Monday, July 5, 2010

Black Bear, Rams On the Prowl in Wisconsin

Black bear sightings have increased significantly in Wisconsin. Alarmed citizens snap photos, post location information on Facebook, and are reevaluating their backyards for child and pet safety. With more and more sightings in southern counties, the relationship between animals and Wisconsinites is under the social and scientific microscope.

Even more concerning is the amount of rogue rams that, once escaped from their confines, are causing property and people destruction in Wisconsin. Legislation was passed in 1993 and 1997. It may need to be updated to address the need for rams to be “taken up.”

Wisconsin State Statute 172.08 states:

172.08 Rams may be taken up; liability.

(1) If the ownerof any ram permits the ram to go at large or out of the ram’s enclosurebetween July 15 and December 1 in the same year, the ownershall forfeit $10 for each time that the ram is found at large andtaken up, 50% of which shall be paid to the prosecutor. The ownershall also be liable for any damages sustained by any person inconsequence of the ram running at large.

(2) Any person may take up a ram described in sub. (1), andshall within 24 hours after taking up the ram do one of the following:

(a) If the owner of the ram is known, notify the owner that theram has been taken up and of the place where the ram is secured.(b) If the owner of the ram is unknown, file with the town clerka notice of the taking up, describing the marks of the ram, naturaland artificial, if any, and also post copies of the notice in 3 publicplaces in the town.

(3) The owner of a ram taken up under this section may, within6 days after the filing and posting of the notices under sub. (2), payor tender to the town clerk the forfeiture under sub. (1) and 50cents for the town clerk’s fees. Upon payment of the forfeiture andfees, the ram shall be restored to the owner and the clerk shallimmediately pay one−half of the forfeiture to the person who tookthe ram up and the other half to the county treasurer. If the ram’sowner fails to pay the forfeiture and fees in the 6−day period underthis subsection, the ram shall become the property of the personwho took up the ram. History: 1993 a. 482; 1997 a. 254.

Aaron Essing, age 34, described his experience with a rogue ram. “Shoot, I had a ram in my backyard the other day. I tried to catch him, but he rammed me in the chest and then bolted. I’m still messed up today, can’t even breath right. I guess that’s why they call rams a ram. Man, that sucked! I really got rammed!”

“Ain’t nobody getting a-hold of my rams. I keep them bad boys fenced in real good,” said Bill Smith, age 77, of Ramstein, Wisconsin. “If I find me a ram that ain’t fenced in real good, then I’m gonna get him and take him in. The way I figure, if they can’t fence their rams, then they don’t deserve to have them. I fence mine in, so I deserve some.”

A local prosecutor is excited about the five dollars allotted to him after a ram forfeiture. “Hey, five dollars is five dollars.” The prosecutor from Ramstein, Wisconsin, wanted to remain unidentified for the purpose of this article.

“I think we should make the law apply beyond the July 15-December 1 timeline. A lot of rams are getting loose in the spring,” said D. Tiddobud, age 19. “We had one ram come by last spring and ram the crap out of one our yard statues for no reason. Them are expensive too! Took the daggone plastic deer head right off at the withers. No reason why that should happen in this day and age. No good reason at all.”

City officials have scheduled hearings to explore updated legislation this Friday afternoon at the city municipal building.

this is a work of fiction

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