Hound hunting and the inhumane sport of "Penning"
Hound Dog Training Enclosures in Wisconsin
Penning is the legal practice of confining coyotes, foxes, rabbits, bear and bobcat in fenced enclosures and allowing packs of dogs to chase and maul them for "training", “bloodsport” and “entertainment" with little opportunity for protection or escape; a cruel and vicious practice that is prevalent in Wisconsin. This legalized bloodsport was ushered into law in 2001 & 2003 (see link "Penning legislation" and "DNR penning regulations")
"Raccoon roll cages" - Raccoons are suspended high upon a tree branch in small round cages and dropped to the ground in the midst of a pack of hound dogs. The dogs then snap, bark, snarl and spin the cage around repeatedly in a frenzy while human onlookers attempt to raise the level of frenzy.
Every year in Wisconsin, hundreds of wild animals are trapped, bred, traded and/sold to penning operations, both legally and illegally. With dogs tearing apart the captive animals, there is a constant demand for fresh wildlife for these enclosures. It is also legal to use bobcats and bears to train dogs although regulations require a fence separating them. (See Regulations below)
Aside from the inhumane and profound suffering, incomprehensible fear, stress and death upon wild animals subjected to these activities, penning can also lead to the spread of diseases within and between domestic and wild animals.
Here is an example from Wisconsin of a hound dog hunter engaging in animal cruelty towards a kitten all in the name of "captive wildlife training". For the past year concerned wildlife advocates have been sitting on videos made by an individual residing in Portage County, Wisconsin in the hopes that the Portage County Sheriff’s Department or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources would take some type of action against the perpetrator. To this date they have refused to take any action.
A Detective from the Portage County Sheriff’s Department took a look at those videos and state that because no animal was technically harmed there wouldn’t be anything they could pursue for charges.
Here is another example of blatant violation of DNR regulations pertaining to hound dogs and wildlife. The following is a response from the DNR:
"The only legal way to harvest a raccoon is by firearm, airgun, bow and arrow, crossbow or trapping. If he allowed the dogs to kill the coon then he would have harvested it with an illegal method. Going by what the video showed it wasn’t killed, so it wouldn’t violate that statute."
Phone: (715) 344-3694
Wisconsin doesn’t care if you torture cats with your dogs because they weren’t “harmed.” Wisconsin also doesn’t care if you let your hounds physically attack wildlife and video tape it because the animal wasn’t shown being killed.
The Portage County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin DNR should hear from all of you as to why no charges have been forwarded for prosecution regarding these incidents. Let them know what you think about their refusal to enforce the laws:
Please DO NOT call their dispatch centers and tie up their emergency lines. Email would be preferable right now.
NEWS UPDATE - January 15, 2015
Felony and misdemeanor charges (link here) have been authorized against two Upper Peninsula hunters accused of urging hunting dogs to attack a wounded coyote and videotaping the squealing animal, court records show (video below). Confiscated videotapes showed a hunter deliberately hitting the coyote with a truck. The Wisconsin bear/coyote/bobcat hound hunting community is no stranger to this kind of behavior as evidenced in penning enclosures across the state. Wisconsin is also no stranger to coyote-killing contests. Link here to "2015 Predator Hunting Expo" in Sparta, Wisconsin held on January 10-11, 2015.
"...Hunter hits coyote with his truck; videotapes dying animal before shooting it..."; (August 25, 2014); John Barnes; MLive. Culture of extreme hound dog training and hunting is shared between Wisconsin & Michigan.
This activity occurs throughout the woods of Wisconsin and is a direct result of "penning", captive live-bait training. The "trained" hound dogs are then taken into our woods; wolves, coyotes, bears, raccoons, bobcats, rabbits are often times finished off by the dogs. Reports are initiated with no investigate followup.
"Silver Dog Song:
A Wildlife Story"
"She is closer; nose to the ground she begins to circle in on it, incensed by this new smell…. Snap!"
This story by Project Coyote.Org depicts the journey taken by a coyote trapped for one purpose only: Penning. This bloodsport is legislated in at least 19 states including Wisconsin. There are approximately 30 licensed penning facilities in Wisconsin. Regulations are complaint-based only. State agency reports low compliance for required quarter & annual reports. See Fact Sheet (HSUS) and/or scroll down for more links. Penning is morally corrupt; violates all tenets of the most basic animal welfare laws; violates hunting ethics; spreads disease; commercializes wildlife and grossly violates the very foundation of the Public Trust Doctrine.
Here is a lovely blog "Coyotes, Wolves and Cougars….Forever!".
Brutally terrorized year round. Mercilessly killed by: hound dogs, bows & guns, trapped for their pelts or for live bait use in training pens, high-powered equipment, mechanized "calls", lights at night, baited and poisoned.
There is no biological reason to kill coyotes; this is a form of "hunting recreation" provided by the WDNR.