MEDIA RELEASE: Wisconsin Village Trustees Send Offensive Images and Emails to Geese Advocates

MEDIA RELEASE: Wisconsin Village Trustees Send Offensive Images and Emails to Geese Advocates

MUKWONAGO, Wis. (June 16, 2023) — The National Goose Protection Coalition is calling for an investigation into the unprofessional conduct of Mukwonago Village Trustees who responded to members of the public urging a stop to the government slaughter of Canada geese at Phantom Lake with graphic images of dead geese and rude comments.

Mukwonago Village Trustee Dale Porter sent graphic photos of dead animals to members of the public who expressed their polite concerns over the village allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to roundup and kill Canada geese. Fellow Trustee Scott Reeves wrote to concerned citizens, “I have decided to seek out those that feel they need to eradicate these flying rats from our area and join them. Thank you all for bringing this to my attention and I look forward to the day when every dirty goose is gone from our Village.”

Mukwonago Village Trustee Dale Porter sent callous email responses to members of the public who politely expressed their concerns about a planned slaughter of Canada geese. Image: In Defense of Animals 

In response, the National Goose Protection Coalition is urging Mukwonago Village President Fred Winchowsky to investigate the actions of these trustees and withdraw permission for Wildlife Services to access village property for the lethal massacre of geese at Phantom Lake. A letter from Wisconsin's Alliance for Animals and international charities In Defense of Animals and Duck Defenders has been sent to Winchowsky calling for immediate action.

Several members of the public reported receiving vulgar emails from village trustees who have violated their roles as representatives. Image: In Defense of Animals

Mary Telfer, President of Alliance for Animals, says: "This type of discourse was unprofessional and uncalled for, but not surprising. I continue to believe that education and kindness carries more weight than hate and vitriol. We will continue our efforts to educate Mukwonagans on what is happening and alternatives."

Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals, says: "The offensive emails were sent directly to concerned members of the public and National Goose Protection Coalition members. We are shocked and appalled by the blatant disrespect and insensitivity of these remarks to goose lovers and advocates who sent polite letters because they care about the welfare of these sentient and highly intelligent beings who benefit the environment and the community. Slaughtering geese is bad enough, but reveling in the cruelty is disgusting. Through their words and actions, these trustees are sullying the Village of Mukwonago and have shown they are unfit to represent anyone. We urge the Village of Mukwonago to get rid of its trustees instead of its geese."

John Di Leonardo, Anthrozoologist and Executive Director of Duck Defenders, says: "The link between animal abuse and cruelty toward other people is undeniable, and has been well-documented by medical experts, police officials and the FBI. It is critical that Mukwonago Village takes a hard look at its elected officials and rescinds permission to massacre geese on village property."

Concerned citizens are encouraged to urge the Phantom Lakes District Commissioners, the Village of Mukwonago, and the Phantom Lake YMCA Camp to cancel the goose slaughter this year and adopt effective, nonlethal goose management strategies:

For more information, please visit


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NGPC’s letter to Phantom Lakes Chairman Joseph Graczyk

NGPC's letter to Mukwonago Village Board President Mr. Winchowsky:

Fred Winchowky
Village Board President, Mukwonago 

Dear Mr. Winchowsky, 

We are writing as President of Alliance for Animals – Wisconsin’s leading animal advocacy organization, Executive Director of Duck Defenders – an international resource for waterfowl rescue and advocacy, and Campaigns Director of In Defense of Animals – an international animal protection organization with more than 250,000 supporters, as members of the National Goose Protection Coalition, about the unprofessional behavior of Village Trustees Scott Reeves and Dale Porter in response to members of the public expressing their concern over the village allowing wildlife services to access village property for a lethal roundup of Canada geese.  

Mr. Porter has been sending graphic photographs of dead animals (graphic image #1, graphic image #2) to concerned members of the public who are politely exercising their First Amendment right regarding a natural public resource while Mr. Reeves appears to not even know the village gave permission for this roundup to occur on village property, writing in one particularly heinous message: “I have decided to seek out those that feel they need to eradicate these flying rats from our area and join them. Thank you all for bringing this to my attention and I look forward to the day when every dirty goose is gone from our Village.”  

Since even Village Trustees appear ignorant of the Village’s decision to allow Wildlife Services to kill geese on its property, the citizens of Mukwonago clearly have not had an adequate opportunity to digest and weigh in on this sensitive issue. We trust that you will take appropriate action to address Mr. Reeves’ and Mr. Porters’ conduct and place a moratorium on allowing Wildlife Services to access your property for any lethal roundup until your trustees and the public have been educated on this issue and had adequate opportunity to weigh in. 

Goose “roundups'' are a euphemism for gassing and breaking the necks of highly bonded goose families when they are molting and can’t fly away. Conducting lethal roundups when geese cannot fly sends the wrong message to people, especially children, that it is okay to kill vulnerable sentient beings because we find them to be a “nuisance.” The roundups also become a public relations nightmare when caring people learn what has happened.   

Experience has shown that roundups must be conducted year after year since geese tend to repopulate areas with good habitats. While I understand the concern about droppings, there is little evidence that they pose a significant threat to human health and the best strategy to avoid the droppings is to deter the geese from using an area.  Nonlethal strategies such as riparian buffers and urging people not to feed geese are much more effective and present an opportunity for you to properly educate both adults and children on how to humanely coexist with wildlife.

Please rescind permission to roundup geese on your property and consider the following humane alternatives. You can: 

  • Provide education about nonlethal goose management and strategies to coexist peacefully with wild animals 
  • Plant buffer zones of tall native grasses and/or shrubs along shorelines to deter geese and improve water quality 
  • Discourage the feeding of geese and other wild animals 
  • Create a “tolerance zone” for geese away from human activities 
  • Purchase sweeper machines or hire employees to remove goose feces with minimal investment 
  • Use Flight Turf, a native seed product that can be mowed short and naturally deters geese and ticks 

Thank you for your kind and timely consideration of these humane and compassionate alternatives. We hope to hear back with urgency that Mukwonago will withdraw permission for wildlife services to access your property for the lethal roundup of geese and stand ready to answer any questions you may have about coexisting with Canada geese.  


Mary Telfer 
President, Alliance for Animals, Wisconsin 

Lisa Levinson 
Campaigns Director, National Goose Protection Coalition, In Defense of Animals 

John Di Leonardo

Anthrozoologist & Executive Director, Duck Defenders 


Mukwonago Village Trustee Responses:

Mukwonago Village Trustee Scott Reeves sent an inappropriate response to In Defense of Animals supporter and National Goose Protection Coalition member Arlene Steinberg's email response

Mukwonago Village Trustee Dale Porter sent graphic images of dead geese to In Defense of Animals supporters: graphic image #1graphic image #2 


National Goose Protection Coalition:

The National Goose Protection Coalition formed in 2019 to help concerned citizens stop goose cruelty in their communities. The coalition provides resources, education, and advocacy tools for people who want to help geese via nonlethal means of resolving human-geese conflicts such as habitat modification and planting riparian buffers. The coalition aims to stop brutal and cruel goose killings or “roundups” via permits obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, often conducted by its own animal-killing branch called Wildlife Services.

Learn more about goose persecution and find nonlethal goose stewardship strategies at:



Alliance for Animals, Mary Telfer,, 815-715-1527

In Defense of Animals, National Goose Protection Coalition, Lisa Levinson,, (215) 620-2130

Duck Defenders, John Di Leonardo,, (516) 592-3722



Alliance for Animals is a non-profit animal rights organization whose fundamental belief is that all animals, human and nonhuman, should not be treated as the property of another. The Alliance was created to promote ethical, compassionate treatment of all animals.

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin county, California with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of defending animals, the environment, and their guardians, through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, California, and rural Mississippi.

Duck Defenders is the leading online resource center for domestic waterfowl rescue and wild and domestic waterfowl advocacy in North America, advising sanctuaries, rescues, and private citizens all across the continent about how to save the lives of ducks, geese, and swans in their communities.


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