Shiloh's Law - The Latest
Published in April 2012 Action Magazine
Last month's article really hit home for me over the past few weeks. Taking advantage of the beautiful weather we were blessed with, my dogs and I did a lot of walking around our neighborhood. Unfortunately, I found myself confronted by several unleashed dogs - some who were not very nice. My dogs and I (along with the unleashed pets) were fortunate that no injuries or accidents occurred. As a wise dog trainer tells in all of her classes, even the best trained dogs can still be unpredictable - it's in their nature. Please do not assume that it's ok to let your dogs run free - you are not only risking your dog's life but putting others at risk too.
Now, on to an update on
Shiloh's Law. I received a letter from Senator Robert Wirch who informed me that there is currently proposed legislation at the state level to strengthen
Wisconsin's animal cruelty statutes. Assembly Bill 593 (AB 593) makes several changes to the current state statutes. Senator Wirch was kind enough to include a copy of the proposed legislation. Assembly Bill 593 clarifies that a person abandons an animal if the person fails to make arrangements for the animal's proper care, sustenance, and shelter. The bill also clarifies that a person must provide an animal with adequate food and water, that snow or ice is not adequate water, and that failure to provide either food or water constitutes a violation.
Under this bill, a court may order a violator to undergo a psychological assessment or to participate in anger management or other psychological counseling or treatment and may bar a violator from owning, possessing, or training any animal or any particular type or species of animal for up to ten years.
Also under this bill, a person who treats an animal cruelly is guilty of a Class I felony if the mistreatment is intentional and results in mutilation of, the disfigurement of, great bodily harm to, or the death of, the animal. This is also a change as the current law considers treating an animal cruelly a Class A misdemeanor.
I believe this proposed legislation will strengthen the animal cruelty statutes. However, I still believe that there is a need to empower veterinarians in conjunction with humane and/or law enforcement officers to impound an animal when a violation has rendered an animal in such a condition that no remedy or corrective action by the owner is possible or the violator fails or refuses to take corrective action necessary for compliance. I feel strongly that this is where the breakdown occurred in little
Shiloh's situation and where our focus should now be. I'm going to move forward on this and will keep you all posted.
Shannon Adamczyk, Office Manager