Friday, November 18, 2011


Our latest updates regarding our attempts to lure Dakota to the feeding station we have set up are as follows:

Thursday Nov 17
The feeding station was checked on Thursday morning, and all of the mice we had offered were still there. Staff did some calling and walking in that area, but heard only crows.  There were no significant signs that any other animals had visited the feeding station.

Friday Nov 18
The fresh mice put out at the feeding station the night before remained untouched this morning.  Some faint hooting was heard, but Dakota was not sighted.  Several dogs could be heard barking in that area, which made it difficult to determine which direction the hooting was coming from.

Staff is continuing to visit the feeding station and the area nearby on a regular basis each day.  Because we believe we have sighted and know we have shared vocalizations with Dakota in that area, we continue to remain hopeful that we will be successful in luring Dakota down from the trees to the feeding station, and that we will be able to see evidence he’s in that area on the trailcam that the homeowners who are assisting us are monitoring.  If we have any significant updates regarding our progress in these areas, we will post an update on the blog and/or our facebook page.

Thank you all again for the tremendous support you have shown and continue to show the center.  Please continue to join us in praying for the best possible outcome for Dakota---that he is back home once again with his family at WINC.  We miss him terribly, more than words can express.  Your positive energy and well-wishes mean the world to us right now.

Additionally, we wanted to let everyone following Dakota’s situation know, we appreciate the concern that has been expressed regarding the security of the grounds and the building at the current WINC location.  As always, our foremost concern is for the safety & well-being of the animals we treat and house at the center, and for the staff and volunteers who spend such a substantial portion of their time caring for those animals.

WINC is looking at increased security measures in light of our recent break in and theft of Dakota.  Because we are on UW-W property, we are working directly with the university system to discuss ways to increase security for the property in general. Our original plans for the building and our compound was to install security cameras & also use the same camera system to put cameras on patients and educational animals. Ultimately, we would like to be able to set up monitors in the public “Gathering” educational room so that visitors can see the animals, without disturbing the animals. These cameras would also help Animal Care staff evaluate and monitor patients by watching them when the animals don’t know they are being observed (with the hope that the animals would behave and move about as they normally would, without the added stress of human interaction). Winter weather this last year caused construction delays and increased costs for the building, so the camera project had to be put off until we can raise sufficient money to complete it.   We remain focused on continuing to secure adequate funding for that camera system, as well as for additional lighting, and also some physical changes to the building itself to increase security now. We have been asked repeatedly by our supporters and the public if there are ways in which they can help, and we are accepting donations from anyone who wishes to help us meet our goals with this project.  Every donation we receive helps us in our greater goal of providing care and comfort to the animals we treat.

For obvious reasons, it wouldn’t be in the center’s best interests to go into specifics on our blog or our facebook page of the exact details of every measure we are taking to add to the center’s security, because we would not want any other intruders to know what they might face if they come here. However… suggestion has been to deploy “Daphne”, our Educational Muscovy Duck, to patrol the clinic at night – anyone who knows Daphne knows she would make her presence known to any potential intruders J

(Guest bloggers L.R. & K.P.)


  1. Hoping that Dakota will be found safe and _very_ soon. Also hoping the search can continue despite deer hunting-- though if he could find his way to the WINC searchers today that would be wonderful...

  2. Thank you for the continued updates on Dakota. I keep hoping when I check that he is found and is well. I pray for him often during the day to come home where he is loved.

  3. I don't know if it possible at all, but I live in Madison, WI and saw an owl in a very public area. I was walking out of school (the east campus of MATC) around 430 this afternoon and there was a very big owl that flew very low right past me and landed in a tree. There was a lot of people by this tree and a lot of traffic in this area, but the owl didn't seem to mind and stayed there. It eventually did fly away, again flying very low. I didn't know anything about Dakota until I talked to my mom about what I saw. I wasn't able to see if it had the ears like Dakota, and it did look whiter than Dakota, but I thought it was very weird that there was an owl right around people and during that time of day. Hope this helps in case this was indeed Dakota, and I hope he is found soon!

  4. Been thinking about Dakota. Hope he is found or returns soon. Will continue to pray he is safe. Thandk you for the updates!

  5. I keep checking in...

  6. I think of and pray for Dakota's well being. Although we have never met him in person we all want him to return safely home. Please continue the search and do not give up hope. <<>> Nicole

  7. Thank you so much for your updates. I pray everyday for Dakota's safe return. I can't wait to go on to this site and see that he is back home.

  8. Hope there was some luck with Dakota over the weekend! For security I think a fence that someone can't get over would be a good addition around the outdoor enclosures. Camera's may help catch someone but they may not stop someone.

  9. I have been checking daily for updates and haven't heard anything for days...can you please post something?

  10. Still hoping and praying throughout each day for Dakota's safe return.