We would also like to take this opportunity to review our six focuses. They are in no particular order. Current affairs will sometimes deem us to spend more time on one issue than another, but they are all important. Please join us in our mission.
- Breed Specific (Discriminatory) Legislation (BSL or BDL): Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals is opposed to laws that ban or discriminate against specific dog breeds or breed mixes without regard to the temperament and behavior of individual dogs. This includes fencing or kenneling requirements and collar or muzzle requirements. Several Wisconsin municipalities currently have some form of BDL.
- Community Cats: At Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals we believe that all cats deserve to live. This includes feral (community) cats, barn cats, working cats, outdoor cats, and cats with treatable or manageable diseases such as FIV, FELV, and ringworm. We believe that the most humane, effective and financially sustainable strategy for controlling free-roaming cat populations is trap-neuter-return (TNR), whereby free-roaming cats are trapped, sterfilized, vaccinated, and returned to their colony of origin. We will advocate for legislation that protects feral cat caregivers and their cat, and legalizes trap neuter return in Wisconsin.
- Pet Stores and Commercial Breeders: It is estimated that over 90 percent of pets sold in pet stores and through online sales come from commercial, mass breeding operations known as mills, including puppy, kitten, bird and rabbit mills. These commercial breeding operations are inherently exploitive not only of the animals trapped in inhumane breeding conditions, but also of the public that purchase over-priced pets, many of whom have diseases, genetic defects and behavior problems due to poor breeding practices, inadequate nutrition and lack of socialization and veterinary care. Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals does acknowledge that there are responsible and caring breeders. We invite them to join us in our mission to put an end to cruel, inhumane breeding practices in our state.
- Animal Cruelty: At Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals we believe that 95% of the population are good people who love animals and will choose kindness over cruelty. This is evidenced by the continued growth in the pet industry and the increased interest in animal welfare issues around the nation. We also believe that when someone is convicted of animal cruelty they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Stricter animal cruelty laws will deter and punish offenders, and we support efforts to strengthen our existing laws.
- Reforming Animal Control: The number one cause of death of companion animals in the United States is shelter killing. A No Kill Nation is within our reach. Currently there are at least 80 open admission No Kill animal shelters in America. No Kill animal sheltering saves the lives of companion animals and, when done effectively, saves taxpayers' money. Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animals strongly supports the model of No Kill Animal Sheltering and will support legislation that mandates it for our state's animal shelters.
- Justice Alliance Milwaukee: Justice Alliance Milwaukee's initiatives are to gain freedom for unforfeited seized dogs awaiting court trials in Milwaukee (MADACC), ensuring they are individually evaluated and rehabilitated if possible; to ensure the disposition of subsequent seized dogs in Milwaukee match the American Bar Association's guidelines for seized dogs; and to update State Statutes to secure the forfeiture, release, fair evaluation, and rehabilitation of seized dogs in as little time as possible. Wisconsin Voters for Companion Animlas will support legislation that expedites the process for court case dogs so they can be fairly evaluated and have a chance to live out their lives in a loving home.