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Wildlife Ads with The Wisconsin DNR

The Humane Society of the United States

raccoon hollow tree

John Harrison

The Humane Society of the United States and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources worked together to create radio advertisements that are airing across the state through June 13. The ads educate Wisconsinites about the importance of leaving young wild animals in their native habitat.

People who unnecessarily and illegally remove baby animals from the wild put their own health and safety at risk, take valuable resources away from the enforcement of poaching laws, and ultimately can do more harm than good to the animals. The ads also remind residents to contact a wildlife rehabilitator if they find a wild animal who is truly orphaned or injured.

The HSUS recognizes the great value of the officers who enforce wildlife protection laws, and we are firmly committed to supporting their efforts. As part of that support, we run a nationwide anti-poaching program that has offered more than $190,000 in rewards since it began in 2008. We have donated robotic deer and other anti-poaching devices to law enforcement agencies, and we sponsor a team of rescued dogs who sniff out poachers with game wardens in California. Our Wildlife Land Trust program protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and eight foreign countries.

In 2009, The HSUS worked with the Wisconsin DNR to offer reward funds for information in several high-profile "thrill-kill" poaching cases. This spring, we've partnered with the DNR to help prevent the illegal taking of young wildlife. Our contribution to this most recent effort included the expertise of our staff biologists and humane educators in crafting the script for the ads, the distribution of the message to our more than 220,000 Wisconsin supporters, and the contribution of funds that helped expand the reach of the campaign.

Despite the fact that the ads make no mention of hunting, some critics in the sport hunting community are lashing out at the DNR for working with The HSUS to educate the public about the illegal take of wildlife. These are the same voices who falsely characterize our work and claim we should put more money into conservation efforts, yet they cry foul when we do just that. Their views are unreasonable and inaccurate. 

When it comes to hunting issues, we work to curb the most inhumane abuses, and that's what has led us most recently to campaign vigorously against poaching, captive hunting, Internet hunting, and fox and coyote penning—practices that The HSUS and many rank-and-file hunters agree are abusive and unacceptable.

We are proud to work on issues of common ground with the Wisconsin DNR, and we regret that some critics are too short-sighted and guilty of extreme overreaction to see the value of the partnership.