fail to comply and are identified, they may surrender those dogs. They then go out and buy new, unaltered dogs, further encouraging the backyard breeding market.
    • Finally, by reducing the number of unaltered pit bull dogs, the value of these unaltered dogs increases, increasing status of ownership and further encouraging backyard breeding. 


DCHS recommends that resources targeted for enforcement of a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for pit bulls instead be targeted to provide low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter options

Research from some of the nation’s leading animal welfare agencies including the ASPCA, the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Humane and Best Friends Society, shows high success in reducing the number of dogs euthanized in shelters throughlow-cost and no-cost spay neuter programs.

These programs support those who value and care for their dogs. Increased availability and affordability of spay/neuter options has reduced euthanasia in shelter after shelter across the United States. When coupled with education regarding the health benefits of spay/neuter for pets, significant positive improvements can be seen.

“DCHS currently offers reduced spay/neuter surgeries every week for pit bull terriers (no proof of financial need necessary), a ‘Positively Pitties’ training class and a Community Dog Day Program that focuses on sharing information on available low cost spay/neuter options and providing assistance to specific communities where DCHS sees a high intake of stray animals, especially pit bull terriers,” says Gayle Viney, DCHS Public Relations Coordinator. 



DCHS is urging its supporters to email and call the Madison Common Council and ask them to vote NO (or state their opposition) to Ordinance 23.60, and any ordinance that singles out specific breeds of dogs.


The city council will vote on the proposed ordinance during its March 18 meeting.


“Educating ALL dog owners on responsible ownership practices, and offering incentives like low-cost and no-cost spay/neuter options to dog owners are better, more effective solutions than an ordinance that simply sounds like it’s making a positive difference, but in reality, creates more problems and is impossible to enforce,” says Viney.


DCHS Media Contact: Gayle Viney
608-838-0413 ext 129
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wisconsin Sport Hunters: Their Dogs to the Wolves Monday

No US state in modern times has allowed wolf hunters to loose their hounds into the chase because some dogs will get torn to pieces.

But unless an appellate court rules in the next few hours against it, hunters in Wisconsin will be permitted beginning Monday to set their dogs free to find roughly three dozen wolves the DNR says can still be legally 'harvested.'

If you want to see what this outcome for an unlucky hound can look like, go to this link.

Bad enough that the initial 2012 Wisconsin hunt was rushed through the Legislature by lawmakers in thrall to powerful hunting and gun owner lobbies.

And that a compliant, lobbyist-driven DNR boosted the kill quota from 116 in 2012 to 251 this year against the advice of scientists whose voices have been drowned out by wolf killing advocates who also enjoyed a Scott Walker-provided 50% cut in the wolf killing license fee to a mere 49 bucks.

And that the wolf hunt allows the use of bait.

And allows the use of traps that snag wolves until a hunter shoots it in the head.

Come Monday, outlier Wisconsin is further open for blood-letting.

Some sport.

Some state image.

UPDATE: 2013 Wisconsin Wolf Hunt

As of October 29, 2013: 158 Wolves have been killed in the 2013 hunt which began on October 15th.

There is much debate about whether wolf hunting with dogs should be allowed in the State of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project has tried to break the facts down into bite-size pieces.

Click here for more facts and links to additional information.



Waunakee Citizens, Please Take Action for Safe Communities for People and Pets

We all want safe and humane communities, which includes protecting citizens from dangerous dogs. Bad owners lead to bad dogs, and that puts everyone at risk. The best laws address the behavior of both dog owners and dogs, and put regulations in place to restrain and restrict any dangerous dog, regardless of breed. The simple truth is that breed is not a factor in bites.

Because of this fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association and the American Bar Association oppose breed discrimination and instead support comprehensive, breed-neutral dangerous-dog laws. In addition, the American Bar Association supports preventing reckless owners from owning any dogs for a period of years.

The village of Waunakee currently has an outdated ordinance targeting “pit bulls.” According to a report, the police are giving the Lappen family only 20 days to get rid of their pet, Clay, whose only offense is being a pit bull terrier. Because of this ill-conceived and outdated ordinance, Clay will lose his home and possibly his life. Read the full report: Please ask village officials to repeal their breed-discriminatory law and enact a good generic dangerous-dog/reckless-owner ordinance to protect citizens against any dangerous dog and prevent reckless owners from having pets.