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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Farmwoman Tells Animal People to Stop It

(CN) - A fourth-generation Wisconsin farmwoman claims in court that she has been harassed, threatened and intimidated for years, ever since an animal rights group defamed her by accusing her of running a puppy mill.

Rosemaryie Bosch sued Wisconsin Citizens Against Puppy Mills, Debra Gutierrez and Mary L. Palmer, in Milwaukee County Court.

Bosch says she moved onto the Franklin, Wisc. farm her family has owned for four generations in 1982, and has been operating a tax and bookkeeping service out of her home for several years.

The 20-acre property is home to dogs, ducks, geese, chickens and roosters.

Bosch says that in 2007, she began to receive "a continuous flow of hang-up calls" and found numerous letters and handbills in her mailbox and at her front door, "informing Bosch that she has been watched over for 1 and a half years and was being monitored daily. The postings suggest that Bosch either relinquish ownership rights to her dogs or face further action."

Bosch says that her grandmother, who died in 2007, did raise dogs and sell the litters, but ran a "puppy mill" and that the dog breeding ended with her death.

Bosch says she not keeps her grandmother's dogs as family pets and she has never run a puppy mill.

In September 2011, Bosch says, defendant Palmer filed a complaint against her with the Franklin Police Department, claiming she was violating the Wisconsin Criminal Code. Bosch says police investigated and concluded the complaint was without merit.

But 12 months later, Bosch says, she learned that defendant Wisconsin Citizens Against Puppy Mills had created a series of malicious Internet postings "that falsely accused her of mistreating animals and violating Wisconsin Criminal Code."

The postings, which Bosch attributes to the website's administrator, continued for several days, and were accompanied by threats and nasty comments posted by Palmer, defendant Gutierrez, and others, Bosch claims.

She says that on Sept. 17, 2012, this year, a silver automobile parked in the circular driveway of her private property. When she investigated, she says, defendant Palmer, in the car, threatened her, saying, "One way or another, I will get those dogs from you!'"

Bosch called the police, who told her to buy padlocks for all of her kennels and barns.

"The officer informed Bosch that persons like Palmer will not stop even when ordered by law enforcement and the only way to protect her property and her rights was to spend additional money on security features," Bosch says in her complaint.

Despite taking these steps, Bosch says, Palmer has returned to her property, harassing her and damaging her business. "Defendants have engaged in an ongoing pattern of activity intended to harass, intimidate and harm plaintiffs. Defendants have stated that their patterns of activity will not cease and more aggressive tactice will be employed."

Bosch seeks an injunction and damages for defamation, libel, trespass, malicious interference and injury to business, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

She is represented by Michael Wm Lutz, with Canfield & Lutz, of Milwaukee.

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