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Update: Arrest made after 39 dogs taken from It Matters to One in Sugar Camp earlier this monthSubmitted: 02/17/2017
Story By Newswatch 12 News Team


SUGAR CAMP - Update Feb. 17, 2017 10:20 p.m. -- The woman who runs an Oneida County animal rescue could face animal mistreatment charges.

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.

People who know Schneider say they can't believe this is happening.

"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
Facebook page for most of the 39 dogs. The Sheriff's Office has seen those and is including them in its investigation, which is ongoing and may not end soon.

"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.





Earlier this month, police seized 39 dogs at an animal rescue shelter in Sugar Camp.

Now, Stephanie Schneider has been arrested in connection with the investigation into the It Matters tor One Animal Rescue.

She was arrested for failing to provide food or water, mistreating animals, and obstructing law enforcement.

Her first hearing was scheduled for February 27, 2017.

___

Before Monday, February 6th, only 17 dogs called the Oneida County Humane Society home at its shelter in Rhinelander. But now that number has nearly tripled. The Oneida County Sheriff's Office along with the Humane Society removed 39 dogs from It Matters to One Animal Rescue in Sugar Camp Monday.

Veterinarian Brian Buchberger of Animal Health Care Center in Rhinelander knows what a happy and healthy animal should look like. 

But about three weeks ago, the veterinarian of almost 20 years treated a dog he thought had to have been neglected. 

"This dog had severe skin infections that had been obviously going on for a long time," said Buchberger.

The dog came from It Matters to One Animal Rescue in Sugar Camp. Three weeks ago, a humane officer with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office had gotten several complaints of neglect at the animal rescue. The officer went in and found a pitbull mix that needed medical help.

That discovery led to an inspection at the animal rescue Monday. 

"They realized that these dogs needed to be removed immediately because there was some concern about neglect," said Oneida County Sheriff's Office Capt. Terri Hook. 

Thirty-nine dogs were taken from that animal rescue and placed in the Oneida County Humane Society. The Sheriff's Office said a few other dogs needed medical attention while others needed food and water. Hook says the Sheriff's Office is investigating how and where that neglect started in the first place.

"These dogs are coming in, and some of them already have issues," said Hook. "But the dogs that we're talking about, some of those dogs have been there for a long period of time. Specifically the first dog that was taken out of there had been there for several months."

Former volunteers and employees from the shelter have reached out to say animals were never neglected at the rescue. But Hook's first priority is the dogs. 

"Our main concern right now is making sure that the dogs are safe and cared for and not being neglected," said Hook.

Oneida County Humane Society Director Bria Swartout says they're used to taking care of up to 30 dogs at a time, so having almost 60 dogs can be overwhelming. 
 
"It's very difficult to see that many dogs come in at one time," said Swartout. "Staff is prepared for situations like this, so we just want to help."

It's help that Buchberger is happy to give. The first dog that came in is still recovering. 

"The dog still has a lot of severe skin sores that healed up quite significantly," said Buchberger. "The dog has a lot of scarring of the skin, scarring of the head, neck, and the legs that it may have for the rest of its life."

Newswatch 12 reached out to It Matters to One, but have not heard back from them yet. It Matters to One wrote on its Facebook page Tuesday that it's "unsettling that someone would accuse us of neglect." 

The Oneida County Humane Society is looking for dog food and blanket donations. For more information on how you can help, go to http://www.ochspets.org/. at the link below.


Related Weblinks:
Oneida County Humane Society

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll take you live to the Vilas County Courthouse for day 3 of the trial for 36-year-old Rodney Teets who is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at knife point in July 2015.

The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness wants to work with landlords to help people get back on their feet. We talk to the housing program team leader about a meeting coming up in Rhinelander that will allow landlords to share information that can help the homeless find places to rent.

And we talk with The Forest County Health Department director about a program that is encouraging people to limit their time with TV, computers, iPhones and other types of screens for a week.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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VILAS COUNTY - Day three of the trial for Rodney Teets brought a variety of witnesses to the stand.

The 36-year-old Vilas County man is accused of three counts of sexual assault.

Wednesday began with testimony from a slew of law enforcement.

Each of them went over the night the woman accusing Teets of sexual assault called 9-1-1 .

Prosecutors showed the clothes police believe Teets was wearing that night and showed the knife police found in the pocket.

It is unclear if this is the same knife with which investigators believe Teets threatened the woman.

Next, the court heard from the sexual assault nurse examiner, or SANE nurse, who examined the woman in the case.

The nurse read from her report that night, referring to the woman as "the patient."

"The patient appears alert, awake, cooperative, tearful," the SANE nurse testified.

Defense attorney Steven Lucareli asked the SANE nurse if she noticed the woman was hurt.

"No physical injuries whatsoever, whether violent or not?" Lucareli asked. The nurse confirmed this was true.

Then, a DNA analyst from the state crime lab testified she found Teets's DNA from the samples the SANE nurse sent to her.

Lucareli pointed out that the analyst couldn't say how the DNA might have gotten there.

"The DNA doesn't tell us anything about whether a rape occurred?" Lucareli asked. The analyst confirmed this was true.

Prosecutors will call their last two witnesses Thursday, including the main detective in the case. Then the defense will begin presenting its argument.

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RHINELANDER - Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like racing to fix a car's fuse box. Nicolet College in Rhinelander hosted 12 Northwoods high schools for some friendly competition with a specific goal in mind.

The competitions varied from auto skills to welding to even cupcake baking. The goal was for students to begin thinking about college.

"Getting to see the inner workings of a vehicle, getting to work and learn at the same time, it makes me think more about college and what I want to do with my future," said Crandon sophomore, Kegan Wilson.

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TOMAHAWK - Unless you find yourself in trouble, you don't usually sit down and talk with a cop. 

The Tomahawk Police Department held its monthly Coffee with a Cop meeting Wednesday morning.

It gives people the chance to pull up a chair and talk to Chief Al Elvins about their questions or concerns.

Those concerns change with the season. 

Warmer weather means kids will be out of school soon and there'll be more foot traffic.
 
And don't forget about those motorcycles. 

"Watch out for the motorcycles. So often they hit a blind spot on us and you don't see them. If you are driving a bike, be aware of your surroundings. Remember that four wheels don't always see your two wheels," said Chief Elvins. 

The city's drug takeback will be open all day on Saturday. The department does it twice a year.

You can bring in any over the counter or prescription drugs to the station's drop-off box.


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RHINELANDER - People with developmental disorders can hear plenty of negatives when it comes to succeeding in school. That's why a Northwoods school offers a program to help these students prove the doubters wrong.

Nicolet College offers Jump! Start, which helps people with special needs go to college and prepare for the workforce.

College student Ashley Mathy has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, a condition listed on the autism spectrum.

As a high school senior, she was told she would never make it to college because she would fail.

"You're going to have failures. You're going to have people tell you that you can't do things all the time whether you have a disability or you don't have one. And you just have to prove them wrong because if you don't, then you'll just let failure take you away," said Mathy.

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RHINELANDER - Rent can eat up more than half of a person's income when they earn minimum wage. That can lead to missed rent payments and even homelessness.

The Northern Wisconsin Initiative to Stop Homelessness, or N*WISH, wants to work the landlords to keep people housed.

"This is a new initiative, I guess, to try to build landlord relationships and awareness of homelessness and people in need," said Housing Program team leader Lori Hallas.

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WISCONSIN - Turkey season began last week and hunters have a new option for what they can do with the turkeys they shoot.

The DNR started a turkey donating program this year.

You can donate turkey's to three processors in the southern half of the state.

"A little bit further south of here in areas where there's usually a lot of deer donations and a lot of turkey shot so that we can try and get some good participation for the first year," said DNR's Wildlife Biologist, Jeremy Holtz.

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