173.11   Abatement of violations.
173.12   Animal fighting; seizure.
173.13   Taking custody of animals.
173.15   Provision of care, treatment or disposal services.
173.17   Records.
173.19   Animals considered unclaimed.
173.21   Holding animals for cause.
173.22   Review of seizure or withholding.
173.23   Disposition of animals.
173.24   Reimbursement for expenses.
173.25   Immunity for euthanizing animals.
173.27   Duties of the department.
173.41   Regulation of persons who sell dogs or operate animal shelters.
173.01 173.01 Definitions. In this chapter:
173.01(1) (1) "Department" means the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection.
173.01(2) (2) "Law enforcement officer" has the meaning given in s. 165.85 (2) (c).
173.01(3) (3) "Political subdivision" means a city, village, town or county.
173.01 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.03 173.03 Appointment of humane officer.
173.03(1) (1) Appointment. The governing body of any political subdivision may appoint one or more humane officers. The governing body of a political subdivision shall report all appointments and terminations of appointments of humane officers to the department.
173.03(2) (2)Ordinance. Before, or at the time of, appointing a humane officer under sub. (1), the governing body making the appointment shall enact an ordinance that designates one or more officials of the political subdivision who may modify or withdraw abatement orders issued under s. 173.11 by humane officers appointed by the political subdivision.
173.03(3) (3)Jurisdiction. A humane officer appointed by a city, village or town shall carry out his or her duties within the boundaries of the city, village or town. A humane officer appointed by a county shall carry out his or her duties throughout the county, other than within the boundaries of a city or village whose governing body adopts a resolution withdrawing from county enforcement of humane laws and transmits a copy of the resolution to the county.
173.03 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.03 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. ATCP 15, Wis. adm. code.
173.05 173.05 Certification required.
173.05(1) (1)
173.05(1)(a) (a) Any person appointed as a humane officer under s. 173.03 on or after December 1, 1999, shall, before appointment or by the applicable deadline established under s. 173.27 (1) (b), complete a course of training approved by the department, except as provided in par. (b) or (c), and receive certification under s. 173.27 (3).
173.05(1)(b) (b) A person to whom par. (a) applies who is a veterinarian licensed under ch. 453 is not required to complete a course of training approved by the department if he or she takes an examination given by the department and passes the examination on the first attempt.
173.05(1)(c) (c) A person to whom par. (a) applies who is certified or otherwise approved as a humane officer by another state is not required to complete a course of training approved by the department if he or she takes an examination given by the department and passes the examination on the first attempt.
173.05(2) (2)
173.05(2)(a)(a) A person appointed as a humane officer before December 1, 1999, shall complete a course of training approved by the department, except as provided in par. (b), and shall receive certification under s. 173.27 (3) by the applicable deadline established under s. 173.27 (1) (b).
173.05(2)(b) (b) A person to whom par. (a) applies is not required to complete a course of training approved by the department if he or she takes an examination given by the department and passes the examination on the first attempt.
173.05(3) (3) The governing body of a political subdivision that appoints a humane officer who fails to obtain certification within the required time shall terminate the appointment.
173.05 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.05 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. ATCP 15, Wis. adm. code.
173.07 173.07 Powers and duties of humane officers.
173.07(1)(1) Enforcement. A humane officer shall enforce s. 95.21, this chapter, chs. 174 and 951 and ordinances relating to animals enacted by political subdivisions in which the humane officer has jurisdiction under s. 173.03 (3).
173.07(2) (2)Investigation. A humane officer shall investigate alleged violations of statutes and ordinances relating to animals and, in the course of the investigations, may execute inspection warrants under s. 66.0119.
173.07(3) (3)Seek subpoenas. A humane officer may request the district attorney for the county to obtain subpoenas to compel testimony and obtain documents in aid of investigations.
173.07(4) (4)Issue citations. If authorized by the appointing political subdivision, a humane officer shall issue citations under s. 66.0113 for violations of ordinances relating to animals.
173.07(4m) (4m)Request prosecutions. A humane officer may request law enforcement officers and district attorneys to enforce and prosecute violations of state law and may cooperate in those prosecutions.
173.07(5) (5)Prohibited actions. Unless also a law enforcement officer, a humane officer may not in the course of his or her duties do any of the following:
173.07(5)(a) (a) Execute a search warrant.
173.07(5)(b) (b) Carry firearms.
173.07(5)(c) (c) Stop or arrest persons.
173.07(5)(d) (d) Stop, search, or detain vehicles, except under an inspection warrant under s. 66.0119.
173.07(5)(e) (e) Enter any place or vehicle by force or without the consent of the owner, except in an emergency occasioned by fire or other circumstance in which that entry is reasonable and is necessary to save an animal from imminent death or a person from imminent death or injury.
173.07(5)(f) (f) Remove any animal from the custody of another person by force.
173.07(6) (6)Conflict of interest prohibited. No humane officer may sell or otherwise dispose of any animal that came into the humane officer's custody in the course of his or her duties.
173.07 History History: 1997 a. 192; 2001 a. 30.
173.09 173.09 Investigations. In the course of investigation of suspected violations of statutes or ordinances, a humane officer may enter any building, vehicle, or place where animals may be present for the purpose of inspection, examination of animals, or the gathering of evidence. If the building, vehicle, or place to be entered is not public, and consent of the owner or person in charge is not obtained, entry shall be under authority of a special inspection warrant issued under s. 66.0119 or a search warrant.
173.09 History History: 1997 a. 192; 2001 a. 30.
173.10 173.10 Investigation of cruelty complaints. A person may apply for a search warrant under s. 968.12 if there is reason to believe that a violation of ch. 951 has taken place or is taking place. If the court is satisfied that probable cause exists, it shall issue a search warrant directing a law enforcement officer in the county to proceed immediately to the location of the alleged violation with a doctor of veterinary medicine, if the court determines that a veterinarian is necessary for purposes of the search, and directing the law enforcement officer to search the place designated in the warrant, retaining in his or her custody subject to the order of the court such property or things as are specified in the warrant, including any animal. If the person applying for the search warrant is a humane officer, the warrant shall direct that the humane officer accompany the law enforcement officer who is directed to perform the search. The warrant shall be executed and returned to the court which issued the warrant in accordance with ss. 968.15 and 968.17. This section does not affect other powers and duties of law enforcement officers.
173.10 History History: 1973 c. 314; 1977 c. 449; 1987 a. 332 s. 54; Stats. 1987 s. 951.16; 1995 a. 90; 1997 a. 192 s. 26; Stats. 1997 s. 173.10.
173.11 173.11 Abatement of violations.
173.11(1) (1) Issuance of order. If a humane officer or law enforcement officer after investigation has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of a statute or ordinance is occurring and the violation is causing or has the potential to cause injury to an animal, the humane officer or law enforcement officer may issue and serve an order of abatement directed to named persons. An official designated in an ordinance under s. 173.03 (2) may not participate in the decision to issue the order or in any activity leading to that decision.
173.11(1m) (1m)Content of order. An abatement order issued under sub. (1) shall contain all of the following:
173.11(1m)(a) (a) The name and address of the person to whom directed.
173.11(1m)(b) (b) The statute or ordinance alleged to be violated.
173.11(1m)(c) (c) A prohibition on further violations.
173.11(1m)(d) (d) A description of measures necessary to correct the alleged violation.
173.11(1m)(e) (e) A description of the hearing and appeal provisions under subs. (2) and (4).
173.11(2) (2)Hearing. Any person named in an abatement order issued under sub. (1) may, within the 10-day period following service of the order, request a hearing before an official designated in an ordinance under s. 173.03 (2). The hearing shall be held within 10 days after the request is made, unless the requester agrees to a later date. The hearing shall be informal in nature.
173.11(3) (3)Decision. Within 10 days after a hearing under sub. (2), the official who conducts the hearing shall affirm the order, modify and affirm the order or withdraw the order.
173.11(4) (4)Appeal. Any person adversely affected by a decision under sub. (3) may seek judicial review by commencing an action in circuit court within 30 days after the day that the decision is issued.
173.11 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.12 173.12 Animal fighting; seizure.
173.12(1) (1) Any veterinarian who has reason to believe that an animal has been in a fight in violation of s. 951.08 shall report the matter to the local humane officer or to a local law enforcement agency. The report shall be in writing and shall include a description and the location of the animal, any injuries suffered by the animal and the name and address of the owner or person in charge of the animal, if known.
173.12(1m) (1m) If an animal has been seized because it is alleged that the animal has been used in or constitutes evidence of any crime specified in s. 951.08, the animal may not be returned to the owner by an officer under s. 968.20 (2). In any hearing under s. 968.20 (1), the court shall determine if the animal is needed as evidence or there is reason to believe that the animal has participated in or been trained for fighting. If the court makes such a finding, the animal shall be retained in custody.
173.12(2) (2) If the charges under s. 951.08 are dismissed or if the owner is found not guilty of a crime specified in s. 951.08, the animal shall be returned to the owner unless he or she is subject to the restrictions under s. 951.08 (2m).
173.12(3) (3)
173.12(3)(a)(a) If the owner is convicted under s. 951.08 or is subject to the restrictions under s. 951.08 (2m), the animal shall be delivered to the local humane officer or county or municipal pound. If there is no local humane officer or pound, the animal may be delivered to a local humane society or to another person designated by the court. If the animal is one year old or older or shows indication of having participated in fighting, the animal shall be disposed of in a proper and humane manner.
173.12(3)(b) (b) If the animal is less than one year old and shows no indication of having participated in fighting, the animal shall be released to a person other than the owner or disposed of in a proper and humane manner. If the animal is a dog, the release or disposal shall be in accordance with s. 173.23 (1m), except that the fees under s. 173.23 (1m) (a) 4. are covered under s. 173.24.
173.12 History History: 1981 c. 160; 1983 a. 95; 1987 a. 248; 1987 a. 332 ss. 54, 64; Stats. 1987 s. 951.165; 1997 a. 192 ss. 28, 29; Stats. 1997 s. 173.12.
173.13 173.13 Taking custody of animals.
173.13(1) (1) Intake.
173.13(1)(a)(a) A humane officer, on behalf of a political subdivision in which the humane officer has jurisdiction under s. 173.03 (3), or a law enforcement officer, on behalf of a political subdivision, may take custody of an animal if the humane officer or law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the animal is one of the following:
173.13(1)(a)1. 1. An abandoned or stray animal.
173.13(1)(a)2. 2. An unwanted animal delivered to the humane officer or law enforcement officer.
173.13(1)(a)3. 3. A dog not tagged as required by ch. 174.
173.13(1)(a)4. 4. An animal not licensed in compliance with any ordinance.
173.13(1)(a)5. 5. An animal not confined as required by a quarantine order under any statute, rule or ordinance relating to the control of any animal disease.
173.13(1)(a)6. 6. An animal that has caused damage to persons or property.
173.13(1)(a)7. 7. A participant in an animal fight intentionally instigated by any person.
173.13(1)(a)8. 8. An animal mistreated in violation of ch. 951.
173.13(1)(a)9. 9. An animal delivered by a veterinarian under sub. (2).
173.13(1)(b) (b) A humane officer shall accept into custody any animal delivered by a law enforcement officer or delivered under a court order.
173.13(1)(c) (c) A person other than a humane officer or a law enforcement officer may not take an animal into custody on behalf of a political subdivision unless the animal is an abandoned or stray animal. If a person other than a humane officer or a law enforcement officer takes custody of an abandoned or stray animal on behalf of a political subdivision, he or she shall deliver the animal to a person contracting under s. 173.15 (1), to a humane officer or law enforcement officer for disposition under s. 173.23 or to a pound.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Oct. 4, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Oct. 4, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-4-14)