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
The following individuals and organizations are required to be licensed:
- Dog breeders selling 25 or more dogs a year, from more than 3 litters that they have bred
- Dog breeding facilities from which 25 or more dogs a year are sold, from more than 3 litters
- In-state dog dealers selling and offering to sell 25 or more dogs a year that they did not breed and raise
- Out-of-state dog dealers who import 25 or more dogs a year into Wisconsin, regardless of whether they bred and raised them
- Nonprofit animal shelters and rescue groups sheltering/fostering 25 or more 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 are in one of the groups that need licenses, you can apply online and find application materials.