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Joint statement on stray hold bill


Contact your legislator HERE to voice your support.
It's really easy and truly makes an impact. 

We all support Assembly Bill 487 and Senate Bill 450 because short stays save lives, and urge you to, as well. Here’s why:

  • The bill saves animals’ lives. Disease and overcrowding are the leading causes of preventable euthanasia in impoundment facilities. Reducing the length of seized and stray holds saves lives.
  • The bill saves tax dollars. The longer the hold, the more taxpayers pay, and the fewer funds are available for other critical functions. In the extra days required by a long hold, taxpayers are paying a high price for a small number of animals. 

  • The bill brings Wisconsin in line with other states. Wisconsin has one of the longest stray holds in the nation.  Most states’ holds are 3-5 days; Wisconsin’s is effectively 8 days (7 plus the day of impoundment).  In addition, Wisconsin is one of only twelve states that still requires the arcane practice euthanizing victims of dog fighting.

How would things change for victims of animal cruelty?

Under current law, animals seized for cruelty are often held until a case is over, even though their evidentiary value declines within days.  In the past, shelters have been required to hold animals for as long as years while cases proceed – and then have been required to euthanize dog fighting victims when the case is over. This bill provides ways to let animals leave the shelter much sooner, and allows common-sense judgment to govern whether an animal can be safely adopted.

How would things change for stray dogs? 

Under current law, stray animals must be held for a minimum seven days – eight days in practice, because the law does not count the day of initial impoundment.  This bill allows shelters to adopt out animals on the animal’s sixth day in the shelter, after the animal is held for a minimum four-day stray hold, plus the first day of impoundment. 

Most animals are reclaimed on days 1-4 of the stray hold.

In fact, just 1% of the dogs and cats who entered MADACC in 2014 were reclaimed on days five through seven of the stray hold.  Shelters across the state find similar trends.   Forcing animals to stay a full seven days increases stress, disease, and overcrowding.

Bay Area Humane Society, Elmbrook Humane Society, Green Lake Area Animal Shelter, Humane Society of Marathon County, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC), Oshkosh Area Humane Society, Sheboygan County Humane Society and the Wisconsin Humane Society strongly support AB 487/SB 450. By allowing shelters to find homes for animals sooner, the bill would save animals' lives, save taxpayer dollars, and bring Wisconsin into line with other states.

If you have more questions about stray animals or AB 487/SB 450, please email us at info@wihumane.org.  


  • Friday, February 5, 2016
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