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.
173.41(1)(f) (f) “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.
173.41(1)(g) (g) “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.
173.41(1)(h) (h) “Transfer" means to grant physical possession to another.
173.41(2) (2)License Required.
173.41(2)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (e), (f), or (g), beginning on June 1, 2011, no person may do any of the following without an annual license from the department:
173.41(2)(a)1. 1. Operate an animal shelter.
173.41(2)(a)2. 2. Operate an animal control facility.
173.41(2)(a)3. 3. Operate as a dog breeder.
173.41(2)(a)4. 4. Operate a dog breeding facility.
173.41(2)(a)5. 5. Operate as a dog dealer.
173.41(2)(a)6. 6. Operate as an out-of-state dog dealer.
173.41(2)(b) (b) 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.
173.41(2)(c) (c) 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.
173.41(2)(d) (d) 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.
173.41(2)(e) (e) 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.
173.41(2)(f) (f) 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.
173.41(2)(g) (g) 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:
173.41(2)(g)1. 1. The individual sells no more than 30 dogs and makes all of the dogs initially available for sale at the same time.
173.41(2)(g)2. 2. The individual sells only dogs that he or she owns.
173.41(2)(g)3. 3. The individual does not intend to engage in activities for which a license is required under this subsection in the next year.
173.41(2)(g)4. 4. The individual was not licensed under this subsection during the previous year.
173.41(2)(g)5. 5. The individual notifies the department at least 30 days before offering the dogs for sale.
173.41(2)(h) (h) A person licensed under par. (a) 1. to 5. shall post a copy of the license in a location visible to any person coming onto the licensed premises.
173.41(3) (3)License Fees.
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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 August 19, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after August 19, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 8-19-19)