Yesterday, I came across an interesting story about some trappers in Maine that were charged and convicted of felony animal cruelty in the death of a trapped bobcat through the use of hounds.
From the article:
“Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said after the sentencing that the February 2009 incident, during which Carl and three other men had used the illegally trapped bobcat in a failed effort to train their bluetick coonhounds, can’t be justified in any way.
Carl tethered the caged bobcat to a pole with a rope wrapped around its neck. He let the bobcat out of the cage, shown in a home video that was taken of the training experiment, and hunting dogs attacked and killed it.”
“The video depicted the tethered bobcat being killed by a pack of four howling, barking bluetick coonhounds within minutes of being let out of a cage.”
“Noisy, intense video taken of this showed the pack of coonhounds jumping at the hissing bobcat, dangling in the cage. The men egged on their dogs by shouting words of encouragement: “Get him, Utah!” “Get him, Smoke!”
“Justice Robert Murray sentenced Carl after the verdict was returned. Carl, who his attorney said will lose his job with the Department of Corrections because he is now a convicted felon, was sentenced to 15 months in prison with all but 10 days suspended. Additionally, he will pay $1,325 in fines and fees and spend two years on probation, during which time he will be prohibited from using or possessing hunting dogs or hunting or trapping equipment. He also will be barred from hunting, trapping or guiding activities during this time.”
Two other men were also charged and convicted in the incident. It is refreshing to see animal torturers actually end up paying for their crimes against wildlife. Although the sentence is light on jail time it is still a felony. Our congratulations to the prosecutors in Maine on a job well done.
In Wisconsin it is a “tradition” to hunt with dogs according to Rep. Scott Suder the “author” of the Wisconsin wolf kill bill. In a February, 2012 interview on Wisconsin Public Radio Suder described the use of dogs for hunting in Wisconsin as being a “tradition” and successfully included their use against wolves in the bill.
It is also apparently illegal in Wisconsin to use dogs to kill wild animals. If that is the case why are there videos like the one below all over the internet from Wisconsin:
**Warning** Graphic Video **Warning**
And while states like Maine actually enforce their cruelty laws against hounders, Wisconsin has been expanding the number of species that can be hunted with dogs to include wolves, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, and turkeys. While Wisconsin keeps their “tradition” of using dogs as weapons alive, California is looking at banning the practice all together.
While it seems that the rest of the country are moving away from barbaric practices like these, Wisconsin of course has to take it in the opposite direction and expand the use of dogs as another weapon for hunters.
Please contact your lawmakers and tell them that dogs should not be used as another weapon against wildlife.