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Wild Brother is happy to bring “ JASPER, THE SKUNK AMERICA SAVED” story to our Website. Wild Brother is also proud to stand along side the many people all over America and the world, including many skunk organizations, rehabbers, researchers, and scientist who fought so hard to finally have the domestic skunk and his rights recognized.

Jasper

Jasper's Story
Hi, my name is Tammy. Along with my husband Dan, we are the parents of two children, as well as the Pet Parents of several animals that live with us in our Wisconsin home. Our extended family also consists of two domestic pet skunks. This story is about our beloved skunk Jasper, and his fight for his life in the face of ignorance and prejudice.

I’m going to start from the beginning regarding what transpired concerning our home, our animals and Jasper our skunk. On February eleventh, we heard a knock at our door. It was the local police department officers along with our city’s health department, and a social services representative. They were at our residence acting on a complaint called in concerning a possible city ordinance violation of having too many animals. They stated that a complaint had been made about the number of animals at our residence. With that said, I asked why social services were also called. They replied, that they were here to investigate the possibility of children living in filth and animal feces, a charge of child endangerment.

They were thinking that they would be walking into an unkempt home, with an overwhelming odor, and animal feces every where. To their surprise, our home was not only clean and tidy, but is odor free, and well kept. The board of health could not fault us for the premises. It was clean. Now, let me just say that a few of the officers from the P.D. had known of our home and its content of various animals. They told us that only because there had been a complaint logged, they would not have had reason to be at our home. They advised us of the city’s animal ordinance, and we were over the limit concerning cats and dogs. There were no restrictions, however, about any other of our pets such as birds, rabbit, guinea pig, fish, and of course our two skunks. Our skunks, Jasper and Flash, were under the proper permits for the state of Wisconsin.

Jasper 3

While the police, health department and social services were present , my youngest daughter made a child’s remark to the social worker that Jasper had bitten her yesterday, something that would prove to be untrue. We were advised to reduce the number of our dogs and cats to comply to city ordinance.

As soon as they left, I took eight cats and two dogs to a local no kill shelter for adoption. On our way home we received a call from the police. The officer advised me that there was a problem, and they were waiting to speak further with me. They were at my house when we arrived back home. So I commented, "Now what, are you going to tell me that one of my skunks bit someone?” Low and behold, they said yes, your daughter. I told them Jasper had never bit anyone. They were taking the spoken word of a four year old, despite the fact my daughter had no signs of trauma any where on her body. They then confiscated our skunk Jasper. They did no care that he was a pet domestic skunk that did not come out of the wilds. They also told us we had until Monday to come up with an alternative to Jasper beiing killed and tested for Rabies. It was then, we began a frantic effort to save Jasper. But it was beginning to look hopeless and unlikely.

We took our two children to the emergency room of our local hospital, where doctors found no signs of scratches or bites on either. Despite documentation of this, it was still not acceptable to the health department that was bent on killing our skunk. Their reasoning, was perhaps the skunks saliva made contact with the child in question.

With the letter from the doctor, stating no bites or scratches were found, we proceeded to acquire an attorney . The attorney filed an injunction against having Jasper euthanized. We went to court on a Wednesday, but the judge was anything but hopeful or helpful. He stated that we needed to come to some agreement with the health department. No matter what we offered, the health dept would not agree . They wanted us to come up with an approved test for rabies that had been done before. They even refused that our daughter take rabies shots and Jasper be quarantined for an acceptable period.

That is when Deb of Skunk Haven got involved and started a nationwide effort to save Jasper. And by the graces of God, and all the people within America and abroad made their voices known. The health department was contacted by professionals and researchers, wildlife rehabbers, skunk organizations and others with experience with both wild and domestic skunks. They provided updated information on rabies, tests for rabies and information on domestic skunks. There was an enormous out cry from the public against this unfair and unjust treatment of a healthy domestic raised pet skunk, who had done nothing more than become a loving member of this family.

Finally the health department agreed to our daughter to receive preventive rabies shots, and Jasper be placed in quarantine for thirty days. My daughter is a very brave little girl, and despite a sore leg from the shots, only wants Jasper to return home as soon as possible. This entire ordeal has left our family stressed, tired and financially compromised as well as a lasting bad taste for government institutions that are in charge, and supposedly in the know with antiquated information, some based on unfounded myths that are still in practice today.

Domestic skunks are raised by U.S.D.A. license breeders, in a safe and secure environment without contact with wild skunks. As mentioned, this ordeal has created many hardships for our family. Let me assure you, attorney and court filing costs are not cheap and rabies shots cost $215.00 each. Approximate expenses amount to $ 5000.00. Even with this hardship we feel we did the right thing for Jasper, as well as domestic skunks everywhere.

Jasper 2

Hopefully, this case will be an example to other related cases concerning domestic skunks in the future. No skunk should ever be condemned to death solely because he is a skunk. This is a very important break through for domestic skunks. You have heard of the six million dollar man, I now own the five thousand dollar skunk. He is worth every penny.

Thank all of you again, everywhere that spoke out in behalf of Jasper, the skunk America saved.

Sincerely

Tammy, Dan and Children.

 

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