Racine Fails to Pass Animal Guardian Ordinance — It Must Be Animal Cruelty!

In January, a Racine, Wisconsin, city commission committee voted unanimously against adopting an ordinance that would have changed all references to pet “owners” to pet “guardians” in the city’s ordinances. The animal rights activists pushing the change calmly replied that the committee’s decision itself constituted animal cruelty.

Racine’s Ad Hoc Animal Ordinance Committee rejected the proposed change for a number of reasons, according to The Journal Times (Racine, WI), including the fact that it isn’t clear how the change would affect the legal status of animals and the clear effort by animal rights activists to use the “guardian” language as the first step in changing legal consideration of animals from property to persons.

This drew the ire of the animal rights activists who had pushed the ordinance change. Alan Eisenberg, a board member of Racine’s HOPE Safehouse, told The Journal Times,

I deem their [the committee] conduct today to be brutally insensitive and in and of itself an act of animal cruelty.

Gee, you have to wonder who tipped the committee off that the guardian language changes are being promoted by clueless animal rights extremists!

The final decision on the proposed language change rests with the Racine City Council, but The Journal Times reported that it was expected to follow the committee’s recommendations.


Animal linguistics: In Racine, pets are still ‘owned’. Rob Golub, The Journal Times, February 1, 2005.

The Extremist:
The woman behind the most successful radical group in America
. Michael Specter, The New Yorker, April 14, 2003.

Alliance for Animals Files Complaint Over Deaths of Marmosets at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Alliance for Animals has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the death of three marmosets at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center in July.

Center director Joseph Kemnitz told the Associated Press that the three animals died when they were left in a cage that was being sanitized. According to Kemnitz the employee responsible apparently became distracted and the marmosets were not removed before the sanitizing procedure began,

It was a terrible accident. Probably the animals died of the heat exposure. It was probably a very quick death.

Alliance for Animals’ Lori Nitzel, however, charges that it was negligence. She told the Associated Press,

This appears to be a case of gross negligence and suggests that the operating procedures and training of staff at WNPRC are insufficient to assure compliance with the animal welfare act.

According to Kemnitz, the Center reported the incident reported to the USDA in July. The employees responsible for the marmoset’s deaths were removed from caring for the primates while they underwent retraining.


Animal rights groups filed complaint over marmosets’ deaths. Associated Press, August 25, 2004.

Animal-Rights Group Files Complaint Over Monkeys. Gena Kittner, Wisconsin State Journal, August 25, 2004.

Three Marmosets Boiled Alive at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Press Release, Animal Alliance, August 24, 2004.