No Leash Laws for Wolves?

February 20, 2009 at 5:35 am 6 comments

WDIO Duluth reports:

Linda Ziegler says she let her 5-year-old dachshund, Jenny, outside just before noon last Thursday. Ziegler was standing on her front steps when two timber wolves appeared.

“The minute they spotted her, well that was the end,” said Linda. “They went right after her and they killed her. And they were carrying her around the yard and there was no one around anywhere. So I was under the impression that these two were wild.”

Wolves depredation on dogs in Minnesota has become more common in recent years as wolf populations increase and animals come into more frequent contact with hunters and human habitations.  In Wisconsin, wolf depredation on bear hunting dogs is now a serious enough problem that the DNR has published a guide and maps of ‘caution areas’ to help hunters reduce conflicts.

More wolves means more wolf / dog confrontations. Still, Minnesotans don’t expect to have their dogs killed by wolves during a short pee break in the front yard. Especially when the wolves in question are “tame” animals out on a photo shoot…

The wolves belong to the Minnesota Wildlife Connection. Founder Lee Greenly says the business provided the animals for a photo shoot near the Ziegler’s property when the wolves wandered a little too far.

“I deeply regret that this incident happened and we’ll take precautions,” said Greenly. “99% of the time it’s never a problem. It’s just that 1% that happens, and this happened to be a problem.”

Yeah Lee.  I’m guessing this is much like that 1% of stuff that happens when an untrained, unsupervised dog is allowed to run loose. The times when he kills chickens, craps in the neighbor’s yard, is hit by a car or gets shot for running deer.  It’s also the 1% of stuff that responsible animal owners do their best to avoid. But hey, it’s OK  ’cause, you know – these weren’t dogs. They were wolves.

Greenly says he has several licenses to breed and raise the wolves, which have been trained by Greenly and his family. He says the regulations for letting wildlife run free in rural areas are minimal.

Brilliant Lee!  The fact that the state doesn’t specifically require that wolves be kept on leash obviously gives you the right to let tame wolves who, unlike their wild brethren, have lost their fear of people – run at large in the neighborhood. Leash laws are obviously only meant for domestic dogs and the wimps that own them. Real men own wolves.  And hunt bear.

Lee enjoys the manly sport of bear hunting. So does his pal, country western singer Troy Lee Gentry.  Back in 2006 Minneapolis TV station WCCO reported that:

Investigators said Troy Lee Gentry, half of the Montgomery Gentry duo, killed a tame black bear in an enclosed pen in Sandstone, Minn. in October 2004 and videotaped it.

Investigators said Gentry then edited the video to make it appear as though the animal was shot in the wild.

Shooting bears in a barrel! I’ll bet that’s more fun than hunting wiener dogs with wolves! Unfortunately, while we won’t penalize you for letting your wolf run at large, shooting tame bears is a misdemeanor here in Minnesota. In 2007 CBSNews reported:

Gentry pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in November. Under a plea deal, he agreed to forfeit the bear and the bow he used during the hunt near Sandstone. The 600-pound bear has been part of a taxidermy display at Gentry’s home in Tennessee. He was sentenced Friday.

The bear was killed in October 2004 at the 80-acre Minnesota Wildlife Connection. Owner Lee Marvin Greenly sold the bear for $4,650 and orchestrated the hunt, which Gentry videotaped and edited to make it appear the bear had been killed in a fair chase hunt, according to authorities.

In his plea bargain agreement, Gentry admitted he shot a bear named Cubby from a hunting stand that stood in a 3-acre pen surrounded by an electric fence.  And the wildlife-loving Mr. Greenly set the whole thing up for him (for a fee, of course.)  And unfortunately for Mr. Greenly, the penalties for setting up fake bear hunts are somewhat more serious than those for hunting wieners out of season. According to the Chicago Tribune:

Lee Marvin Greenly, 46, Gentry’s local hunting guide, pleaded guilty at the same hearing to two felony charges of helping other hunters shoot bears at illegal baiting stations he maintained inside a national wildlife refuge near Sandstone in east-central Minnesota.

Our hearts go out to the Zieglers. This was a terrible way to lose a beloved friend. Our sympathies are also extended to Cubby the bear, killed back in 2006. We’d like to suggest that the USDA, Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture and Minnesota DNR consider reviewing the Wildlife Connections‘ permits.  It appears that there may be something rotten in the City of Sandstone…

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The “Creatures’ Caucus” – A Call to Action Not so Tasty Bytes

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Audie's Gramma  |  February 20, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Let’s not forget to save some sympathy for the wolves that are “owned” by this fruitcake.

    Even if they are physically safer than the local wiener dogs — and I’ve no confidence in that, if the price is right — they have to live with the hoomanitarian who set up the hit on Cubby.

    Cubby! No shit!

  • 2. Jill  |  February 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    There’s been a lot of discussion this week about the chimp attack in Connecticut, some claiming it was entirely unprovoked. Earlier this morning, the NPR reporter quoted the chimp owner’s neighbor who reiterated the ‘unprovoked’, and went on to say that 1) she kept that chimp like a pet and 2) treated it like a child.

    Sounds like sufficient provocation to me. Enough for a chimp, a bear or a wolf.

  • 3. Caveat  |  February 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Keeping wild animals as ‘pets’ is never a good idea. Duh, everybody here knows that. Wolves should be left alone and encouraged to remain natural – which includeskeeping their very sensible fear of humans.

    My Wiener Dog was attacked by a coyote about 8 years ago. He was ripped up pretty badly but he survived and had no fear of dogs thereafter. My vet said any other dog would have died but the old Dash is one tough cookie. He has the scars to prove it.

    PS He probably started it.

  • 4. foxstudio  |  February 22, 2009 at 2:03 am

    I’ve never seen much on places like Minnesota Wildlife Connection and other “game ranches” like them that keep wild animals for hire. Have there ever been any investigations that you know of? I know of one that has been fined repeatedly, but this doesn’t seem to be an animal story that’s on anyone’s radar.

    I’ve been to two of them as an artist shooting reference for paintings and have wondered if the standard of care is really adequate. The animals look ok and the cats in particular have better body condition than the zoo versions, but I’ve become leery of a situation where the human’s livelihood is dependent on a wild animal, no matter how socialized it is to humans, which must perform for people paying upwards of $500/day to get The Shot.

    I also wonder what happens to the ”surplus” animals- the wolf pups that no one buys or the cubs that want nothing to do with people. I have a feeling…but no facts.

    I’ve personally decided not to patronize any of them again. Mostly from humane concerns, but also because I don’t want the same reference as the twenty other people who were there at the same shoot.

  • 5. Ranger Rick  |  March 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    It was an ACCIDENT! Why does everybody always want to crucify people when an accident happens? Its unfortunate this happened, very saddening. But lets keep our heads here, the animals are trained and confined for the most part and this was an isolated incident that won’t happen again based on the cities passing of where the Wolves can and cannot go.

    Rick

  • 6. Sandstone guy  |  March 5, 2009 at 5:57 am

    I know its sad what Happend to Zieglers but this is what matters here. It could have been a kid attacked. This should not have be aloud in a town. And its not like the guy was sorry about it. He didn’t really say he was sorry just that he would take care of it. Yeah and wow I know for a fact that the dog did not start it cause was in there yard. She was a Miniature and was tore in half by these wild beasts. I pray that some thing is done about this. And to Rick this guy has done stuff like this befor. Lets not forget about that Bear that was killed by that County Singer Troy Lee Gentry that Mr Lee got in trouble with befor. I am a close friend of the Zieglers and I wish them the best. Also the local paper did a story about it and it was filled with Lies!! Just gose to show if have you have Rich friends in this small town you think you could get away with any thing.

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