Action Alert – Proposed Bill Will Hurt Lost Pets in Wisconsin

file121249417709A bill is currently circulating the Wisconsin State Legislature that seeks to reduce the required stray hold for found animals from the current seven days to only four days.  The main intent of this bill (LRB1926/1) is to improve the outcome for seized dogs (often called Court Case dogs)  in Wisconsin, which of course is a very good thing!  Unfortunately, Wisconsin Humane Society and the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) who helped draft  the bill have also included a paragraph that reduces the stray hold for all animals (dogs AND cats).

Our concerns:

  1. A discussion on stray hold for lost pets has absolutely nothing to do with legislation concerning Court Case Dogs. They are entirely separate issues.
  2. There are many dysfunctional portions of Wisconsins’ current lost pet and animal control systems including:
  • There is no centralized database being used by shelters in Wisconsin for reporting lost and found pets.  (There is a database available, free to use, but stray holding facilities are not making use of it). Stray holding facilities can include large shelters, vet clinics, boarding kennels, police departments, town offices, individual contractors who may hold the dogs in their garage on their property.  These facilities do not cross-communicate making it very difficult for an owner to locate their lost pet.  Unlike car keys, that usually stay where you lose them – dogs and cats can easily wander and cross jurisdictional borders  ending up in a stray holding facility many miles from where they went missing.
  • Many Wisconsin stray holding facilities do not post photos of found animals on line, which requires  the owner to visit the facility in person to check. This is often time consuming and costly, and many owners do not even know all of the places they should check.
  • Some Wisconsin stray holding facilities have outdated microchip scanners or no microchip scanners at all.
  • Many Wisconsin stray holding facilities do not proactively look for owners of missing pets by doing things such as: tracing deadend microchips, posting signs where lost pets were picked up, posting photos online and on Facebook, and searching Craigslist and other lost pet listings.
  • Many Wisconsin stray holding facilities do not have extended hours to make it convenient for owners that may work long hours or two jobs to pick up their lost pet in the required time.
  • Many Wisconsin stray holding facilities have exhorbitant fees and fines to reclaim a lost pet. Owners often need a few more days  to come up with the money to reclaim their pet. It is not uncommon for reclaim fees to be in excess of $200.
  • Many Wisconsin stray holding facilities have not embraced the changing demographics of our state and do not offer bilingual assistance to owners who have lost their pets.
  • Many Wisconsin stray holding facilities do not take into consideration barriers that prevent people from reclaiming their pets – including lack of transportation, lack of cell phone or internet service and owners with mental or phsyical disabilities.
  • Right now, it is too easy for a stray holding facility to proclaim that “the owner wasn’t looking for their pet” and put it down or adopt it out immediately after the stray hold period has lapsed, instead of proactively being part of the solution.
  • Wisconsin shelters and rescues are not required to submit intake and euthanasia data to the Department of Agriculture (as is required in Illinois, Michigan and many other states). Government oversight and transparency are needed to make sure that stray animals are not needlessly being put down in our shelters. Tax dollars pay for animal control and stray holding facilities are compensated with those tax dollars to care for lost pets.

Until these items are addressed, we cannot support a reduced stray hold period in Wisconsin. We support legislating minimum standards that stray holding facilities need to take to proactively reunite lost pets with their families.

We are asking each and everyone of you, our Facebook fans, to contact your state legislators and ask them to NOT co-author or support LRB 1926/1 until the sentence concerning the reduction in stray hold is removed.

Find out who your state legislators are by clicking here and entering your address.   Your Wisconsin State Senator and Representative’s contact information will pop up.

Here is a link to the text of the bill: Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau

Thank you! Together we can help more lost pets get home safely!

Posted in Action Alerts, Our Organization

Finders Keepers – NOT!

16789750919_443bc9c64a_oThe other day I was walking along the sidewalk in downtown Milwaukee and I saw a bicycle leaning against a building. It was a bit sad looking – it’s paint was faded and chipped, it’s tires looked like they needed some air, and the seat had seen better days. Poor thing. I glanced around for an owner but saw no one. It had been abandoned. I decided to take it home and give it some love. I was going to give it the life it deserved! I was going to be a hero! I was going to be a bicycle rescuer! What a wonderful thing I was doing. I would be able to tell the story for years to come to my friends and family about the poor neglected, abandoned bicycle that I had saved.

I hope you see where I’m going with this. Of course I wouldn’t take the bicycle. That’s called STEALING. Bicycles are property. Cars are property. A wallet is property. Dogs are property. Why do people think that it is somehow okay to keep a dog that they have found?

We very seldom have dogs intentionally stolen (premeditated theft) in Wisconsin. But lately we have had several cases of lost dogs that have been picked up and kept by well-intentioned, but misinformed Good Samaritans. These are lost dogs who may have owners who are desperately looking for them. This is illegal. Let me say it again. Dogs are property. We have a very clear law that states how lost property must be handled in Wisconsin and how you must make every effort to find and return the property to its owner. The details are spelled out and I encourage you to read them.

As we work through these cases with Lost Dogs of Wisconsin we smile and delicately and diplomatically negotiate the return of these dogs (if we know where they are). But behind the scenes – my head is about to explode with the words “GET YOUR OWN DAMN DOG”. It isn’t like there’s not enough dogs in our shelters and rescues that need a good home.

I have two shy, sensitive dogs. They’re also very physically fit. They would only have to be lost a couple of days and I’m sure they would appear underfed and abused – cowering and thin. Would someone find them and assume I was a horrible owner and didn’t deserve them back? Would they keep them and call themselves heroes – not even trying to reunite them with me?

In the big picture – this is one of the reasons that I am really happy that dogs ARE property. This protects my rights as their owner. The law is on my side if my dogs are lost. Good Samaritans take note. We appreciate that you get the lost dog safely off the street and to a warm, dry place. If you feel that a dog is neglected or abused, contact a humane officer or police officer in your community. But do not think that you are doing anybody any favors by keeping a dog that is not legally yours.

Kathy Pobloskie, Lost Dogs of Wisconsin

(reprinted with permission from

Posted in Uncategorized

Boiko’s Story

BoikoReunited ~ after 14 months on his own!

Reunited ~ after 14 months on his own!

Boiko the Chocolate Labrador Retriever from #Porterfield in Marinette County. Boiko went missing on July 23, 2014 (over a year ago). Owner (Jeremy) was devastated. He searched for months to find him. He told us he was obsessed in finding his dog and was tracking him, with sightings that were generated by flyers and phone calls. At one point, he sighted him with his own eyes, he was with-in 50 feet of Boiko, but he bolted, when owner called out to him (as many scared, lost dogs will do).

After that day in 2014, little did he know, the next sighting would take place over a year later – at a shelter in Michigan. Almost Home Animal Shelter located in Dickinson County, Michigan posted a found dog on their Facebook page, in search of owner. The dog was extremely thin and malnourished – which many assumed was due to neglect or abuse. But often times (more often than not) dogs found in this condition are actually lost loving pets that someone is searching for. Which indeed, was the case for this found dog as well. One of our volunteers (at LDOW) saw the photo of the found dog and began to search our lost dog albums, for any Chocolate Labs that were missing from Wisconsin, near the Michigan border. One lost flyer stood out from 2014. It was Boiko; he went missing in Marinette County, which borders Michigan.

The volunteer sent the flyer to the animal shelter, as a possible match to their found dog. The following day is when we got the wonderful message from the shelter – thanking the volunteer for sending the flyer, and letting us know that the dog they had was definitely Boiko, missing since July 2014. Owner told us (later) when he first got the call, from the shelter, he didn’t really think it was possible to be his dog, until certain markings and details were described and matched Boiko’s. Then owner received several pictures of the found dog – which is when he knew, with-out a doubt, his Boiko was coming HOME! Before receiving that call, he and his family had pretty much given up hope of ever seeing Boiko again!

They are still in disbelief that he is actually home safe and sound, after missing for over a year! Jeremy (owner) didn’t waste any time, he drove to the shelter that evening and was finally reunited with his canine buddy **see reunion pic below** We at Lost Dogs of Wisconsin, along with Boiko’s family, would like to thank Almost Home Animal Shelter for posting their found dog pictures, which help to make these happy reunions possible!!! Congrats and Welcome Home Boiko!! (Lost 7-23-14, Reunited 9-23-15)

Posted in Reunion Stories | Tagged , , ,

How Are We Doing? Year to Date August 2015

August 2015 stats

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , ,

Randall’s Story


Randall, lost from Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin August 28, 2015. Reunited August 31, 2015

This is Randall’s story – as told by Randall’s owners.

Randall ran away from my brother’s home when my brother was petsitting. We were on our way to a wedding, and Randall just ran off. That night, Randall ran several miles through corn fields, farmland, forests and in the rain. We looked for him that night and the next morning, but could not find a trace of him. We did leave out his bed in the garage, with the garage door open, and clothes from each of us on the bed.

On Sunday, Jenny and I were headed back down to pass out more fliers, when we got a text from my sister in law. Randall had been spotted in their driveway (the driveway is long, about 200 yards – it is very rural). He ran off into the woods again, but we knew he was close. Several neighbors reported having seen him throughout the day, but he ran as soon as anyone noticed him. We put brats and bacon on the grill – cooking one at a time, for several hours. Finally, the sun went down, but my wife and I were not giving up. We set up an air mattress in the yard/field next to my brothers house, and scattered our dirty laundry all about the property. We laid down when the sun was gone – around 9:00 p.m..

At 12:10 a.m., my wife heard something sniffing near us. A minute or two later, the sniffing thing came close to where we were laying and started sniffing us. My wife whispered “hey boy” and he jumped back. She followed up with “Randall, it’s Mommy” and the dog literally started crying. He jumped on us and cried like a 2-week old puppy. He cried so hard we though he was hurt. He rolled all over us – I have never seen a dog sob, but I swear he was. We immediately took him to our car, threw everything in and drove the 45 minutes straight home. The dog needed a bath!! He had rolled in at least two kinds of animal feces and stunk like you would not believe. But, we got our boy back!

Jenny was so grateful. On the drive back we left messages for all the agencies that helped us (informing them that Randall had been found), and for helpingpets as well – my wife also insisted (I completely agreed) that we make a donation to help with the next lost pet.

Yesterday Randall literally slept all day, waking up only to eat – and then only when he was called. But he is doing better – he is basically uninjured, just rough. He has some infections from his adventure, and the vet is making time for him today, so that should get cleared up soon.

Thank you so much for the amazing help, tips, follow up.

Posted in Reunion Stories | Tagged , , , ,

No Sightings During Hot Weather? No Worries!


It’s hot outside! Don’t be alarmed if you don’t get any sightings of your missing dog during this hot spell. They will hunker down and may not be seen until the weather cools off a bit. Continue to put out food, water, your dog’s blanket and bed  and your articles of dirty clothing or pillowcase.

Posted in Recovery Tips, Shy Lost Dog Strategies, Sightings

Year To Date July 2015


Posted in Our Organization, Statistics | Tagged , ,

Lucy’s Big Adventure (as told by Lucy herself)

Lucy reunited

Lucy ( Lost January 9, 2015 – Reunited July 29, 2015)

One very cold and snowy day in January 2015, I had to go outside to go potty.
Dad let me outside.  I stayed in his sight, running in the yard.  Dad went back inside the house to get my brother Jojoe (he had to go potty too.) When Dad and Jojoe came back outside I (Lucy) had disappeared. Dad and Mom thought I might have gone out to the pasture, because that is where I always went poop.  Mom and Dad called and called for me, but I did not hear them. (Sometimes I turn my ears off) I know Mom and Dad were really worried about me.  Dad searched and searched for me.  Even though we were having a bad snow storm, Dad kept searching.  Mom and Dad drove all over the neighborhood.  Mom filed a Lost Dogs of Wisconsin report.  She called the sheriff’s department and everyone else she could think of.

In the mean time I was all alone and lost.  Oh, I forgot to tell you my BIG sister who is Great Pyrenees, was with me, we tried to stay together but I think I lost her.  We were spotted a few months after we went missing.  A very nice lady who lives by the Cobbin Bridge saw us and let my Mom know.  Mom and Dad drove all over by the Cobbin Bridge for many days and nights looking for us.  They even dropped off posters about us.

I don’t remember too much after that (I don’t want Mom and Dad knowing how bad I felt and the struggles I had to go through to try and find my way home.) Any way somehow I managed to get to Amherst, WI which is over 2 hours away from home.  I found a friend; Mom thinks it was a boyfriend (because I like boys)  Anyway we were naughty running around in town.  The doggie police man didn’t like that.  He said little doggies can’t play on the busy streets.  So he took us to Plover, WI to the doggie jail called Portage County Humane Association.

The people there were so nice, they spoiled me, and I loved it!, They put my picture on their Facebook page.  A really nice lady (I have not met her yet, but sure hope I get to so I can give her kisses and Thank her) Mom says her name is Nicole Weyer and she is from Lost Dogs of Wisconsin. Anyway, Nicole got a hold of my Mom.  Mom said she was at work so she got a hold of Dad.  Dad called the Portage County Human Association right away.  The next morning Mom and Dad drove over to Plover as soon as Mom got home from work.

I heard my Mom and Dad, I was crying I was so happy!!  One of the workers brought me out to my Mom and Dad.  I was squealing and barking and dancing.  Mom and Dad started crying and I think the girls that took care of me were crying too.
So now you know my story.  I am back home with my Mom and Dad, and doggie parents.  Please help us bring home my big sister Nellie…………….. OH Mom and Dad say Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way……………..   Love Lucy

Lucy sleeping

Here I am sleeping after my big adventure!


Here is my sister, Nellie’s flyer. Please share it so that she can come home too.

Posted in Reunion Stories

How Are We Doing? Year to Date June 2015


Posted in Our Organization, Statistics | Tagged , ,

Do You Know Where Lost Pets are Taken in YOUR Community?


According to the U.S. Census the average American will move 12 times in their life. This means that many people do not know where their local shelter is when their dog goes missing. Factor in that dogs (unlike car keys) do not remain where they are lost. They have four legs and walk so may easily end up in a neighboring county or jurisdiction.

Please help anyone you know who is missing their dog by giving them the locations of the shelters and animal control facilities in all surrounding towns and counties. Also remember that many town offices, police departments and vet clinics (especially in smaller communities) impound lost pets. Thank you for helping us help others!

Posted in Uncategorized