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State of WI -vs- John J Komassa

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For those that haven't heard about this, I attached an article of what happened. Below is a link to an online petition to have the charges dropped. Please read both when you have time and sign the petition if you feel it is worthwhile (as I do). http://www.petitiononline.com/jjkvswis/petition.html

Here is Lee Kernen's column for 3/15/2002 (Outdoor News)

Why I’m ashamed to live in Dane County

Although we live far from “La-La” land in California and the citified reaches of the east coast, animal rights zealots have struck right here in Dane County. An emotional Humane Society officer and an apparently clueless Dane County district attorney have combined to issue a criminal complaint against DNR fish hatchery supervisor John Komassa for doing his job and killing a feral cat. He has been charged with mistreatment of animals in Dane County Circuit Court. Let me share with you the facts of this incident and see what you think. John is the 37-year-old supervisor of the Nevin Fish Hatchery, located south of Madison. On Nov. 17, 2001, he was checking on 350,000 wild brook and brown trout eggs that were incubating in batteries in the fish-rearing area of the hatchery building when he saw a cat. It had no collar and he tried to “shoo” (not shoot) the animal out the double door he had opened. After trying for five minutes, he lost sight of the cat and thought it had left. He looked again the following day because he was worried the cat might accidentally run over an electric cord and cut power to the equipment, or even knock the batteries over, thereby jeopardizing the trout eggs which were collected at great effort and expense. But he didn’t see the cat or any evidence that it was still in the building. But the third day, Nov. 19, John got to the hatchery at 5:30 a.m. and saw pools of urine and some feces, a tipped over garbage can and a bag of trout pellet food that had been torn open. Some food had been eaten. He searched again and eventually flushed the cat and tried to chase it out an open door again, but it wouldn’t leave the building. He had it in a dip net momentarily, but it escaped and ran into the furnace boiler room, where John closed the door behind it. He then donned a pair of heavy leather gloves and attempted to grab the cat and put it outside. As he got it by the scruff of the neck in his right hand, the cat twisted and bit him on his left hand. He dropped it to examine his wound. Just as he feared, he was bleeding and now was worried the animal was rabid. John knew that a rabies test requires a brain sample from the dead animal. Fearful the animal might escape, he picked up a short piece of square, hollow, aluminum “tubing” and struck the cat a few times until it was still. He did not beat the cat, but tried to kill it as quickly as possible. He then called the animal control office to get the animal tested for rabies, and a Fitchburg police officer came and got it. Meanwhile, he went to the urgent care clinic and had his bite wound disinfected and he was given a 10-day supply of antibiotic to take home. He cleaned up the hatchery immediately and the next day was visited by Humane Society officer Cheri Carr, who came to write up the incident. Little did he know that she would become his accuser. Two days later John received word the cat was not rabid. He went on with his life of rearing fish for the anglers of Wisconsin. But, on Dec. 20, 2001, John received a summons at his house from a Dane County Sheriff’s Department deputy. It charged John with the crime of mistreatment of animals. This is a Class A misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to nine months in jail. Because this is a criminal charge, John can’t even get any help from the DNR or Department of Justice attorneys. He had to hire his own attorney and is already out $3,500. What kind of man is John Komassa? He has always loved animals and he used to work with the large cats - tigers, etc. - in the Milwaukee zoo before he came to work for DNR. John and his wife have a pet cat in their home. They got it from a Verona veterinary clinic because it was homeless - just a month before the incident at the hatchery with the feral cat. Meanwhile, across the nation, animal rights zealots and PETA members who don ’t know the whole story are calling for John to be fired. Over 150 letters and 50 e-mails from around the world have gone to the DNR’s South-Central region headquarters. The e-mails claim that John used an aluminum baseball bat to do the cat in, implying he is some sort of monster - all of which is complete fabrication. No one has written in on John’s behalf. Are these messages from California and other distant states the cause of the unwillingness of Dane County to just drop the case and get on with more important activities? John isn’t sleeping well these days. If the case goes to trial and he loses, he also will have a huge legal fee. Still, he’s innocent and doesn’t want to admit to something he did while doing his job, protecting our fish. If John Komassa gets tagged with a conviction on this case, it will have far-reaching implications on all DNR hatcheries and the Poynette Game Farm. Employees will be afraid to protect our investments. I truly hope this ends on a high note for John, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to start a fund to pay for his legal fees and I hope many of you readers will pitch in. Meanwhile, Dane County is overrun with an estimated 80,000 feral cats. A California “pet rescue” foundation has given money to have Dane County vets spay and neuter these wild cats. The goal is to do 1,000 of them in the first year, and then they will be released back into the wild! To kill another several thousand song birds and small mammals! Now do you see why I’ m ashamed? Lee Kernen of Madison is the state’s former fisheries director.


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Rick

Come on gang,
let's get on this one big time.

Click the link in the first post and not only sign the petition, but let them know how you feel about the common sense of the DA's office and waste of public resources to needlessly prosecute in this case.

Come back and let us know what you think about it here.

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Guest

At a time when our boys are fighting and dying for our right to live and be free, this case makes me sick. These self-rightous do-gooders need to don a kevlar helmet as I have and spend a few months on a combat line. This is just another instance of some limp d*** public offical using public monies to further their own career. PATHETIC!!

[This message has been edited by URLRocks (edited 03-22-2002).]

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Guest

Snook, Thanks for the information,I say thats what we need is people to show the public some of these injustices and then we can get on the band wagon. There is to many of these idiots running around. I hope everybody who reads that will also sign the petition.
Jason

------------------
fishing fever guide service
fishingminnesota.com/fishingfever/
phone 218-327-2191
e-mail boser@grandrapidsmn.com

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DARK30

IF ONLY WE COULD NEUTER PETAS! THEN THE WILD DOMESTIC CATS WOULD NEED HELP. THOSE POOR HELPLESS LITTLE KILLERS. THIS REALLY EATS ME!...COULD THAT BE CONFUSED WITH THEY CAN EAT ME? SORRY.

I HAPPENED ACROSS "fishinghurts.com" WHILE CHECKING OUT THE PETA SITE...THESE PEOPLE ARE AS STUPID AS THE JIM JONES BUNCH WHO WENT TO SOUTH AMERICA FOR SPECIAL KOOL-AID!

DOSN'T LOOK LIKE GARAGE LOGIC IN DANE COUNTY....ITS THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!

SIG#1492 WET NETS!

------------------
cast,cast,cast,cast......

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Kidd

Well I added my name to the petition and I wish John Komassa all the luck in the world.

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Charges Dropped!!!!!!!!

The Dane County district attorney has dropped charges against the superintendent of astate fish hatchery,saying he believed the man had to bludgeon a cat to death for fear of contracting rabies. John Komassa, 37, of Mount Horeb,was charged with animal mistreatment in December after he beat a cat to death with an aluminum bar,according to the criminal complaint.It said he he tried to remove the cat from the Nevin Fish Hatcheryin Fitchburg when it bit him. District Attorney Brian Blanchard said he decided to drop the charges because Komassa reasonably belived he was at risk of contracting rabies from the feral anaimal. The state D.N.R. has maintained Komassa was only doing his job when he killed the cat. DNR spokesman Greg Matthews had said state statute gives hatchery employees the authority to kill animals that present a threat of disease or are eating fish at the hatchery.

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Paul
PWaldow123@aol.com

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Of course, NOW the DA figured that out? I think that prosecutor should go back to law school, and take a class in common sense 101!!! What a joke and a hassle for poor Mr. Komassa.

[This message has been edited by CD (edited 03-25-2002).]

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Valv

Great, we should send an email to Komassa to support him.

I used to live in Wyoming and Montana, sometimes we had nuesance critters crawling around ranch (badgers for instance). We used a technique called "The 3 Ss" (Shoot (it), Shavel(it in the ground) and SHUT UP). Not meaning to eliminate anything that mover around, but sometimes we can take some good judgement to what is dangerous and what's not.

Another issue always bugged me, is we cannot kill a deer if it's laying on side of road after we hit it with the car.
Well, the heck with it, I can't stand seeing an animal suffering for hours and hours waiting for sheriff or CO to come and....shoot it. I did it once, early in the morning. Deputy showed up in the evening!! Deer was laying in the ditch for over 10 hours...still alive with a broken back and all spread out.

Let's get rid of PETA, or maybe we can hope Bin Laden will......

Val

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