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Lawmaker wants to toughen animal abuse law because of local case

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Ted Sullivan
August 19, 2010
— A mistreating animals case involving a Milton man accused of shooting a dog with a bow and arrow has spurred a state legislator to propose a tougher law against pet assaults.

Dale A. Moore, 62, of 7720 N. County KK, Milton, told a Rock County sheriff’s deputy that the dog wasn’t on his property and wasn’t barking, growling or approaching him when he shot an arrow into it, according to the criminal complaint.


The case concerned Rep. Kim Hixson, D-Whitewater, enough that he is drafting “Casey’s Law,” which would allow prosecutors to pursue felony charges in cases of unprovoked assaults on pets involving a deadly weapon.


The law is named after the Great Pyrenees, Casey, which was shot with an arrow May 21 while walking with his owner along railroad tracks off County KK in Lima Township. Casey had to undergo surgery at an animal hospital in Waukesha.


Hixson announced “Casey’s Law” this week, just days before Moore appeared in Rock County Court on Wednesday on misdemeanor charges of mistreating animals and disorderly conduct. Moore is awaiting trial after a not guilty plea was entered in his case. He declined to comment after Wednesday’s hearing.


Under the proposed law, Moore could have been charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor.


“Pets are not merely animals living among us—they are friends and family,” Hixson said in a news release announcing “Casey’s Law.” “As a state, we cannot allow cruelty to companion animals to occur in any form.”


According to the criminal complaint:


James Morke was walking his two dogs when Casey fell behind by 50 to 75 yards. Morke turned around and saw an arrow sticking out of the dog.


Morke said the arrow was 1 to 2 inches inside his dog. He pulled the arrow out. He then saw Moore holding a bow in his hands.


Morke yelled at Moore, asking him why he shot his dog.


“You’re lucky it wasn’t a gun,” Moore responded.


The deputy saw what appeared to be a homemade blunt tip on the arrow taken from Casey. White hair and blood were on its end.


Moore told the deputy he was mowing his lawn when he saw the dog standing between his property line and the railroad tracks. Moore said he climbed off his mower and yelled at the dog to leave.


Moore told the deputy that he grabbed his bow and arrow and shot the dog to get it away.


Moore said he thought Casey was a different dog that had previously attacked his own dog.


Moore told the deputy that Casey was not growling, barking or heading toward him. He said his own dog wasn’t outside at the time.


Moore said his first thought was to grab a gun and shoot the dog, but he didn’t want to kill the animal.


After the incident, Morke and his wife, Lynn Morke, said they wanted to lobby lawmakers to make mistreating animals a felony.


They met with Hixson, who is in the process of drafting the law. “Casey’s Law” would protect animals living in homes as companions. It would not protect wild game such as deer or farm animals such as cows.


Hixson has a dog he considers family.


“I know I’d do just about anything to keep my wife and children out of harm’s way,” Hixson said. “The same goes for our black Lab, Lucky.”



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