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MADISON — Today the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for District IV reversed two orders of the Waupaca County Circuit Court that had dismissed animal mistreatment charges against brothers Rory and Robby Kuenzi. The State had accused the brothers of chasing and running over several deer with their snowmobiles. The circuit court found that because the State had also charged the defendants with hunting violations, the statutes precluded prosecution for animal mistreatment. The court of appeals disagreed.
“The court of appeals properly recognized that Wisconsin's law protects wild animals from cruel treatment,” Van Hollen said. “This decision is one that will be lauded by all who love and appreciate Wisconsin wildlife.”
The court of appeals found that there was no conflict in charging the Kuenzis with both hunting violations and animal mistreatment charges. The court concluded that the brothers failed to show how their prosecution for animal mistreatment controverts Wisconsin's hunting laws.
Because this case continues to be in a pretrial posture, the defendants are presumed innocent.
A copy of the decision is available at:
The Waupaca County District Attorney's Office prosecuted the cases, and Assistant Attorney General Katherine Lloyd represented the State of Wisconsin in the court of appeals.