Vets not required to report animal abuse

Marathon County case brings attention to issue

Wisconsin doesn’t require licensed veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse.

The issue is front and center after charges were filed in Marathon County against a 20-year-old Wausau woman accused of killing her boyfriend’s dog in June. The Labrador-shepherd mix had been treated at VCA Companion Care Veterinary Services in Wausau for previous injuries.

The Wausau Daily Herald reported there are 39 states that don’t require vets to report abuse.

The vet’s hospital manager, Mary Kuhlka, declined to comment on the case, but said veterinarians routinely alert authorities of suspected abuse.

The lack of legislation is a contrast to state laws protecting children and adults in abusive situations.

The American Veterinary Medicine Association encourages “good faith” reporting of abuse. It continues to push for stricter reporting laws in every state.