Dog Breeders & Sellers Law

Wisconsin's law regulating dog breeding, sales, and adoption-for-fee requires inspection and licensing of many dog breeders, dealers, and sellers, as well as shelters and rescues that foster and adopt out dogs. The law also prohibits selling puppies less than 7 weeks old unless they go with their mothers, and requires that certificates of veterinary inspection – health certificates – accompany dogs that are sold or adopted for a fee.

The intent is to protect the welfare of dogs and to protect consumers who buy or adopt them.

Who Needs a License 

These are the individuals and organizations that need to be licensed:

  • Dog breeders selling at least 25 dogs a year, from more than 3 litters that they have bred
  • Dog breeding facilities from which at least 25 dogs a year are sold, from more than 3 litters
  • In-state dog dealers selling and offering to sell at least 25 dogs a year that they did not breed and raise
  • Out-of-state dog dealers who import at least 25 dogs a year into Wisconsin, regardless of whether they bred and raised them
  • Non-profit animal shelters and rescue groups sheltering/fostering at least 25 dogs a year
  • Animal control facilities that contract with a city, village, town or county

There is no license or inspection required for pet owners, dog trainers, dog groomers, boarding kennels or anyone else.

​If you’re in one of the groups that need licenses, you can apply online and find application materials. ​