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WI - Assistance Animals - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.

WI - Breed - 95.13. Misrepresenting breed of domestic animal

Under this Wisconsin statute, no person may sell any domestic animal or represent that such domestic animal is a pure bred animal, if the animal is not registered or entitled to be registered, in any pure breed registry for that breed.

WI - Breeder - Chapter ATCP 16. Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators.

This set of administrative regulations from Wisconsin covers the conditions under which dogs must be kept by dog breeders (defined as any person who sells at least 25 dogs from more than 3 litters) and dog dealers. Dog sellers and dog facility operators are required to be licensed under the section. Per ATCP 16.18, a person licensed under this chapter may not transfer a dog to the buyer unless the dog is at least 7 weeks old, the dog is accompanied by its dam, or the department approves the transfer in writing. Minimum standards of care are outlined for licensees for dogs kept indoors or outdoors.

WI - Cats - 59.79. Milwaukee County (cat license ordinance)

[Editor's Note: in 2013, Section 12 concerning cats was repealed. The statute no longer references cats.] This Wisconsin statute provides that the board of commissioners in a county with a population of 500,000 or more may enact an ordinance requiring licenses for cats.

WI - Cats - Question 62 - DEFEATED

This controversial measure would have allowed hunters to hunt any cat that was found free roaming, meaning it did not exhibit a collar or other signs of domestic ownership.  At the Monday, April 11, 2005 meeting of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, those in favor of the feral cat hunting proposal 

approved the measure by a vote of 6,830 to 5,201.  This approval was then forwarded to the state Natural Resources Board for consideration.  Proponents of the measure suggest feral cats expose domestic animals to disease and endanger native songbirds.  Opponents of the measure counter that such a law would be cruel and archaic, putting domestic cats who have escaped from their homes at risk of death. 

On May 25, 2005 at the Natural Resources Board regular spring meeting, a representative of the Congress indicated that the Executive Committee has declined to pursue the issue any further.  (See the official meeting minutes at page 5 at


).  Feral cat advocates claimed a public relations victory, as the measure gained national and even international criticism.  (See Alley Cat Allies at


).  (For more on the procedural history of this measure, see the "Long Summary" under the "Statute Details" above).   

WI - Chickens, transport - 134.52. Shipment of chickens

This Wisconsin statute requires that poultry not be overcrowded and the shipping container must be at least 13 inches in high on the inside and covered at the top in a way that prevents the chickens from getting caught in the top.

WI - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes

This section comprises the Wisconsin anti-cruelty section.  Under the section, "animal" includes every living warm-blooded creature (except a human being), reptile, or amphibian.  The section prohibits "mistreating animals," which is defined as treating any animal, whether belonging to the person or another, in a cruel manner.  This section does not prohibit bona fide experiments carried on for scientific research or normal and accepted veterinary practices.  This section also prohibits the instigation of dogfights, and has a unique provisions that prohibits the shooting of caged or staked animals.

WI - Dangerous dog - 174.11. Claims for damage by dogs to domestic animals including ranch mink

This Wisconsin provides that the owner of any domestic animal, including a ranch mink, which is attacked, chased, injured or killed by a dog may, within 3 days after the owner has knowledge or notice thereof, file a written claim for damages with the clerk of the town, village or city in which the damage occurred.  A hearing then occurs where witnesses may be subpoenaed under oath, and testimony relative to the claim is taken.  The county board shall allow, as the amount of a claim for a domestic animal, including a ranch mink, injured by a dog, the amount determined to be the total of the costs resulting from the injury including a loss in fair market value but the total amount of the claim may not exceed the fair market value.

WI - Dog - Consolidated Dog Laws

These Wisconsin statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include dog licensing provisions, hunting laws impacting dogs, and seizure of dogs by humane officers.

WI - Dog Bite - Chapter 174. Dogs. 174.12. Actions against owners

This Wisconsin statute outlines the allowance procedure by counties for damage done by dogs after a claim is filed and the county sues to recover from the owner of the damaging dog.  The claimant shall first be notified that such action is contemplated and shall have been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard and to offer further evidence in support of the claimant's claim.  It also provides that this chapter shall not in any way limit the existing right or authority of any town, village or city to pass ordinances for the keeping and regulating of dogs, or repeal or annul any existing statute or ordinance or local regulation governing the keeping and regulating of dogs.