Wisconsin puppy mill activist dies after governor signs bill


Joyce Kitsemble spent years working for a change in Wisconsin law that would ban abusive dog-breeding kennels called puppy mills. She and her husband, Ed, gathered 5,000 signatures in a petition drive to get the law passed. And the couple were on hand in Madison when Gov. Jim Doyle signed the bill into law. A few hours later, she was dead.

The 70-year-old woman started feeling ill during the signing ceremony at the Capitol. She was helped from the room and later taken to an area hospital, where she died, WQOW-TV reported.

Here's an exerpt from her obituary today in the Wisconsin Rapids Trubune:

Joyce dedicated her life to saving and rescuing animals. She spent the last 10 years of her life supporting Puppy Mill Legislation in the state of Wisconsin, witnessing the signing of this bill by our governor on the day of her death. She was relentless supporter of animal rights. She also enjoyed homemaking and tending to her beautiful flower gardens.

"Joyce made a cruel world better," the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project's Eileen Ribbens told WQOW. "Her dream of seeing puppy mill dogs get protection under the law came to pass in her lifetime, and for that, I am eternally grateful."