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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.
173.13(2) (2)Delivery of animal by veterinarian.
173.13(2)(a)(a) A humane officer or law enforcement officer or a person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) may accept an animal delivered by a veterinarian, or his or her employee, if the animal has not been picked up by its owner and all of the following apply:
173.13(2)(a)1. 1. The veterinarian notified the owner of the animal by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the animal was ready to be picked up and that the animal would be delivered to a humane officer if not picked up within 7 days.
173.13(2)(a)2. 2. The veterinarian retained the animal for 7 days after the day on which the return receipt was signed or until the letter was returned to the veterinarian as undeliverable.
173.13(2)(a)3. 3. The veterinarian certifies in writing to the humane officer or law enforcement officer that subds. 1. and 2. apply.
173.13(2)(b) (b) If an animal is accepted under par. (a), the veterinarian shall provide the person accepting the animal with any requested records concerning the animal's ownership, health or licensure.
173.13(3) (3)Notification of owner.
173.13(3)(a)(a) If a humane officer or law enforcement officer takes custody of an animal with the knowledge of the owner, the humane officer or law enforcement officer shall explain the procedure by which the owner can recover the animal, including the procedure under s. 173.22, and the procedure to be followed if the animal is not returned to the owner.
173.13(3)(b) (b) If a humane officer or law enforcement officer takes custody of an animal without the knowledge of the owner, the humane officer or law enforcement officer shall promptly notify the owner in writing if he or she can be identified and located with reasonable effort. The notice shall explain the procedure by which the owner can recover the animal, including the procedure under s. 173.22, and the procedure to be followed if the animal is not returned to the owner. The notice shall also inform the owner that the owner must notify any person with a lien on the animal that the animal has been taken into custody.
173.13(3)(c) (c) If the owner informs the humane officer or law enforcement officer in writing that he or she will not claim the animal, it may be treated as an unclaimed animal under s. 173.23 (1m).
173.13 History History: 1997 a. 192; 1999 a. 32.
173.15 173.15 Provision of care, treatment or disposal services.
173.15(1)(1) Providing services. A political subdivision may provide for the care, treatment or disposal of animals taken into custody by a humane officer or law enforcement officer. A political subdivision may provide these services directly or by contracting with any other person. A political subdivision may establish standard fees for the care, custody and treatment of animals in its custody. The political subdivision may establish different fees for animals released to their owners and animals released to persons other than their owners. If the political subdivision does not establish standard fees, it may charge no more than the actual costs of care, custody or treatment to any person required to pay for the care, custody or treatment of an animal.
173.15(2) (2)Contract for services. Every person entering into a contract with a political subdivision under sub. (1) shall agree to do all of the following:
173.15(2)(a) (a) Provide adequate care and treatment of all animals delivered under the contract.
173.15(2)(b) (b) Maintain adequate records consistent with s. 173.17.
173.15(2)(c) (c) Release or dispose of animals under s. 173.23 or as provided in a court order.
173.15 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.17 173.17 Records. A humane officer or law enforcement officer taking custody of an animal on behalf of a political subdivision shall maintain, or require any person to whom the animal is delivered under a contract under s. 173.15 (1) to maintain, as appropriate, records for each animal containing the following information:
173.17(1) (1) A physical description of the animal.
173.17(2) (2) The date that custody was taken of the animal, the date that the animal was delivered into the possession of another person and the identity of the person to whom delivered.
173.17(3) (3) The reason for taking custody of the animal.
173.17(4) (4) The ultimate disposition of the animal, including the name and address of any person into whose custody the animal was ultimately released.
173.17 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.19 173.19 Animals considered unclaimed. A political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) may treat any animal taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 1., 3., 4. or 9. as an unclaimed animal subject to s. 173.23 (1m) if, within 7 days after custody is taken of the animal, it is not claimed by and returned to its owner under s. 173.23 (1), except that an animal taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 3. or 4. may not be treated as unclaimed if its owner files a petition under s. 173.22 (1) within 7 days after custody is taken.
173.19 History History: 1997 a. 192.
173.21 173.21 Holding animals for cause.
173.21(1) (1) Grounds. A political subdivision may withhold, or direct a person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) to withhold, an animal in custody from an owner who makes an otherwise adequate claim for the animal under s. 173.23 (1) on any of the following grounds:
173.21(1)(a) (a) There are reasonable grounds to believe that the owner has mistreated the animal in violation of ch. 951.
173.21(1)(b) (b) There are reasonable grounds to believe that the animal poses a significant threat to public health, safety or welfare.
173.21(1)(c) (c) The animal may be used as evidence in a pending prosecution.
173.21(1)(d) (d) A court has ordered the animal withheld for any reason.
173.21(2) (2)Examination permitted. If an animal is withheld under sub. (1), upon request by the owner, a veterinarian retained by the owner may examine the animal.
173.21(3) (3)Costs. The owner of an animal withheld under sub. (1) is not liable for any costs of custody, care or treatment except as provided by court order.
173.21(4) (4)Return. A political subdivision or person contracting under s. 173.15 (1) having custody of an animal withheld under sub. (1) shall release the animal to the owner at the direction of the humane officer or law enforcement officer that took custody of the animal if the requirements of s. 173.23 (1) (a) to (c) are satisfied.
173.21 History History: 1997 a. 192.
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., 6. or 8. or is wrongfully withheld under s. 173.21 (1) 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 was taken into custody under s. 173.13 (1) (a) 8. or is withheld under s. 173.21 (1), 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)1. 1. There are reasonable grounds to believe that the owner has mistreated the animal in violation of ch. 951.
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)3. 3. The animal may be used as evidence in a pending prosecution.
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 History History: 1997 a. 192.
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. (5) (c) or (6) or s. 173.13 (3) (c) or 173.19 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. 173.12 (2), 173.21 (4) or 173.22 or disposed of under sub. (4) or (5) (a) or s. 173.12 (3), it shall be disposed of under a court order under sub. (3) or s. 951.18 (4).
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 11, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 11, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-11-14)