Consumer Information

​​​​​​​​​​​​The following are some of the anim​al issues most frequently asked about​:


Canine brucellosis

​​Heartworm

​​Animal Bite Prevention

Canine brucellosis is a serious disease found in dogs that is spread by a bacterium, Brucella canis. Infected dogs can also spread the disease to people. The disease is often spread between dogs through breeding and by contact with birthing fluids, and urine. However, infected dog’s blood, milk, saliva, and feces are also sources of infection.

Any dog, regardless of its sex, whether it is neutered or sexually intact, and whether it is used for breeding or not, could become infected. There is no vaccine or treatment for canine brucellosis and even dogs that have been spayed or neutered and treated with antibiotics cannot be considered cured. Regardless of the extent of the disease, infected dogs are capable of shedding the organism for years and are a continuous source of infection.

​Brucellosis is difficult to diagnose in humans because of non-specific symptoms and doctors’ unfamiliarity with the disease, combined with the lack of good tests available for diagnosing the disease in people. Children and immunosuppressed people are also believed to be at a higher risk for acquiring the disease.

​More about canine brucellosis.

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease of dogs (and other pets) spread by mosquitoes.  It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure, organ damage, and even death. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone.

According to the American Heartworm Society (AHS), heartworm disease has become more widespread in the U.S. over the past several decades, due in part to the increased movement of heartworm-positive dogs to regions where heartworm disease was once uncommon. The AHS recommends annual testing of all dogs greater than 6 months of age, and administration of heartworm preventatives 12 months a year. 

​More about importing heartworm-positive dogs​.

​​Millions of people - most of them children - are bitten by dogs every year in the U.S. The majority of these bites, if not all, are preventable. Take a look at Dog Bite​s by the Numbers (American Veterinary Medical Association).

​Teach your children to prevent dog bites with our No Bites! coloring book​.

​If your dog or cat bit someone, would you know what to do or what to expect?  You will once you read our Rabies Bites! brochure.

More about rabies quarantine requirements.

Shopping & Caring for Pets​

Rabies Prevention​

​Becoming a Humane Officer

Learn more about rabies and how to prevent it with our Rabies Prevention​ coloring book.

Bats can be a carrier of rabies. Read more about how to deal with rabies and bats.

More about rabies quarantine requirements​.

​Find out more about how to become a humane officer in Wisconsin including:

​Backyard Chickens

Emergency Planning​

Learn more about owning backyard chickens before you make an investment, including:

  • Establishing your flock

  • Legal, regulatory, and public health issues

  • Food processing rules and food safety principles


You never know when a disaster will affect you until it arrives. Make sure your entire family, including any animals, are part of your plan when preparing for what to do should a disaster strike.

Centers for Disease Control resources: