173.21 History History: 1997 a. 192; 2015 a. 233.
173.22 173.22 Review of seizure or withholding.
173.22(1)(1)Petition. A person claiming that an animal that he or she owns was improperly taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 3., 4., 5., or 6. or is wrongfully withheld under s. 173.21 (1) (b) or (d) may seek return of the animal by petitioning for an order from the circuit court for the county in which the animal was taken into custody or in which it is held.
173.22(2) (2)Notice and hearing. The court shall provide notice of a petition under sub. (1) to the humane officer or law enforcement officer who took the animal into custody or to the political subdivision that withheld the animal and shall hold a hearing on the issue of whether the animal was improperly taken into custody or is wrongfully withheld.
173.22(3) (3)Order.
173.22(3)(a) (a) If the animal is withheld under s. 173.21 (1) (b) or (d), the court shall order the animal returned to the owner unless it determines that one of the following conditions is satisfied:
173.22(3)(a)2. 2. There are reasonable grounds to believe that the animal poses a significant threat to public health, safety or welfare.
173.22(3)(a)4. 4. A court has ordered the animal withheld for any reason.
173.22(3)(b) (b) If the animal was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 3., the court shall order the animal returned to its owner if the court determines that the animal was tagged or was not required to be tagged under ch. 174.
173.22(3)(c) (c) If the animal was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 4., the court shall order the animal returned to its owner if the court determines that the animal was licensed or was not required to be licensed.
173.22(3)(d) (d) If the animal was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 5., the court shall order the animal returned to its owner if the court determines that the animal was not subject to a quarantine order or was confined as required by a quarantine order.
173.22(3)(e) (e) If the animal was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 6., the court shall order the animal returned to its owner if the court determines that the animal did not cause damage to persons or property.
173.22(4) (4)Holding an animal involved in a crime.
173.22(4)(a)(a) An owner of an animal taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 8. or withheld under s. 173.21 (1) (a) may apply for the animal's return to the circuit court for the county in which the animal was taken into custody. No application under this paragraph may be made more than 30 days after the animal was seized. The court shall order such notice as it considers adequate to be given the district attorney, the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) with custody of the animal, and all persons who have or may have an interest in the animal. The court shall hold a hearing to hear all claims to the animal's ownership within 20 days after a timely application is filed, and the hearing shall be given preference.
173.22(4)(b) (b) In the hearing under par. (a), the court shall determine if the animal is needed as evidence or if there is reason to believe that the animal was involved in any crime under ch. 951. If the court determines that the animal is needed as evidence or that there is reason to believe that the animal was involved in any crime under ch. 951, the court shall order the animal to be retained in custody. If the court determines that the animal is not needed as evidence and that there is not reason to believe that the animal was involved in a crime under ch. 951, the court shall order the animal returned to the owner.
173.22(4)(c) (c) If the owner files a timely application under par. (a) and the court orders the animal to be retained in custody under par. (b), no payment is due under par. (f) until 30 days after the court order. If the court orders an animal to be returned to its owner under par. (b), no payment is due under par. (f).
173.22(4)(d) (d) If an animal that was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 8. or is withheld under s. 173.21 (1) (a) is in custody and its owner is charged with a crime under ch. 951, one of the following applies:
173.22(4)(d)1. 1. If all of the charges are dismissed or the owner is found not guilty of all charges, the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) with custody of the animal shall return the animal to the owner unless the owner is subject to the restrictions under s. 951.08 (2m) or the animal has been treated as unclaimed or is otherwise subject to a disposition under s. 173.23.
173.22(4)(d)2. 2. If the owner is convicted of a crime under ch. 951, the animal shall be treated as unclaimed under s. 173.23 (1m), except that the charges under s. 173.23 (1m) (a) 4. do not apply if the court assesses the charges as expenses under s. 173.24.
173.22(4)(e) (e) If an animal that was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 8. or is withheld under s. 173.21 (1) (a) is in custody and the district attorney or the department of justice notifies the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) with custody of the animal that the animal's owner will not be charged with a crime under ch. 951, the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) with custody of the animal shall return the animal to its owner unless the owner is subject to the restrictions under s. 951.08 (2m) or the animal has been treated as unclaimed or is otherwise subject to a disposition under s. 173.23.
173.22(4)(f) (f) Subject to par. (g), the owner of an animal taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 8. or withheld under s. 173.21 (1) (a) is personally liable to the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) with custody of the animal for the cost of the custody, care, and treatment of the animal. The political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) shall notify the owner in writing that he or she must pay for the outstanding costs of custody, care, or treatment of the animal upon demand. The political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) may demand such payment no more frequently than every 14 days and shall do so by 1st class mail to the owner's last-known address. If the amount demanded is received within 30 days of the mailing of the demand, the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) shall keep the animal in custody. Except as provided in par. (c), if the amount demanded is not received within 30 days of the mailing of the demand, the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) shall treat the animal as unclaimed under s. 173.23 (1m), except that the charges under s. 173.23 (1m) (a) 4. do not apply if the court assesses the charges as expenses under s. 173.24. The owner of the animal may challenge the reasonableness of the amount demanded under this paragraph by filing a petition with the court within 20 days after the date the demand is mailed. The owner may not file a petition challenging the reasonableness of the amount demanded more than 20 days after the date the demand is mailed.
173.22(4)(g) (g) The costs for which a person may be liable under par. (f) may include no more than $30 per day in boarding costs for each animal in custody.
173.22 History History: 1997 a. 192; 2015 a. 233.
173.23 173.23 Disposition of animals.
173.23(1)(1)Claim and return. Except as provided in sub. (4) or s. 173.21 (1), a political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) shall return an animal described in s. 173.13 (1) (a) 1., 3., 4., 6., 8. or 9. to its owner upon the happening of all of the following:
173.23(1)(a) (a) The owner claims the animal and provides reasonable evidence of ownership.
173.23(1)(b) (b) If licensure is required by statute or ordinance, the animal is licensed or assurance of licensure by prepayment is given.
173.23(1)(c) (c) If vaccination is required by statute or ordinance, the animal is vaccinated or assurance of vaccination by prepayment is given.
173.23(1)(d) (d) All charges for custody, care, vaccination and treatment are paid.
173.23(1m) (1m)Unclaimed animals. A political subdivision or a person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) that has custody of an animal considered unclaimed under sub. (3) (a) 3., (5) (c), or (6) or s. 173.13 (3) (c), 173.19, or 173.22 (4) (d) 2. or (f) or an unwanted animal may do any of the following:
173.23(1m)(a) (a) Release the animal to any person other than the owner if all of the following apply:
173.23(1m)(a)1. 1. The person provides his or her name and address.
173.23(1m)(a)2. 2. If licensure is required by statute or ordinance, the animal is licensed or assurance of licensure is given by evidence of prepayment.
173.23(1m)(a)3. 3. If vaccination is required by statute or ordinance, the animal is vaccinated or assurance of vaccination is given by evidence of prepayment.
173.23(1m)(a)4. 4. Any charges imposed by the political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) for custody, care, vaccination and treatment are paid or waived.
173.23(1m)(b) (b) If the animal is not a dog or cat, sell the animal at public auction, including sale at a licensed animal market.
173.23(1m)(c) (c) Euthanize the animal.
173.23(1m)(d) (d) If the animal is a stray or abandoned dog, release the dog under s. 174.13.
173.23(1s) (1s)Proceeds of sale. If the owner of an animal sold under sub. (1m) (b) files a claim and provides proof of ownership within 30 days after the sale, the sale proceeds, less the cost of custody, care, treatment and sale, shall be returned to the owner.
173.23(2) (2)Animals not returned to owner. If an animal in the custody of a political subdivision, other than an animal to which sub. (1m) applies, is not returned to the owner under sub. (1) or (5) (b) or s. 173.21 (4) or 173.22 or disposed of under sub. (4) or (5) (a), it shall be disposed of under a court order under sub. (3) or s. 951.18 (4).
173.23(3) (3)Court order.
173.23(3)(a) (a) A political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) may petition the circuit court for an order doing any of the following with respect to an animal taken into custody by a law enforcement officer or a humane officer or withheld under s. 173.21 (1):
173.23(3)(a)1. 1. Providing for payment for the custody, care or treatment of the animal.
173.23(3)(a)2. 2. Requiring the owner of the animal to post bond for the costs of custody, care or treatment of the animal pending the outcome of any other proceeding.
173.23(3)(a)3. 3. Authorizing the sale, destruction, treatment as unclaimed under sub. (1m), or other disposal of the animal.
173.23(3)(b) (b) The petition shall set forth the basis for the petitioned-for relief.
173.23(3)(c) (c) The political subdivision shall serve a copy of the petition, in the manner provided in s. 801.11, upon the owner of the animal, if known.
173.23(3)(d) (d) 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.
173.23(3)(e) (e) 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.
173.23(4) (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:
173.23(4)(a) (a) The animal is hopelessly injured beyond any reasonable chance of recovery.
173.23(4)(b) (b) The animal poses an imminent threat to public health or safety.
173.23(4)(c) (c) The animal poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of itself or its custodian.
173.23(5) (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.
173.23(5)(b) (b) 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) to (d) 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.
173.23(5)(c) (c) If an owner does not comply with sub. (1) (a) to (d) within the time provided in par. (b), the animal is considered an unclaimed animal under sub. (1m).
173.23(5)(d) (d) 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.
173.23(6) (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).
173.23 History History: 1997 a. 192; 2001 a. 56; 2005 a. 253; 2015 a. 233.
173.24 173.24 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 ch. 951.
173.24(2) (2)Expenses covered under this section include:
173.24(2)(a) (a) Investigative expenses of any search under s. 173.10 or any seizure under this chapter.
173.24(2)(b) (b) Any fees of a doctor of veterinary medicine.
173.24(2)(c) (c) Expenses of taking any animal into custody under this chapter, including expenses reasonably incident to taking the animal into custody.
173.24(2)(d) (d) Expenses of keeping or disposing of any animal taken into custody.
173.24(3) (3)If the person alleged to have violated ch. 951 is found guilty of the violation, the person shall be assessed the expenses under subs. (1) and (2). If the person is not found guilty, the county treasurer shall pay the expenses from the general fund of the county.
173.24 History History: 1973 c. 314; 1983 a. 95; 1987 a. 332 ss. 54, 64; Stats. 1987 s. 951.17; 1997 a. 192 s. 30; Stats. 1997 s. 173.24; 2015 a. 233.
173.24 Annotation 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).
173.25 173.25 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), (4) or (5) 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.
173.25 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.27 173.27 Duties of the department. The department shall do all of the following:
173.27(1) (1)Rules.
173.27(1)(a) (a) 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.
173.27(1)(b) (b) Adopt, by rule, deadlines by which humane officers must obtain certification.
173.27(2) (2)Training. 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.
173.27(3) (3)Certification. 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.
173.27(4) (4)Registry of humane officers. Maintain and keep current a registry of all persons serving as humane officers for political subdivisions.
173.27 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.27 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. ATCP 15, Wis. adm. code.
173.41 173.41 Regulation of persons who sell dogs or operate animal shelters.
173.41(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
173.41(1)(a) (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).
173.41(1)(b) (b) “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.
173.41(1)(c) (c) “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.
173.41(1)(d) (d) “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.
173.41(1)(e) (e) “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.
173.41(1)(em) (em) “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.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)