The court shall conduct a hearing on the petition. The petitioner and any person upon whom a copy of the petition was served may appear as a party.
The court shall issue its order after hearing and may grant, modify and grant, or deny the petitioned-for relief after considering the interests of the animal, the owner of the animal, the political subdivision, and the public. The court may not consider the impact of any payments made under s. 173.22 (4) (f)
on these interests.
(4) Injured or dangerous animals.
A political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1)
who has custody of an animal may have the animal euthanized if there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the following applies:
The animal is hopelessly injured beyond any reasonable chance of recovery.
The animal poses an imminent threat to public health or safety.
The animal poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of itself or its custodian.
(5) Animal not confined as required by quarantine order. 173.23(5)(a)(a)
A political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1)
that has custody of an animal that was not confined as required by a quarantine order issued under any statute, rule or ordinance relating to the control of any animal disease shall confine the animal for the duration of the quarantine or shall euthanize the animal with the written permission of the owner or, if the animal is determined to be diseased, at the direction of the person issuing the quarantine order.
Unless the person issuing the quarantine order directs that the animal be euthanized because it is diseased, at the end of the quarantine period the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1)
shall return the animal to its owner if the owner complies with sub. (1) (a)
no later than the 7th day after the day on which the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1)
demands that the owner claim the animal and pay for its custody, care and treatment.
If an owner does not comply with sub. (1) (a)
within the time provided in par. (b)
, the animal is considered an unclaimed animal under sub. (1m)
Before euthanizing an animal that is in custody because it was not confined as required by a quarantine order, the person with custody of the animal shall notify the person who issued the order. If the person who issued the order determines that testing of specimens is necessary to determine the disease status of the animal, the person with custody shall collect the specimens.
(6) Noncompliance by owner.
If an owner is ordered under sub. (3)
to pay, or post bond for the payment of, costs of custody, care or treatment of an animal, and refuses to do so upon demand, the animal shall be treated as an unclaimed animal subject to sub. (1m)
Reimbursement for expenses. 173.24(1)(1)
A court shall assess the expenses under this section, minus any amounts paid under s. 173.22 (4) (f)
, in any case in which there has been a search authorized under s. 173.10
or in which an animal has been seized because it is alleged that the animal has been used in or constitutes evidence of any crime under s. 944.18
or ch. 951
Expenses covered under this section include:
Investigative expenses of any search under s. 173.10
or any seizure under this chapter.
Any fees of a doctor of veterinary medicine.
Expenses of taking any animal into custody under this chapter, including expenses reasonably incident to taking the animal into custody.
Expenses of keeping or disposing of any animal taken into custody.
If the person alleged to have violated s. 944.18
or ch. 951
is found guilty of the violation, the person shall be assessed the expenses under subs. (1)
. If the person is not found guilty, the county treasurer shall pay the expenses from the general fund of the county.
History: 1973 c. 314
; 1983 a. 95
; 1987 a. 332
; Stats. 1987 s. 951.17; 1997 a. 192
; Stats. 1997 s. 173.24; 2015 a. 233
; 2019 a. 162
A court may only assess reasonable expenses for maintenance of seized animals. State v. Berndt, 161 Wis. 2d 116
, 467 N.W.2d 205
(Ct. App. 1991).
Immunity for euthanizing animals.
A political subdivision, a person contracting under s. 173.15 (1)
, a humane officer or a law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that s. 173.23 (1m) (c)
or a court order issued under s. 173.23 (3)
authorize an animal to be euthanized is not liable for damages for the loss of the animal resulting from euthanizing the animal.
History: 1997 a. 192
Duties of the department.
The department shall do all of the following:
Adopt, by rule, standards for the training and certification of humane officers to ensure that humane officers are at least minimally qualified to perform the duties of a humane officer. The standards shall provide for training offered by the department or by others.
Adopt, by rule, deadlines by which humane officers must obtain certification.
Offer training courses for humane officers or approve training courses offered by others, or both. The department may charge a fee sufficient to recover the costs of training courses that it provides.
Examine, as necessary, and certify humane officers as qualified. The department may charge a fee, established by rule, sufficient to recover the costs of certification.
(4) Registry of humane officers.
Maintain and keep current a registry of all persons serving as humane officers for political subdivisions.
History: 1997 a. 192
See also ch. ATCP 15
, Wis. adm. code.
Regulation of persons who sell dogs or operate animal shelters. 173.41(1)(a)
“Animal control facility" means a facility for the care of animals operated under a contract with a political subdivision under s. 173.15 (1)
“Animal shelter" means a facility that is operated for the purpose of providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of animals, that is used to shelter at least 25 dogs in a year, and that is operated by a humane society, animal welfare society, animal rescue group, or other nonprofit group.
“Dog breeder" means a person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year that the person has bred and raised, except that “dog breeder" does not include a person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year that the person has bred and raised if all of those dogs are from no more than 3 litters.
“Dog breeding facility" means a place at which dogs are bred and raised and from which 25 or more dogs are sold in a year, except that “dog breeding facility" does not include a place at which dogs are bred and raised and from which 25 or more dogs are sold in a year if all of the dogs that are sold in a year are from no more than 3 litters.
“Dog dealer" means a person, other than an out-of-state dog dealer, who sells, distributes, or trades, or offers for sale, distribution, or trade, 25 or more dogs in a year that the person has not bred and raised or who operates an auction at which 50 or more dogs are sold or offered for sale in a year.
“Dog trial" means an organized competitive field event involving sporting dog breeds that is sanctioned, licensed, or recognized by a local, state, regional, or national dog organization.
“Out-of-state dog dealer" means a person who is not a resident of this state who brings 25 or more dogs into this state for sale in this state in a year.
“Temporary dog market" means a place at which persons sell dogs, and may sell other items, from booths or other spaces that are rented from or provided at no cost by the person operating the place, except that “temporary dog market" does not include a dog trial.
“Transfer" means to grant physical possession to another.
Except as provided in par. (e)
, or (g)
, beginning on June 1, 2011, no person may do any of the following without an annual license from the department:
A person operating as an out-of-state dog dealer shall obtain one license under this subsection. Any other person required to obtain a license under this subsection shall obtain one license for each premises at which the person operates an animal shelter, animal control facility, or dog breeding facility or operates as a dog breeder or dog dealer.
A person shall apply for a license under par. (a)
on a form provided by the department and shall provide information reasonably required by the department. An applicant shall submit the applicable fees required under sub. (3)
with the application.
The department shall grant or deny an application for an initial license within 30 days after the application is complete and the applicable fees have been submitted.
A veterinarian licensed under ch. 89
practicing in the normal course of veterinary business within the scope of the license is not required to obtain a license under this subsection.
An individual providing foster care to a dog in the individual's home at the request of a person operating an animal shelter that is licensed under this subsection is not required to obtain a license under this subsection.
An individual is not required to obtain a license for the purpose of conducting a one-time kennel liquidation, if all of the following apply:
The individual sells no more than 30 dogs and makes all of the dogs initially available for sale at the same time.
The individual does not intend to engage in activities for which a license is required under this subsection in the next year.
The individual was not licensed under this subsection during the previous year.
The individual notifies the department at least 30 days before offering the dogs for sale.
A person licensed under par. (a) 1.
shall post a copy of the license in a location visible to any person coming onto the licensed premises.
Except as provided under par. (b)
, the annual fee for a license under sub. (2)
is as follows:
For a person who sells or offers to sell at least 25 but fewer than 50 dogs per year, $250.
For a person who sells or offers to sell at least 50 but fewer than 100 dogs per year, $500.
For a person who sells or offers to sell at least 100 but fewer than 250 dogs per year, $750.
For a person who sells or offers to sell 250 or more dogs per year, $1,000.
For a person who operates an animal shelter or animal control facility, $125.
Except as provided under par. (c)
, the annual license fee for an out-of-state dog dealer is 150 percent of the fee determined under par. (a)
, based on the number of dogs sold in this state.
The department may promulgate rules specifying fees for licenses under sub. (2)
that are higher than the fees in pars. (a)
if necessary to cover the costs of administering this section.
The department may deny, refuse to renew, or revoke any license under sub. (2)
if the applicant or licensee is not fit, qualified, or equipped to conduct the activity for which the license is required, has violated or failed to obey any applicable law, order, or regulation, or has misrepresented or intentionally failed to disclose a material fact in applying for the license.
The department may issue any license under sub. (2)
conditioned upon relevant circumstances or acts. If a license is conditioned upon compliance within a specified period and the condition is not met within the specified period, the license is void.
The department may, by written notice, without prior notice or hearing, suspend a license issued under sub. (2)
if, upon inspection of the licensed premises, the department finds any condition that imminently threatens the health, safety, or welfare of any animal on the licensed premises or there is evidence that an act of animal cruelty in violation of ch. 951
or bestiality in violation of s. 944.18
has been committed by the licensee or has occurred on the licensed premises.
In the notice under par. (a)
, the department shall state the reasons for the suspension and specify conditions that must be met for reinstatement.
The department shall specify in the notice under par. (a)
a date after which a reinspection of the licensed premises may take place. The department may conduct a reinspection without notice to the licensee. The department may reinstate a license following a summary suspension if the department finds, based upon reinspection or evidence presented by the licensee, that circumstances warrant reinstatement. The department may specify a reinstatement date that it considers appropriate.
A licensee may request a hearing contesting a summary suspension under par. (a)
, by written appeal to the department, within 10 days of receiving the notice of summary suspension. The department shall describe the right of hearing in the notice to the licensee under par. (a)
. The department shall promptly initiate proceedings to hear the appeal.
The department shall inspect the premises at which a person who is required to obtain a license under sub. (2) (a) 1.
operates before issuing the initial license and at least once every 2 years after the year in which the person is first licensed. The department is not required to inspect the out-of-state premises at which an out-of-state dog dealer operates.
The department may enter and inspect the premises for which a person is required to obtain a license under sub. (2)
at any time during normal business hours to ensure compliance with this section.
The department may charge a fee for an inspection that it undertakes to determine whether a previous violation of this section or rules promulgated under this section has been corrected.
An inspection fee under par. (c)
is due upon written demand from the department. Unless otherwise specified by the department by rule, the fee for an inspection under par. (c)
(7) Out-of-state dealers.
The department may not issue a license under sub. (2)
to a person who is an out-of-state dog dealer unless the person provides to the department a copy of any license required by the person's state of residence and any license required under federal law.
(8) Health requirements for selling dogs.