Letter to the Editor: Wisconsin Rises in Animal Protection Ratings

I received some mail from the Animal Legal Defense Fund last week, a top-rated organization as listed with Charity Navigator. Included in the mailing was a 2016 rating sheet of where our 50 states fall, regarding their animal protection laws. Our neighboring Illinois came in first, so they certainly deserve a big round of applause. Kentucky, famous for horse racing, as we all know, came in last. I’m pretty sure that’s because most of those beautiful race horses are still being fed performance drugs of various sorts, and, when they are no longer winners, are usually sold for slaughter in Canada or Mexico if they are not fortunate enough to be adopted by a loving family or an equine rescue.

Wisconsin came in at #28, in the middle tier (20-34). We could do better, and the great news is that we are moving forward. We advanced an impressive 14 slots from #42 in 2015…that dismal bottom tier, in part, by passing what’s known as a Cost of Care law. While 25 states require the reimbursement of the costs of care for an abused animal from the offender after the culprit has actually been convicted, Wisconsin has joined 16 other states in mandating that the abuser pay for all of those costs (food, shelter, and veterinary care) prior to final rulings in the court.

Way to go, Wisconsin.

Sharon Thill

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

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