- DATCP main number: 608-224-5012
Pets are an important part of our lives. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 37 percent of American households include dogs, and 32 percent include cats. Then there are the ferrets, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, turtles and lizards, and other exotic pets.
The Division of Animal Health in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has limited authority when it comes to pets. We oversee rabies control programs in the state, train and certify humane officers, and will license and inspect some dog sellers and shelters beginning June 1, 2011. We cannot investigate allegations of abuse or neglect; only local law enforcement has that authority, although local police or sheriff’s departments sometimes ask us to provide technical assistance in those cases.
But we do have veterinarians on staff who can offer the advice here, particularly Dr. Yvonne Bellay, who is recognized as one of Wisconsin’s preeminent authorities in animal abuse, neglect, and law.