The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service are reminding outdoor users in the areas of Forest, Florence and Marinette counties to be cautious and on the lookout for anything suspicious after last year’s rash of fatal poisoning deaths of domestic dogs and wildlife.

During the past two years, at least nine domestic dog deaths have occurred in Forest, Marinette and Florence counties. While the investigation is focused on the three counties, it is unknown if other counties could be involved. 

In addition to the poisoning of these family pets, investigators also found dead raptors, coyotes, weasels, raccoons and wolves. Lab tests have confirmed the presence of dangerous toxic substances as the cause of death in these wildlife cases and the domestic dogs.

The three agencies initially reached out to the public in April, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting Wisconsin.

“The purpose of this outreach (again) is to remind people enjoying outdoor fall activities in our beautiful forest areas that the case is open, the investigations are underway,” said Joanne M. Haasm, DNR public information officer. “As the COVID-19 public health emergency is on, more people are practicing social distancing while walking outdoors with pets. The public is advised to use dog leashes and watch for signs such as dead wildlife, an indication that poison may be in the area.”

If anyone has any information or a tip — no matter how insignificant it may seem — they should contact the Wisconsin DNR Violation Hotline. They may confidentially report by calling or texting: 1-(800)-TIP-WDNR or 1-(800)-847-9367. They also may report online: dnrx.wisconsin.gov/rav. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained staff relay information to conservation wardens.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and/or charges being filed against a responsible party. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asks anyone with information about the recent wildlife and dog deaths to contact its Office of Law Enforcement in Madison at (608)-221-1206.