Just as we as humans are eager to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, so too are our pets. I have seen recently an increase in the complaints regarding stray animals, and felt it appropriate to share some information on the topic. Kewaunee County as well as most Townships and Cities have ordinances which cover Animals at Large. The common understanding of this ordinance is that it pertains to dogs or other animals that roam freely throughout the countryside.
While this is correct, it also pertains to animals which may actually be in close proximity to your home or property. We receive many complaints of pedestrians or bicyclists who are riding down the road, and someone’s dog comes running off of the property onto the road, and in some cases causes injury. State Statute 174.042 “Dogs Running at Large” covers this issue, as well as the proper licensing of dogs. Most Towns and Cities have adopted this statute for local enforcement and should be your point of contact if you have questions regarding the licensing of your pet or concerns about those dogs you see running that are not yours.
While we all enjoy the companionship of our pets, it is important to understand our responsibilities as pet owners. This may require physically restricting a pet to an enclosed area, or if possible taking advantage of technology such as underground fencing.
If you are fortunate to have one of those pets who are well trained and remain on your property, congratulations. If not, please take every precaution to prevent your pet from straying and potentially causing damage to either property or persons. This applies to animals as small as a cat or as big as a horse.
Another overlooked issue by some pet owners is the proper policing of pet by-products. If you are walking your pet, please be responsible for both the animal and any material that may come from it. Although not a pleasant duty of walking the dog, it is less pleasant when you are the property owner who comes across it either on foot or with the lawn mower.
If you have been on the receiving end of a stray animal incident, please contact the Sheriff’s Department, and hopefully we can correct the situation through a warning to the animal owner, or if need be a citation.
The main thing to remember is that as a pet owner you are not only responsible to that animal but any issues that may result from them.