Dog quilled by porcupine, then abandonedSubmitted: 08/26/2013
Story By Lex Gray

RHINELANDER - Most pet owners probably can't imagine abandoning an animal. But what if giving up your pet seems to be the only option?

Removing all of the quills on this lab mix cost about $200. That's probably why her owner left her at the front door of the Oneida County Humane Society.

A volunteer found her there about two weeks ago, with quills stuck on her face, paws, and down her throat.

"We took her directly to the vet, and she had immediate surgery to remove them," said director Bria Swartout. "We were told by a couple of the vet centers that they did receive a call about 45 minutes after she showed up at our door of a family inquiring how much it would cost to remove porcupine quills, and they stated they could not afford that."

This dog did get the care she needed, and donations covered some of it.

But abandoning your pet and relying on the humane society aren't the only options.

"We understand that it's hard when you have unexpected vet bills, but always ask your vet if there's other payment options, if they're willing to work with you," Swartout said. "There's Care Credit out there, it's an opportunity to get a credit card for vet bills and other medical issues. There's different opportunities out there, asking family, friends to help you with these things. It's always unfortunate when a family has to lose a pet because they can't afford to do any cares on them."

The lab mix is up for adoption. Swartout guesses she's about a year old, but that's all she knows about her, since she was abandoned.

If you're interested in adopting her, call the Oneida County Humane Society at 715-362-5992.

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WOOD COUNTY - We now know the names of the people involved in a Wood County Crash that killed two people Tuesday afternoon.

The Wood County Sheriff's Department says the cars crashed head-on along Highway 80 in the Town of Dexter around 3:30.

71-year-old Barbara Baldwin of New Lisbon was driving one of the cars, and died in the crash.

Her passenger, 74 year old Louise Hemenway of New Lisbon, also died.

Another passenger in the car, 72-year-old Dona Sharp, was hurt....as was the driver of the second car, 30-year-old Greg Kopelke of Wisconsin Rapids.

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TOMAH - The Tomah VA Medical Center will end a lease agreement for a shelter for homeless veterans.

The Veterans Assistance Foundation has operated the shelter for nearly 20 years.

Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan says there have been more than 30 incidents involving shelter residents recently.

They include a suicide attempt, a drug overdose and criminal violations.

The center has given the foundation notice that it will end the lease in January.

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EAGLE RIVER - A driver lost control of her car and crashed into the woods southwest of Eagle River late Wednesday afternoon.

It happened on County Highway D near its intersection with County Highway H. The driver was the only person in the car. She wasn't injured.

An Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy on scene couldn't yet say why she lost control of the car.

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MERRILL - A former Merrill choir teacher will be sentenced today for sexual assault.

Last month, 26 year old Chase Tonar plead no contest to sexual assault of a student by school staff in Lincoln County Court.

Tonar is accused of having sex with a student both while he was a teacher at Merrill High School and after he resigned last May.

Police arrested Tonar in July.

The Lincoln County District Attorney says he will ask for jail time, as well as sex offender reporting and counseling.

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce wants to push economic growth and work closer with businesses.
But to do that, the chamber needs a new director first.  That process is just starting.

The Chamber Board of Directors voted to fire executive director Bill Clow October 3rd.  Clow had only started last December.  Eric Britton has been serving as interim director since then.

Past president and current board member Brett Aylesworth says the chamber sent out a job description to all members this week, asking if anyone is interested.

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EAGLE RIVER - The Northwoods didn't get a lot of bitter cold or snow early last winter.  That forced Vilas County to keep its snowmobile trails closed much later than it hoped.

But the county set its target opening date for this year, with hopes we see a very different winter.

The county set a projected date to open trails of December 12.  That allows deer hunters to get through their season without worrying about snowmobiles in the woods.

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MERRILL - A former Merrill High School choir teacher will go to jail after a judge found him guilty of sexual assault last month. 

26-year-old Chase Tonar will spend three years on probation and 15 years on a sex offender registry. As a part of that probation, Tonar will serve four months in jail.

Tonar had sex with a student both while he was a teacher at Merrill High School and after he resigned last May.

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