(1) Definitions. As used in this section:
(a) “Humane officer” means an officer appointed under s. 173.03.
(am) “Isolation facility” means a humane society shelter, veterinary hospital, municipal pound or other place specified by an officer which is equipped with a pen or cage which isolates the animal from contact with other animals.
(b) “Officer” means a peace officer, local health officer, as defined in s. 250.01(5), humane officer, warden, an employee designated by the department or other person designated by the governing body of the county, city, village or town.
(c) “Owner” includes a person who owns, harbors, keeps or controls an animal.
(d) “Peace officer” has the meaning designated under s. 939.22(22).
(e) “Veterinarian” has the meaning designated under s. 89.02(7).
(em) “Veterinary technician” has the meaning designated under s. 89.02(12).
(f) “Warden” has the meaning designated under s. 24.01(11).
(2) Rabies vaccination required for dogs. (a) Requirement for vaccination. Except as provided in s. 174.054 or sub. (9)(d), the owner of a dog shall have the dog vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian or, if a veterinarian is physically present at the location the vaccine is administered, by a veterinary technician, pursuant to s. 89.05(2)(d), at no later than 5 months of age and revaccinated within one year after the initial vaccination. If the owner obtains the dog or brings the dog into this state after the dog has reached 5 months of age, the owner shall have the dog vaccinated against rabies within 30 days after the dog is obtained or brought into the state unless the dog has been vaccinated as evidenced by a current certificate of rabies vaccination from this state or another state. The owner of a dog shall have the dog revaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian or, if a veterinarian is physically present at the location the vaccine is administered, by a veterinary technician, pursuant to s. 89.05(2)(d), before the date that the immunization expires as stated on the certificate of vaccination or, if no date is specified, within 3 years after the previous vaccination.
(b) Issuance of certificate of rabies vaccination. The person who administers the vaccine under par. (a) shall complete and issue to the owner a certificate of rabies vaccination bearing a serial number and in the form approved by the department stating the owner's name and address, the name, sex, spayed or unspayed, neutered or unneutered, breed and color of the dog, the date of the vaccination, the type of rabies vaccine administered and the manufacturer's serial number, the date that the immunization expires as specified for that type of vaccine by the center for disease control of the U.S. department of health and human services and the city, village or town where the dog is required to be licensed.
(c) Copies of certificate. The veterinarian shall keep a copy of each certificate of rabies vaccination in a file maintained for this purpose until the date that the immunization expires or until the dog is revaccinated whichever occurs first.
(e) Rabies vaccination tag. After issuing the certificate of rabies vaccination, the person who administers the vaccine under par. (a) shall deliver to the owner a rabies vaccination tag of durable material bearing the same serial number as the certificate, the year the vaccination was given and the name, address and telephone number of the supervising veterinarian.
(f) Tag to be attached. The owner shall attach the rabies vaccination tag or a substitute tag to a collar and a collar with the tag attached shall be kept on the dog at all times but this requirement does not apply to a dog during competition or training, to a dog while hunting, to a dog securely confined indoors, to a dog securely confined in a fenced area or to a dog while actively involved in herding or controlling livestock if the dog is under the control of its owner. The substitute tag shall be of a durable material and contain the same information as the rabies vaccination tag. The requirements of this paragraph do not apply to a dog which is not required to be vaccinated under sub. (2)(a).
(g) Duplicate tag. The person who administers the vaccine under par. (a) may furnish a new rabies vaccination tag with a new serial number to an owner in place of the original tag upon presentation of the certificate of rabies vaccination. The person who administers the vaccine under par. (a) shall then indicate the new tag number on the certificate and keep a record in the file.
(h) Cost. The owner shall pay the cost of the rabies vaccination and the cost associated with the issuance of a certificate of rabies vaccination and the delivery of a rabies vaccination tag.
(3) District quarantine. (a) Dogs confined. If a district is quarantined for rabies, all dogs within the district shall be kept securely confined, tied, leashed or muzzled. Any dog not confined, tied, leashed or muzzled is declared a public nuisance and may be impounded. All officers shall cooperate in the enforcement of the quarantine. The clerk of every town, city or village wholly or partly within the quarantine district shall promptly post in at least 3 public places in the town, city or village, notices of quarantine furnished by the department for posting.
(b) Exemption of vaccinated dog from district quarantine. A dog which is immunized currently against rabies as evidenced by a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or other evidence is exempt from the district quarantine provisions of par. (a) if a rabies vaccination tag or substitute tag is attached to the dog's collar.
(4) Quarantine or sacrifice of an animal suspected of biting a person or being infected or exposed to rabies. (a) Quarantine or sacrifice of dog or cat. Except as provided in par. (d), an officer shall order a dog or cat quarantined if the officer has reason to believe that the animal bit a person, is infected with rabies or has been in contact with a rabid animal. If a quarantine cannot be imposed because the dog or cat cannot be captured, the officer may kill the animal. The officer may kill a dog or cat only as a last resort or if the owner agrees. The officer shall attempt to kill the animal in a humane manner and in a manner which avoids damage to the animal's head.
(b) Sacrifice of other animals. An officer may order killed or may kill an animal other than a dog or cat if the officer has reason to believe that the animal bit a person or is infected with rabies. Except as provided in s. 95.36, if an animal of a species raised primarily to produce food for human consumption is killed under this paragraph, the owner is eligible for an indemnity payment in an amount equal to the indemnity provided under s. 95.31(3). If the decision is made by an employee of the department, the indemnity shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.115(2)(b). If the decision is made by another officer, the indemnity shall be paid from the dog license fund.
(c) Sacrifice of a dog or cat. An officer may order killed or may kill a dog or cat if the owner of the dog or cat violates sub. (5)(a), (b) or (c).
(d) Exception for law enforcement dogs. 1. In this paragraph, “law enforcement agency” has the meaning given in s. 165.83(1)(b).
2. The quarantine requirement in par. (a) does not apply to a dog that is used by a law enforcement agency and that bites a person while the dog is performing law enforcement functions if the dog is immunized against rabies as evidenced by a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or other evidence. The law enforcement agency shall make the dog available for examination at any reasonable time. The law enforcement agency shall notify the local health department, as defined in s. 250.01(4), if the dog exhibits any abnormal behavior.
(5) Quarantine of dog or cat. (a) Delivery to isolation facility or quarantine on premises of owner. An officer who orders a dog or cat to be quarantined shall deliver the animal or shall order the animal delivered to an isolation facility as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the original order is issued or the officer may order the animal to be quarantined on the premises of the owner if the animal is immunized currently against rabies as evidenced by a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or other evidence. If an officer delivers a dog or orders a dog to be delivered to an isolation facility and the dog is exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated against rabies under sub. (9)(d), the owner of the dog may choose an isolation facility that is a veterinary hospital.
(b) Health risk to humans. If a dog or cat is ordered to be quarantined because there is reason to believe that the animal bit a person, the custodian of an isolation facility or the owner shall keep the animal under strict isolation under the supervision of a veterinarian for at least 10 days after the incident occurred. In this paragraph, “supervision of a veterinarian” includes, at a minimum, examination of the animal on the first day of isolation, on the last day of isolation and on one intervening day. If the observation period is not extended and if the veterinarian certifies that the dog or cat has not exhibited any signs of rabies, the animal may be released from quarantine at the end of the observation period.
(c) Risk to animal health. 1. If a dog or cat is ordered to be quarantined because there is reason to believe that the animal has been exposed to a rabid animal and if the dog or cat is not currently immunized against rabies, the custodian of an isolation facility or the owner shall keep the animal leashed or confined for 180 days. The owner shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies between 155 and 165 days after the exposure to a rabid animal, unless the animal is exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated against rabies under sub. (9)(d).
2. If a dog or cat is ordered to be quarantined because there is reason to believe that the animal has been exposed to a rabid animal but if the dog or cat is immunized against rabies, the custodian of an isolation facility or the owner shall keep the animal leashed or confined for 60 days. The owner shall have the animal revaccinated against rabies as soon as possible after exposure to a rabid animal.
(d) Sacrifice of a dog or cat exhibiting symptoms of rabies. If a veterinarian determines that a dog or cat exhibits symptoms of rabies during the original or extended observation period, the veterinarian shall notify the owner and the officer who ordered the animal quarantined and the officer or veterinarian shall kill the animal in a humane manner and in a manner which avoids damage to the animal's head. If the dog or cat is suspected to have bitten a person, the veterinarian shall notify the person or the person's physician.
(6) Delivery of carcass; preparation; examination by laboratory of hygiene. An officer who kills an animal shall deliver the carcass to a veterinarian or local health department, as defined in s. 250.01(4). The veterinarian or local health department shall prepare the carcass, properly prepare and package the head of the animal in a manner to minimize deterioration, arrange for delivery by the most expeditious means feasible of the head of the animal to the state laboratory of hygiene and dispose of or arrange for the disposal of the remainder of the carcass in a manner which minimizes the risk of exposure to any rabies virus. The laboratory of hygiene shall examine the specimen and determine if the animal was infected with rabies. The state laboratory of hygiene shall notify the department, the veterinarian or local health department which prepared the carcass and, if the animal is suspected to have bitten a person, that person or that person's physician.
(7) Cooperation of veterinarian. Any practicing veterinarian who is requested to be involved in the rabies control program by an officer is encouraged to cooperate in a professional capacity with the department, the laboratory of hygiene, the local health department, as defined in s. 250.01(4), the officer involved and, if the animal is suspected to have bitten a person, the person's physician.
(8) Responsibility for quarantine and laboratory expenses. The owner of an animal is responsible for any expenses incurred in connection with keeping the animal in an isolation facility, supervision and examination of the animal by a veterinarian, preparation of the carcass for laboratory examination and the fee for the laboratory examination. If the owner is unknown, the county is responsible for these expenses.
(9) Local programs. (a) This section does not prohibit or restrict a county, city, village or town from imposing a rabies control program with more restrictive provisions.
(b) This section does not prohibit a county, city, village or town from imposing its own rabies control program if the department approves the program. The department may not approve a program unless it provides for at least 2 examinations of the quarantined animal by a veterinarian or a trained individual with veterinarian involvement during a 10-day isolation period. The department shall promulgate rules establishing criteria for the approval of programs under this paragraph and defining “trained individual” and “veterinarian involvement”.
(c) The department may provide training to persons who administer local rabies control programs or who conduct rabies examinations under those programs. The department may charge fees to cover the cost of training. The fees collected under this paragraph shall be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.115(2)(j).
(d) A city, village, or town may exempt the owner of a dog from the requirement to have the dog vaccinated against rabies for a year based on a letter from a veterinarian stating that vaccination is inadvisable because of a reaction to a previous vaccination, a physical condition, or a regimen of therapy that the dog is undergoing. The city, village, or town shall require the owner to provide a new letter for each year in which the owner seeks an exemption under this paragraph.
(10) Penalties. (a) Failure to obtain rabies vaccination. An owner who fails to have a dog vaccinated against rabies as required under sub. (2)(a) may be required to forfeit not less than $50 nor more than $100.
(b) Refusal to comply with order or quarantine. An owner who refuses to comply with an order issued under this section to deliver an animal to an officer, isolation facility or veterinarian or who does not comply with the conditions of an order that an animal be quarantined shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 60 days or both.
(c) Other violation. A person who violates any provision of this section not specified under pars. (a) and (b) may be required to forfeit up to $50.
<<For credits, see Historical Note field.>>
HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES
2012 Main Volume
L.1919, c. 117.
St.1919, § 1492ab, sub. 5a.
L.1923, c. 152, § 24.
St.1923, § 94.02.
L.1935, c. 550, §§ 109, 129.
St.1935, § 95.21.
L.1937, c. 244.
L.1953, c. 386, §§ 1, 2.
L.1979, c. 129, § 5, eff. March 13, 1980.
L.1979, c. 289, § 6, eff. May 17, 1980.
L.1979, c. 289, § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 1981.
L.1979, c. 289, § 8.
L.1979, c. 357, § 5, eff. July 1, 1980.
L.1981, c. 285, §§ 2, 3, eff. May 1, 1982.
L.1981, c. 314, § 144(3), eff. May 1, 1982.
1983 Act 189, § 329(18), eff. April 10, 1984.
1983 Act 451, §§ 4 to 7, eff. May 18, 1984.
1985 Act 135, § 35, eff. March 20, 1986.
1985 Act 184, §§ 2, 3, eff. April 22, 1986.
1985 Act 184, § 3m, eff. July 1, 1991.
1993 Act 27, §§ 126 to 128, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.
1995 Act 450, § 4, eff. Nov. 1, 1997.
1997 Act 192, § 5, eff. Dec. 1, 1999.
1997 Act 217, § 1, eff. May 13, 1998.
1999 Act 9, § 1946, eff. Oct. 29, 1999.
1999 Act 185, § 193(1), eff. Sept. 1, 2000.
2005 Act 236, §§ 1 to 5, eff. April 13, 2006.
2005 Act 240, §§ 1 to 4, eff. April 13, 2006.
2007 Act 37, §§ 1, 2, eff. Dec. 25, 2007.
2007 Act 97, § 106, eff. March 28, 2008.
2015 Act 55, §§ 2638 to 2640, eff. July 14, 2015 .
2017 Act 23, § 1, eff. June 25, 2017 .