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Rhinelander may fine for pocket dialsSubmitted: 06/25/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


RHINELANDER - If you have a cell phone, you've most likely pocket-dialed someone.

One northwoods police department is fed up with these time-wasting calls.

The Rhinelander Police Department wants the city council to pass a proposed amendment to an existing ordinance.

Captain Ron Lueneburg of the Rhinelander Police Department says the "ordinance will allow us to eventually cite a person if they don't make corrective actions. It specifically states within a 6 month period, you know, three or more false 911 calls without taking corrective action is basically the premise that we want to center around before we would issue a citation to the person."

Since May 2011, the Rhinelander Police Department has received nearly 1,350 illegitimate calls.

Pocket dial calls waste time - time police need to respond to real emergencies.

Oneida County Emergency Management Director Ken Kortenhof has advice for people who misdial multiple times: "You may want to start looking at the type of phone that you have. Make sure that the keypad is locked. And some phones - cells - maybe it's time to replace them and get a phone that's going to prevent you from misdialing by accident."

If you accidentally pocket dial the police, stay on the line and explain what happened.

Otherwise, the dispatcher will call you back, and may even send authorities to check on you.

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Oneida County Deputies booked Stephanie Schneider on Thursday. She is due in court on Feb. 27.

Last week, deputies removed 39 dogs from Schneider's "It Matters to One" in Sugar Camp and put them at the Oneida County Humane Society.

Police are recommending charges to the district attorney, which include failing to provide food and water, mistreating animals, and obstructing officers.

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"I'm just heartsick about this, and I'm sick at heart for her," said LynnAnn Thomas, a Sugar Camp resident who says she's friends with Stephanie Schneider.

"Those are her children. She would never, ever , ever mistreat them," Thomas said.

But that's exactly what police believe Schneider did. Last week they removed the dogs from the facility after a weeks-long investigation that was prompted by complaints and concerns from several people.

"People that had worked or volunteered there were concerned about the conditions that the dogs were in and the fact that they were not receiving food or water," said Oneida County Sheriff's Capt. Terri Hook.

Those accusations baffle Thomas.

"I been over there several times, it's always been meticulously clean, happy dogs," Thomas said.

Thomas believes whatever condition the dogs were in, they came to Schneider that way.

"She does get some really, really, really desperate cases, and I imagine that they take a long time to heal," Thomas said.

Thomas added she got her own dog from It Matters To One a few years ago.

"I got my little Hankey, he came in in really bad shape, and she wouldn't let me have him until he was nursed back to health," Thomas said.

Since the dogs were removed, It Matters to One posted certificates of veterinary inspections on its
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"Just to ensure that all the dogs are healed and make sure they've received all the care they need," Hook said.

Newswatch 12 has reached out to It Matters to One and has been communicating with the rescue via email.

The state Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection is helping the sheriff's office with its investigation and will decide if the rescue can keep its license.

Newswatch 12 also reached out to the veterinarian who conducted the inspections for the rescue, but has not yet heard back.




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