Here’s an interesting factoid: since 1985 wolf attacks on domestic animals have cost Wisconsin taxpayers $1.5 million, including $428,000 for reimbursement of attacks on dogs. Stands to reason that a wolf hunt may help reduce that figure, right? Well, no. In fact, a group suing to stop Wisconsin’s wolf hunt argues that in fact, it’s all our fault for willfully putting our dogs in harm’s way by bringing them into the woods.

From this story on
The payments came under a little-known program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that paid thousands for cattle, horses and pets that were eviscerated by the state’s growing wolf population.What may come as a surprise is that taxpayers also paid $428,000 in reimbursements for hunting hounds devoured by wolves while tracking game like black bear and rabbits. The state paid $37,000 for 15 dogs killed last year, for instance. That doesn’t sit well with a group of humane societies that want to shut down the state’s inaugural wolf hunt before it begins Oct. 15 because it allows hunters to use up to six dogs to track and trail wolves. “We as taxpayers have been, and will be, on the hook for the human behavior of putting dogs in harm’s way in wolf territory,” said attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin, who is representing the group that filed the lawsuit in Dane County Court earlier this month.As of June, the DNR had paid animal owners $214,794.16 this year for wolf kills, the most in state history, according to DNR records.

According to the story, 232 hunting dogs and 82 pet dogs have been killed or injured by wolves since 1985. Funding for the reimbursement used to come from taxpayer dollars, but this year’s funding will come from license fees for the wolf hunt, which already has over 11,000 applications, at $10 a pop.

Setting aside the ludicrous argument that wolf attacks on hunting dogs are our own fault because we’re obviously putting our dogs in harm’s way by taking them into the woods (apparently a dog’s place is in the dog park?) let me get this straight: this group is complaining that taxpayer dollars have gone to this reimbursement fund, but now that the program is self-funded, they’re still complaining?

Thoughts? Reaction?