WAUSAU - Marathon County will stop funding stray cat care at the non-profit Humane Society of Marathon County.
Humane Society Board President Linda Berna-Karger says payments from the county over the past few years weren't large enough to cover costs.
"We could no longer provide the service that we were for the number of animals we were taking in with the compensation that was coming from the county," Berna-Karger said.
So the humane society asked the county to pay a bit more. On Tuesday the county board unanimously voted no. State law requires the county to cover costs for stray dogs, but not cats.
The county will now pay to only quarantine cats that bite people. Berna-Karger says the obligation will shift to towns and municipalities.
"That will be up to each individual municipality to decide what they're going to do there," Berna-Karger said.
Under the new contract, the county will offer some money to towns and municipalities to help pay for stray cat service over the next two years. The county will cut all assistance by 2016. That contract begins Jan. 1, 2014.
Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple says the move puts a burden on towns.
"It's kind of a balancing act problem and it's not a problem in the country, but it's certainly a problem in the metro area," Tipple said. "We're going to have to come up with some funding to bridge that gap."
Berna-Karger says cats will still be allowed at the society. They won't deal with stray cats found by people or police unless an agreement is met with municipalities.
"We will continue to accept cats from people that own a cat and find out that they can no longer keep that animal," Berna-Karger said.
The Humane Society of Marathon County is currently taking care of 166 cats.
Newswatch 12 reached out to Marathon County Board Chairman Gary Wyman for comment. He did not respond to a voice mail for a request to comment.
EAGLE RIVER - In school, kids learn not only how to read and write but also how to be good neighbors. A Northwoods school joined a national effort this week to show kindness to each other and the community.
CRANDON - Prosecutors think a Forest County woman protected her boyfriend after he threw her young son across a room in 2013.
Jennifer Shepard is charged with three felonies in the wake of the incident, including abuse, neglect, and helping a felon. Her boyfriend, Brandon Brunette, was sentenced to fifteen years in prison in October for throwing the boy.
Shepard was in court today to face another felony charge.
MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee man is charged with fatally stabbing his infant daughter and another man during a domestic violence attack last week.
Twenty-year-old Ruben Garcia was charged Tuesday with first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of his daughter, 5-month-old Kairii Dailey, and 39-year-old Paul Kucharczyk, a family friend.
Garcia also is charged with attempted homicide in the stabbings of 19-year-old Alexia Dailey _ the baby's mother and Garcia's ex-girlfriend _ and Dailey's current boyfriend, 22-year-old Christopher Hamilton.
Prosecutors say Garcia flew into a rage when his ex-girlfriend would not take him back.
Prosecutors say Garcia kissed his baby daughter, apologized and then slit her throat. Police found the girl dead in her crib.
Online court records do not list a defense attorney. Garcia remains in jail.
RHINELANDER - Many hunters know the animals they hunt live off of a certain type of tree.
If those trees aren't around, the animal species could struggle to stay alive.
A part of the U.S. Farm Bill called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program will pay forest landowners for clearing younger types of forest.
"It's important in this area because normally what we are doing is setting back the successional stages of the forest," Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership Habitat Coordinator Callie Bertsch said. "This would have normally happened by a natural disturbance, like wind and fire. Obviously we still have wind disturbances, but we suppress fires a lot."
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