Vilas County Public Health - Animal Services


















Humane Care - Humane Law Enforcement

The Humane Officer needs your help! If you see an animal in immediate danger – a life threatening emergency, call 911.

If you suspect animal abuse or are aware of an animal crime that has or is taking place (see statutes below) and the animal is not in immediate danger, call the Vilas County Sheriff's Department IMMEDIATELY at 715-479-4441 or 1-800-472-7290. Dispatch will get in touch with the Humane Officer.

Before you call, please collect the following informaiton:

  • Address or location,
  • Name of person committing the crime,
  • Type of animal, and
  • Nature of crime.

All complaints MUST go through the Vilas County Sheriff's Department first.

  • Your information may remain anonymous if you wish. Should the case be given to the district attorney for prosecution, leaving your information will greatly improve the chances of a conviction.
  • The Humane Officer is responsible for investigating animal cruelty complaints, enforcing all animal related laws and ordinances, including rabies laws for Vilas County, WI.
  • The Humane Officer is also responsible for Vicious Dog Complaints.
  • The Humane Officer is NOT responsible for stray animals and barking dog complaints.
  • Wisconsin State Statutes for Animal Related Crimes can be found at: http://wilawlibrary.gov/topics/animal.php.
  • Vilas County Town Ordinances can be found at: http://www.vilascountywi.gov/ordinance/toc.html.

Meet Our Humane Officer

Melissa Klessig has been the Vilas County Humane Officer since September 2014. She is a self-employed contractor who works with the Vilas County Public Health Department, the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department and the local Animal Control Officers, investigating complaints of animal abuse and neglect in Vilas County.

Since 2005, Melissa has been certified as a Humane Officer by the State of Wisconsin. She previously served as the Vilas County Humane Officer in 2009. Melissa has been serving as the President of the Humane Society of Vilas County since 2008.

Melissa possesses a lifelong passion to strengthen the relationship between humans and animals and to promote responsible pet ownership. She educates the Phelps School District’s kindergarten, second grade and Summer Knights classes by bringing birds and dogs to their classrooms. She has participated in the annual Three Bears Sled Dog Race since 2001 by providing her dogs for the children’s Mutt Races.

If you have a concern about animal abuse or neglect, Melissa can be reached by calling the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department at (715) 479-4441.

Animal Control Officers

Vilas County has 12 Animal Control Officers. Animal Control officers handle barking dog complaints, stray dogs, and/or dogs hit by vehicles. Dog bites are to be handled by the Vilas County Police Officers. If no one is available to handle local dog complaints, call the Vilas County Sheriff's Department at 715-479-4441 or 1-800-472-7290.

See the table below to find the Animal Control Officer for your specific township.

TownshipOfficer NamePhone

Arbor Vitae

Al Apatz

715-356-3042

Boulder Junction

James Hansen

715-892-4926

Cloverland

Bob Lass

715-891-3787

Conover

Ed Evert

715-891-8439

Eagle River

Mike Adamovich

715-479-4330

Lac du Flambeau

Robert Smith (1st) or Officer Ray (2nd)

715-614-0034 or 715-614-2521

Lac du Flambeau (Tribal)

Tribal Fish & Game Warden

715-588-4210

Land O' Lakes

Connie Sparks (day) or Daniel Balog (night)

715-547-6904 or 715-547-6034

Lincoln

Robin Vold

715-479-7580

Manitowish Waters

Chuck Rayala

715-543-8300

Phelps

Rick Brown

715-545-3081

Plum Lake/Sayner/Star Lake

Sharon Brooker

715-892-7049

Presque Isle

Howard Meyer

715-904-0188

St. Germain

Don Baumann

715-891-2707

Washington

Robin Vold

715-479-7580

Winchester

Phil Williams

715-686-2584

Local Organizations & Resources

Humane Society of Vilas County

2477 Highway 45 N
Eagle River, WI 54521
Telephone: -715-479-9777
VilasCountyPets.org

The Humane Society of Vilas County (HSVC) places animals in homes that suit the entire family and doesn't PUSH any animal on anyone that it may not suit. They are not-for-profit and supported by generous people like you with donations and their general fees for services.

HSVC has a membership program and volunteer program (contact the shelter for more informaiton). The shelter works with rescue groups and other shelters to try to give every animal an equal chance at a forever home. The three staff work very hard, with a volunteer Board of Directors to oversee their operations, running costs and fundraising programs.

Please visit the Humane Society of Vilas County or go to VilasCountyPets.org for available pets.

"Make Adoption your First Option."

Wild Instincts Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Wild Instincts

4621 Apperson Drive
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Telephone: 715-362-WILD (9453)
Website: WildInstinctsRehab.com

Wild Instincts is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center located in Rhinelander, WI. Wild Instincts is the only licensed wildlife rehabilitation center in the Northwoods permitted to treat ALL Wisconsin wildlife, from mice to bears and hummingbirds to eagle. They are on call 24/7. Volunteer opportunities may be available. Contact Wild Instincts for more information.

If you find a sick, injured or abandoned wild animal PLEASE DO NOT APPROACH OR TOUCH!

Call Wild Instincts before doing anything else.

Northwoods Wildlife Center

Northwoods Wildlife Center

8683 S. Blumenstein Road
Minocqua, WI 54548
Telephone: 715-356-7400
Website: NorthwoodsWildlifeCenter.org

The Northwoods Wildlife Center is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization working toward a better future for wildlife through education and research. Volunteering opportunities may be available. Contact Northwoods Wildlife Center for more information.

Public tours of their residents are given on every half hour, programs are offered throughout the summer, and you never know what you might see in the wildlife nursery!

Visit them and their resident animals at the Northwoods Wildlife Center. While you're there, take a tour or check out the educational programs that they offer.

The Fix Is In

The Fix Is In

Local Low Cost Spay & Neuter Program
Monthly clinics in: Antigo, Medford, Rhinelander, and Wausau
Other clinic locations (see website for specific dates): Conover, Crandon, Lac duFlambeau, and Minocqua.

Telephone: 715-360-1211 (Please leave a message)
Website: The-Fix-Is-In.org

The mission of The Fix Is In is to facilitate affordable spay and neuter services for low-income households. Their vision is to help reduce the number of homeless pets in Vilas and Oneida counties, and the adjacent counties in Wisconsin. The Fix Is In is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

To see if you qualify for their services, please check them out at The-Fix-Is-In.org.