WHAT’S BREWING IN MILWAUKEE?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1995:
MILWAUKEE––The Milwaukee County Board committee on parks, recreation, and culture
on July 12 ordered the county corporation council to share records pertaining to the Wisconsin Humane
Society with Wisconsin Animal Protection Society president Kay Mannes, but refused to probe allega-
tions of animal abuse and mismanagement at WHS, which closed its books and meetings to the public in
1990. WHS executive director Victoria Wellens, hired at $90,000/year in mid-1994 despite having no
background in animal work, recently ired both staff and outside critics by trading in several vehicles used
to haul animals and supplies for a $28,000 Ford Bronco, from which animals are barred.
Responded Milwaukee County Intergovernment Pound Budget Committee chair Jim Ryan, “If
the Wisconsin Humane Society is poorly managed, has morale problems, if there are no quarterly reports
filed on time, if they spend too much money or make too much money, if the animals are poorly treated
inside the humane society––as a practical matter that is not within our purview to be concerned about. It
is not our role to act as a legal agency to oversee treatment of animals inside the shelter, because there are
laws to protect animals,” never mind that the enforcement agency in this case is the accused.
While WHS is trying to raise $6.5 million to build a new shelter, another longtime critic, Cindy
Shultz, in May announced the formation of a new organization, the Wisconsin SPCA, hoping to raise
the wherewithal to open a rival shelter by January 1, 1996.
The summer heroes of animal rescue in Milwaukee, meanwhile, were firefighters Howie
Hansen, who July 1 carried a Chihuahua out of a burning highrise, and Marvin Coleman, off duty at the
time, who revived the dog with oxygen. “A life is a life,” said Coleman.