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"Mary's Law" is a 3 point plan to create Marathon County animal control program


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  A proposal to create a county-wide animal control system has been named for the dog that died of abuse this past summer in Wausau. It’s called “Mary’s Law” and is one of the plans that would create a full-time animal control staff funded by license fees.

Keane Winters is on the county’s Animal Control Task Force and the Wausau City Council.

He says the present system of dealing with animal issues is law enforcement officers, which respond if time permits...NWS 5645 :13 sec. “...the next Mary.”

Winters says the option of having Wausau manage the animal control officers would cost about $100,000 less than a similar plan offered by the Humane Society, and it makes sense...NWS 5646 :19 sec. “...systems in place.”

The three elements of “Mary’s Law” include raising pet license fees to $10.00 for a spayed or neutered animal or $20.00 for an unaltered animal. It would also ask municipalities to collect those license fees and inform the public where the money goes. Third, they would like all of the county’s municipalities to tell the Animal Control Task Force they are interested in participating in a county-wide animal control program. The fees would support operating a three person animal control staff.

Currently, the Sheriff’s Department dispatch center gets about 2,000 animal complaints every year, and many go without a response if deputies are busy on other law enforcement calls.

Winters says the increased license fees would both support the animal control program and the existing Humane Society animal shelter. He says the key is collecting license fees from the large number of residents that currently don’t license their animals.

WSAU’s interview with Keane Winters can be heard in it’s entirety by clicking on the application above.