Companion Animals

Our companion animals are simultaneoulsy our most beloved and vulnerable animal population. The Alliance for Animals and the Enivornment's companion animal campaign covers a range of issues. If you are interested in joining our companion animal committee, please contact us.

Please see our anti-vivisection page for information on local beagle breeders supplying dogs to research labs.

Please see our wildlife page for information on Wisconsin's allowance of leg-hold traps in parks and public lands and the impact on companion animals, as well as endangered and other wild animals.

Important numbers
  • Dane County Animal Services Office: (608) 267-1989
  • Dane County Animal Services Officer Dispatch: (608) 255-2345
  • Dane County Humane Society: (608) 838-0413
  • Emergency Clinic for Animals: (608) 274-7772
  • Spay Me! Clinic: (608) 224-1400
  • Spay Wisconsin: 877-510-7387
  • Spay USA: 1 (800) 248-SPAY (7729)
N.B.: The Alliance does not currently have any spay or neuter programs, shelters, or animal control capacities.

Reporting Animal Abuse

If you suspect animal abuse or neglect, please report it! Contact your local animal shelter, humane society, or animal control agency immediately. Ask if there is a trained cruelty investigator to whom you can speak. If none of these agencies exist in your area, call your local law enforcement agency or local health department. It is best to give your name and contact information because many abuse/neglect cases go unprosecuted when witnesses refuse to sign a complaint. However, you can choose to remain anonymous, but please whatever you decide to do, report it!

When reporting cruelty, be sure to have ready a concise, written, factual statement of what you observed. Include addresses, specific dates and times, photographs if possible, and any statements from other witnesses. Write down the name of the person with whom you speak, the date of your report, and the content of your conversation. Please remember to always be courteous when dealing with law enforcement officers and those involved with animal control. You are a representative of the animals, so do your best to utilize the grace and integrity of those you are seeking to protect.

The Alliance for Animals and the Environment does not have animal control capabilities; that is a function of local animal control programs.

Veterinary Malpractice

Most of us trust our veterinarians and have had positive experiences when taking our companion animals in for check-ups, surgical procedures, or emergencies. However some of us at some time fall victim to professionals who neglect or mistreat our loved ones.

If you experience or suspect that your companion animal has fallen victim to such neglect here are some possible actions you can take.

  • If possible, take him/her to another professional for a documented opinion
  • File a written complaint with the State Veterinary Medical Board
  • Search for other complaints about this clinic/veterinarian and/or file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
  • Consult with an attorney and decide if you decide to pursue legal options

What You Can Do to Reduce Companion Animal Suffering

Adoption

Over four million animals are killed by shelters in the United States each year. You can personally impact this number by adopting an animal from a shelter. While shelters usually have puppies and kittens, consider adopting an older animal, as you will be spared the hassle of toilet training, chewing, and other behaviors. In addition, shelters are often able to give you information on an animal's temperment. Most shelters have already spayed or neutered animals prior to adoption, so you are free from worry about adding to the already overwhelming companion animal population, as well as the nuisance of an animal in heat.

If You Must Give Your Companion Away, Don't List a "Free to a Good Home" Ad

Sadly, there are people who search for "free to a good home" ads to obtain dogs and cats for dog fighting training, malicious pranks, or other horrific deeds. You owe it to your animal to protect him or her from this fate.

If you must give your companion animal away, follow these guidelines from pet-abuse.com

  • Don't advertise "Free pet"
  • Spay/neuter the animal to avoid attracting backyard breeders or puppy mill operators
  • Charge at least $25 to discourage resale of animals to labs and others
  • Ask each prospective owner for his/her veterinarian's name as a reference and check it.
  • Ask for identification in the form of a photo I.D. Write down the information, or scan/photocopy it if possible
  • Ask for a phone number and explain that you'd like to check on how the animal's doing. An honest person will gladly share the information with you.
  • Have the person sign an "adoption" contract concerning your companion animal stating that they will not go to research. Having this in writing gives you legal recourse.
  • Ask to visit the place where your companion will live before your release him or her to the new owner.

Don't assume because someone brings their wife or children that they are honest and will give your companion a good home. There are documented case in which "brokers" brought their children with them when collecting animals so that they would look "legitimate".

If time is of the essence and you must leave your companion, please take him or her to a reputable public or private shelter rather than give it away free to someone you don't know anything about.

We suggest that you charge at least $25 to discourage this type of behavior. $25 is a small amount to pay, and if someone cannot afford this charge, how can one expect them to provide food and veterinary care for a companion animal? We also suggest that you require a copy of a driver's license or other form of photo ID and keep a record of information.

Better yet, find a no-kill shelter in your area where you can be sure that your companion animal will find a good home.

For more information visit Pet-Abuse.com.

Laws Affecting Companion Animals

The Alliance for Animals and the Environment is active regarding several legal issues relating to companion animals.

We are happy to work with individuals at the local level to create regulations on issues like time limits on dog chaining.

Wisconsin statute 174.13 allows animal shelters to sell unclaimed animals for $1 to research labs for study and experiments.

Wisconsin allows the use of cruel, indiscriminate leg-hold traps, which are responsible for the deaths and maimings of countless companion animals. Please see our Wildlife page for more information.

Beagles, with their docile temperments, are among the most popular animals used in laboratory testing of consumer household and beauty products. Currently, there are two laws before the US Congress that would impact the legal reach of such testing. Join us in opposing HR 135, the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act, which would require testing of items currently approved, resulting in an estimated 11.5 million additional animal deaths in labs. Please lend your support to HR 4148, the Humane Cosmetics Act, introduced by long-time friend to animals, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA).

The Alliance is dedicated to raising awareness of animals in labs, including the suppliers of these animals. Please see our Anti-Vivisection page for information on Mt. Horeb and other local breeders who knowingly sell animals to research labs.

You can personally vote with your consumer dollars by purchasing products that have not been tested on animals. Look for the Leaping Bunny and/or PETA seals or visit their websites for complete listings of companies that do and do not test on animals.