May 7, 2020

A deadly reminder when walking your dog in rural areas as the weather gets nicer… The WDNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are asking for the public’s help with a string of fatal animal poisonings in Forest, Marinette and Florence counties, even along the border with Upper Michigan. While the investigation is focused on three counties, officials say others could be impacted. 

Officials are urging people to be cautious when walking their dogs along roadways and trails in these three counties.

The Wisconsin DNR says these suspected poisonings started in 2018, and it’s back now, but worse. Investigators say recently this is happening on very rural roads and mainly on public property but there have also been reports of it happening on private lands.

“We advise the public to just be very careful, be aware of where your dog is walking, and what it’s getting into. The stuff acts very fast,” said Wisconsin DNR Lieutenant, Bryan Harrenstein.

The WDNR has sent many specimens to the lab, and it has come back with a high concentration of poison. The tainted substance has a strong pesticide odor to it. Dogs have died very quickly after getting into the substance.

In these areas we’ve seen dead ravens dead crows, other dead stuff, so if they see these on the roadway that should heighten their awareness.  They have also found dead raptors, coyotes, weasels, raccoons and wolves.

If your pet does ingest it, the WDNR says bring them to the vet, as soon as possible. At least five dogs and 14 wild animals, including birds, coyotes, weasels, raccoons and wolves, have died from poison since December 2018.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $1,000 reward leading to the solving of this case.

If you have information or a tip – no matter how insignificant it may seem – please contact the WDNR Violation Hotline. You may confidentially report by calling or texting: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. You also may report online The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.