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As I See It

Wisconsin vets should report all animal abuse

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They say a dog is man’s best friend. But that friendship is not always recripocated. Some people who own dogs fail to treat them properly. It is not believed to be a widespread problem, as most people love their pets and treat them accordingly. But there are those who mistreat or abuse their dogs. Just ask anyone who works for an animal shelter. They have too many stories to tell about the abused animals which they rescue or are surrendered to them. But in Wisconsin, there is little that can be done about it. That’s because Wisconsin is among the states which do not require veterinarians to report cases of suspected animal abuse. Vets are required to notify authorities if they suspect a dog has been used for fighting, but there is no requirement that people who abuse their dogs, or leave them malnourished be reported to authorities. That would change under a bill being authored by Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser. His legislation would require veterinarians to report any suspected cases of abuse to police or animal control. Mistreating animals is a serious crime, and our vets are in the best position to detect such abuse. We shouldn’t limit our concern to a dog used for fighting. We need more comprehensive laws so that any animal owner who abuses an animal in any way be held responsible.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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