2009 - 2010 LEGISLATURE
April 30, 2009 - Introduced by Representatives Smith, Sinicki, Richards,
Jorgensen, Dexter, Wood, Bernard Schaber, Pope-Roberts, Berceau, Barca,
Pocan, Colon, Mason, Shilling, Sherman, Grigsby, Cullen, Seidel,
Staskunas, Molepske Jr., Soletski, Honadel, Steinbrink, Van Roy, Van
Akkeren, Pasch, Benedict, Turner, Black, Spanbauer, Zepnick, Schneider,
Fields, J. Ott, A. Ott, Hilgenberg, Zigmunt, Young, Parisi, Gottlieb, Hebl,
Roys, A. Williams, Montgomery, Hixson, Stone, Bies, Zipperer, Kestell,
and Pridemore, cosponsored by Senators Kreitlow, Darling, Taylor,
Plale, Carpenter, Sullivan, Holperin, S. Fitzgerald, Risser, Lehman,
Cowles, Olsen, A. Lasee, Kanavas, Lassa, Hansen, Wirch, Kapanke, Coggs
Leibham. Referred to Committee on Consumer Protection.
AB250,1,4 1An Act to amend 20.115 (2) (j); and to create 173.41 and 778.25 (1) (a) 8. of the
2statutes; relating to: regulation of persons who sell dogs or operate animal
3shelters or animal control facilities, granting rule-making authority, making
4an appropriation, and providing a penalty.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Licensing of dog sellers, animal shelters, and animal control facilities
This bill requires certain persons who sell dogs or operate animal shelters or
animal control facilities to be licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection (DATCP), beginning 18 months after the bill is enacted into
The bill requires all of the following to obtain licenses, with limited exceptions:
1. A person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year (including a nonresident who
brings dogs into this state for sale).
2. A person who operates a dog breeding facility (a place at which dogs are bred
and raised) from which 25 or more dogs are sold in a year.
3. A person who operates an auction at which 50 or more dogs are sold or offered
for sale in a year.
4. A person who operates an animal shelter that is used to shelter at least 25
dogs in a year.
5. A person who operates an animal control facility under a contract with a city,
village, town, or county.

The bill requires DATCP to inspect each location in this state at which a person
who applies for a license operates before issuing an initial license and at least once
every two years thereafter, except that during the first 12 months in which licenses
are required DATCP may issue a temporary initial license before conducting the
required inspection. The bill allows DATCP to make additional inspections during
regular business hours to ensure compliance with requirements established in the
The bill specifies fees for licenses, generally based on the number of dogs sold,
and authorizes DATCP to set higher fees by rule if necessary to cover the costs of
administering the program.
Sale of dogs
This bill prohibits a licensee from transferring a dog to a buyer before the dog
is seven weeks old. The bill requires a licensee to provide the purchaser of a dog with
a copy of the dog's vaccination records and with a statement from a veterinarian who
examined the dog stating that the dog had no infectious or contagious diseases at the
time of examination.
The bill prohibits any person from selling at auction a dog that is not spayed or
neutered unless the dog has tested negative for brucellosis.
The bill also requires a person who sells or offers to sell a dog at a temporary
dog market, such as a flea market, to provide information about the dog to the
operator of the temporary dog market. It requires the operator of a temporary dog
market to register with DATCP, review and keep the information provided by sellers,
and, if dogs are sold or offered for sale on two or more consecutive days, have a
veterinarian examine the dogs.
Standards of care
The bill requires licensees to provide dogs with adequate food, water, veterinary
care, shelter, and opportunity for exercise. The bill requires enclosures for dogs to
be of appropriate size and structurally sound. It requires licensees to keep
enclosures clean and to follow restrictions on the use of wire flooring. Under the bill,
a licensee must ensure that each dog is observed every day in order to monitor the
health and temperament of the dog and provide care as needed.
Enforcement and administration
A person who fails to obtain a license required under this bill may be fined not
more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than nine months or both. Violations of
other requirements in the bill are punishable by forfeitures (civil monetary
penalties). The bill authorizes the use of a citation, which is similar to a traffic ticket,
in case of a violation that is punishable by a forfeiture.
The bill provides DATCP with authority to deny, revoke, or refuse to renew a
license for cause. It also authorizes DATCP to summarily suspend a license if an
inspection reveals a condition that imminently threatens an animal or there is
evidence that an animal has been criminally mistreated.
The bill authorizes DATCP to seize a dog from a person required to be licensed
if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the dog is being criminally mistreated.

The bill requires DATCP to promulgate rules for the administration of the
program. It also requires DATCP to appoint an advisory committee for the rule
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
report concerning the proposed penalty and the costs or savings that are likely to
result if the bill is enacted.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB250, s. 1 1Section 1. 20.115 (2) (j) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB250,3,72 20.115 (2) (j) Dog licenses, rabies control, and related services. All moneys
3received under ss. 95.21 (9) (c), 173.27, 173.41, and 174.09 (1) and (3), to provide dog
4license tags and forms under s. 174.07 (2), to perform other program responsibilities
5under ch. 174, to administer the rabies control program under s. 95.21, to help
6administer the rabies control media campaign, and to carry out activities under s.
793.07 (11) and ch. 173.
AB250, s. 2 8Section 2. 173.41 of the statutes is created to read:
AB250,3,10 9173.41 Regulation of persons who sell dogs or operate animal shelters.
10(1) Definitions. In this section:
AB250,3,1211 (a) "Animal control facility" means a facility for the care of animals operated
12under a contract with a political subdivision under s. 173.15 (1).
AB250,3,1713 (b) "Animal shelter" means a facility that is operated for the purpose of
14providing for and promoting the welfare, protection, and humane treatment of
15animals, that is used to shelter at least 25 dogs in a year, and that is operated by a
16humane society, animal welfare society, animal rescue group, or other nonprofit
1(c) "Dog breeder" means a person who sells 25 or more dogs in a year that the
2person has bred and raised.
AB250,4,43 (d) "Dog breeding facility" means a place at which dogs are bred and raised and
4from which 25 or more dogs are sold in a year.
AB250,4,85 (e) "Dog dealer" means a person, other than an out-of-state dog dealer, who
6sells, distributes, or trades, or offers for sale, distribution, or trade, 25 or more dogs
7in a year that the person has not bred and raised or who operates an auction at which
850 or more dogs are sold or offered for sale in a year.
AB250,4,109 (f) "Out-of-state dog dealer" means a person who is not a resident of this state
10who brings 25 or more dogs into this state for sale in this state in a year.
AB250,4,1311 (g) "Temporary dog market" means a place at which persons sell dogs, and may
12sell other items, from booths or other spaces that are rented from or provided at no
13cost by the person operating the place.
AB250,4,1414 (h) "Transfer" means to grant physical possession to another.
AB250,4,18 15(2) License Required. (a) Except as provided in par. (e), (f), or (g), beginning
16on the first day of the 18th month beginning after the effective date of this paragraph
17.... [LRB inserts date], no person may do any of the following without an annual
18license from the department:
AB250,4,1919 1. Operate an animal shelter.
AB250,4,2020 2. Operate an animal control facility.
AB250,4,2121 3. Operate as a dog breeder.
AB250,4,2222 4. Operate a dog breeding facility.