Update: Coyote hunter gets felony charges after shooting two Wisconsin dogs at close range, both pets killed

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April update: Assistant DA Paul Humphrey charged hunter Kurt Rausch with two felony counts of mistreatment of animals for fatally shooting two dogs while coyote hunting on public land in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.  This was an unprecedented decision.  Please sign this petition to BAN dangerous night hunts so the chances of this happening are decreased!

February 12 update: A petition, found on this link, was launched on February 5, on the Change.org website. The petition is addressed to Ismael R. Ozanne, the Dane County District Attorney, asking them to prosecute the hunter in this incident. Suggested charges are listed within the body of the petition. In addition, The Humane Society of the United States – Wisconsin, also took a stand on this issue, on February 5. That link, and comments from citizens, can be found here. If you have any comments, please contact the Dane County D.A. Office at 608-266-4211, or email them at danecoda@da.wi.gov. The original article is found below.

NBC15 reported on Sunday that two dogs belonging to a veterinarian, who was out for a walk with her pack in the Badfish Creek Wildlife Area in Dane County, Wisconsin, were shot at close range by a man hunting coyotes. The two dogs, Frannie and Gary, died at the hands of that hunter. All four of her dogs were wearing reflective vests when the hunter shot and killed the pair. Their owner was wearing her headlamp and, as the dogs went around the corner just ahead of her on the trail, she heard two gunshots, and was able to see her dogs fall down, mortally wounded.

Frannie died where she fell. Deanna, the dog‘s owner, stated that the bullet had ‘shot her chest open. I was able to see her heart beat for the last few beats.’ After Gary, her 75-pound Mastiff-Husky mix, was shot, the dog ran up to the hunter and then became paralyzed. Deanna ran over and tried to pick up Gary, but he was too heavy. She began screaming at the killer for help, and the pair carried the bleeding dog to her car, where the hunter called 911. Gary died four days later after complications from surgery.

Deanna had gone for a walk that day with her four dogs, Helmet, Rufus, Frannie and Gary, in an area where she had previously walked three or four times a week. She was on one of her usual trails when the shooting occurred. She never thought that she would be returning home without her entire pack. She had no idea that people would be there hunting coyotes.

No charges have been filed against the shooter. Deanna is demanding a change in policy in that park, and the case has been turned over to the District Attorney. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, Badfish Creek is a wildlife refuge with over 1,000 acres of protected wetlands for hiking, birding, fishing, hunting and canoeing. There is no restriction on hunting coyote in Wisconsin, with a year-round open season on these animals. A number of states are considering opening up more of their state parks to hunters. But it appears as though even if you take every precaution to keep them safe, your pet may end up with a bullet in its chest.

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