Federal & State Authorities Investigating Suspected Xylitol Poisonings in Wisconsin

In the Summer of 2017, at a private meeting with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) conservation officers, U.S, Forest Service law enforcement and the Bayfield County Sheriff’s Department, Wolf Patrol provided authorities with evidence that anti-wolf advocates were poisoning wolves with Xylitol. Authorities were also provided with multiple screenshots from anti-wolf Wisconsin residents on Facebook posting about illegally killing wolves following failed attempts to delist gray wolves from federal protections.


Freyja, another victim of poison on April 2, 2019 outside of Iron River, Wisconsin.

When a livestock guardian dog was found poisoned in Bayfield County in early April, 2019, Wolf Patrol again offered a $1000 reward for information on illegal poisoning of wolves and other canines. That reward is in addition to another $1,600 offered in Marinette County by a pet’s owner following his dog being poisoned on March 31, 2019.

Wolf Patrol is now calling on other wildlife organizations to chip in and make the reward irresistible to anyone with information on the illegal, unethical and cruel poisoning of beloved pets, coyotes, wolves and other animals in Wisconsin. We have documented a long trail of illegal activity directed towards federally protected wolves in Wisconsin, now its time to join together to catch whoever is responsible for these atrocities. 

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Facebook post on Wisconsin Wolf Hunting page shared with law enforcement in 2017.

On April 19, 2019 WDNR, USFS and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued the following press release related to their ongoing investigation of illegal poisoning of wolves and other canines in northern Wisconsin:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service are seeking the public’s help in solving several cases involving the poisoning deaths of domestic dogs and wildlife since December.

Dog deaths have occurred in Bayfield, Marinette and Florence County; however, it is unknown if other counties could be involved. In addition to the poisoning of these family pets, investigators also found dead coyotes, weasels, raccoons and one wolf that they suspect also were poisoned. The DNR says lab tests are underway to confirm the cause of death in these wildlife cases.

The DNR also says the deaths occurred on public properties in these counties managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Goodman Timber Company. This photo shows an actual sample recovered by WDNR law enforcement at one of the locations of a canine fatality.


Investigators say the poison was found on the ground in rural areas and subsequently was ingested by the dogs. Each dog died in less than 30 minutes after ingestion. People walking their pets are recommended to keep them on leashes to restrict their movements off roadways and into possible contact with any possible poison.

If you have information or a tip – no matter how insignificant it may seem – please contact the WDNR Violation Hotline.

You may confidentially report by calling or texting: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847- 9367. You also may report online: https://dnrx.wisconsin.gov/rav/ The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens.

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