Pet Movement

​​This information is current as of June 7, 2017.

Please see new rules below for importing dogs obtained from out-of-state auctions​ and heartworm-positive dogs

​​​Importing Pets from Outside Wisconsin

Household Pets

A "household pet" is an animal from a traditional companion animal species: dog, domestic cat, ferret, hedgehog, pet bird, rabbit, or domestic rodent (gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, or domestic mouse or rat). All other animals kept as pets, including dog hybrids, domestic cat hybrids, and exotic small cat species such as servals, are either considered livestock or exotic pets.

"Importing" refers to animals being brought into Wisconsin during vacation travel as well as animals relocating permanently into the state. 

Required:

  • Certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) with complete physical destination address - we no longer accept the computer-generated APHIS 7001 form which has no preprinted CVI number (the older multi-copy forms with printed numbers are still accepted). 

    • Alternative forms include those listed below.  Some options may not be available in your state – call your State Veterinarian's office to verify.  Payment may be required.  If your State Veterinarian's office has another option not listed here or if you are unsure if the CVI is accepted, call the Import Coordinator.  

      • Electronic forms from Global Vet Link www.globalvetlink.com.

      • Electronic forms available through the mCVI app on your mobile device.

      • Electronic forms available through your State Veterinarian's office.

      • The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) CVI for imports from Texas.

      • Paper copies available from your State Veterinarian's office (we will accept large animal forms for pets and wild animals).

    • Include the animal's age on the CVI.

    • Current rabies vaccination for dogs and cats five months and older with the date of vaccination and revaccination due date written on the CVI.

    • Heartworm positive dogs are generally not eligible for import (see below).

    • Veterinarians writing CVIs must send them to the Wisconsin Division of Animal Health.  If veterinarians are submitting the CVIs to their State Veterinarian’s office and that office is already forwarding the documents, the veterinarian does not need to individually supply another copy.

      • If submitting an electronic CVI like Global Vet Link, the mCVI, or an eCVI provided by the state of origin, the documents are automatically submitted.

      • If writing paper CVIs, submit to DATCPAnimalImports@wisconsin.gov or address to DATCP-DAH PO Box 8911 in Madison, WI  53708-8911

Not required:

  • Testing or other statements on the CVI
  • Import permit number

A CVI is required for animals entering Wisconsin by any mode of transportation - automobile, airplane, rail, etc. 

Wisconsin accepts both valid one-year and three-year rabies vaccines, which must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. If you have questions, call 608-224-4874 weekdays between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Central Time.

For ferrets, pet birds, rabbits, or common rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, etc.), there are no tests or statements required.

For household pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the United States, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at (404) 639-3311 or visit the CDC website. You should also visit the USDA website to find any information not covered on the CDC website.

In addition to any requirements from CDC and USDA, household pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the United States need to meet the regular import requirements for Wisconsin.  This includes meeting the requirements for rabies vaccination for dogs and cats.  Any health documentation used by the country of origin will be accepted for international movement.

Importing Dogs Purchased at Auctions

Effective September 12, 2016, all sexually intact dogs purchased or obtained from auctions outside the state of Wisconsin must have all of the following:

  • Documentation showing the canine has tested negative on a brucellosis test conducted within 30 days prior to the import date using a test method approved by DATCP.
  • Current rabies vaccination for dogs five months and older with the date of vaccination and revaccination due date written on the CVI​.
  • Certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) with complete physical destination address.
  • An import permit issued by DATCP.

See the sidebar for a link to the import permit page for instructions on the permitting process and a link to the general import permit application form.

Importing Heartworm-Positive Dogs

Any dog found to be positive on a heartworm test in the state of origin may not be imported into Wisconsin until it has completed the appropriate heartworm treatment protocol as recommended by the American Heartworm Society (https://www.heartwormsociety.org). After the treatment is completed, a veterinarian in the state of origin must record on the CVI that the dog was treated for heartworm and record all treatment dates. Once these conditions are met, an import permit is not required.

An untreated positive dog may only be imported to Wisconsin if a special import permit is issued by the Wisconsin State Veterinarian. For more information, call (608) 224-4878.

Importing Exotic Pets

An "exotic pet" is any companion animal other than a dog, domestic housecat, ferret, hedgehog, pet bird, rabbit, or domestic rodent (gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, or domestic mouse or rat).

Required:

  • Certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) with complete physical destination address - we no longer accept the computer-generated APHIS 7001 form which has no preprinted CVI number (the older multi-copy forms with printed numbers are still accepted).

    • Alternative forms include those listed below.  Some options may not be available in your state – call your State Veterinarian's office to verify.  Payment may be required.  If your State Veterinarian's office has another option not listed here or if you are unsure if the CVI is accepted, call the Import Coordinator. 

      • Electronic forms from Global Vet Link www.globalvetlink.com.

      • Electronic forms available through the mCVI app on your mobile device.

      • Electronic forms available through your State Veterinarian's office.

      • The Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) CVI for imports from Texas.

      • Paper copies available from your State Veterinarian's office – we will accept large animal forms for pets and wild animals.

  • Import permit number

  • Veterinarians writing CVIs must send them to the Wisconsin Division of Animal Health.  If veterinarians are submitting the CVIs to their State Veterinarian’s office and that office is already forwarding the documents, the veterinarian does not need to individually supply another copy.

    • If submitting an electronic CVI like Global Vet Link, the mCVI, or an eCVI provided by the state of origin, the documents are automatically submitted.

    • If writing paper CVIs, submit to DATCPAnimalImports@wisconsin.gov or address to DATCP-DAH PO Box 8911 in Madison, WI  53708-8911

Not required:

  • Testing or vaccinations for most exotic pet species, such as monkeys, sugar gliders, reptiles, amphibians, etc.

  • Official individual ID (although this can be added to the CVI if the animal is identified).

For exotic pets being brought into Wisconsin from outside the United States, please contact the Centers for Disease Control at 404-639-3311 or visit the CDC website. You should also visit the USDA website to find any information not covered on the CDC website. Wisconsin does not have additional requirements to those listed above as long as the animals meet the CDC import requirements.

Some animal species that have been kept as pets may not be imported into Wisconsin because they are known carriers of highly contagious diseases. They are North American prairie dogs and the following African-origin species: tree squirrels, rope squirrels, dormice, Gambian giant pouched rats, brush-tailed porcupines, and striped mice.

Please Note:

For all other species, it is not determined on the state level if it is legal to own a particular animal species. WDATCP strongly encourages you to contact your local government officials (county, township, and municipality) to determine their regulations on animal ownership.

In addition, some animals may need permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Please visit the WDNR website for more information.

To get an import permit number:

When the application is complete, a permit number will be faxed or emailed back to you. Be sure to write the permit number on the CVI.

Importing Livestock and Wild Birds

  • Poultry: Backyard flocks and pet poultry are classified as livestock and must meet poultry and game bird import requirements.
  • Swine: Pet pigs, including Vietnamese potbelly pigs, miniature pigs, "micro" or "teacup" pigs, are classified as livestock and must meet swine import requirements.
  • Raptors and other wild bird species: For import requirements on raptors and other wild species, review the wild animals category.

Moving Pets Within Wisconsin

With the exception of heartworm positive dogs, Wisconsin does not have specific testing or paperwork requirements for moving pet animals within the state. For pet pigs, please visit the swine movement page. For pet or backyard poultry or game birds, please see the poultry and game bird movement page.

Moving Heartworm-Positive Dogs within Wisconsin

Any dog in Wisconsin found to be positive on a heartworm test may not be sold, transferred, or adopted until it has completed the appropriate heartworm treatment protocol as recommended by the American Heartworm Society (https://www.heartwormsociety.org). After the treatment is completed, a veterinarian must record on a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) that the dog was treated for heartworm and record all treatment dates.

An untreated positive dog in Wisconsin may only be sold, transferred, or adopted if all of the following conditions are met:

  • Full disclosure of the dog's condition is provided by the dog seller/shelter to the buyer/recipient/adopter
  • A signed statement is provided by the buyer/recipient/adopter and submitted to the Wisconsin State Veterinarian or designee stating that the dog will be treated with the appropriate treatment
  • The buyer/recipient/adopter's statement is approved by the state veterinarian or designee

A copy of the approved statement will be kept in animal records maintained by the Wisconsin Division of Animal Health.

Exporting Pets Out of Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not have specific export requirements for pets. Please contact the state or nation of destination to learn the import requirements.

If you are planning to take a companion animal out of the United States, you can learn important information on the USDA-APHIS web page for international animal export regulations.

​Most certificates of veterinary inspection for animals leaving the United States for another country need to be signed by a USDA veterinarian (not the Wisconsin state veterinarian). Please call the Madison office of the USDA at 608-662-0600 to confirm your CVI is complete before you travel to the USDA office in Madison to get the signature. The USDA veterinarians will not sign incomplete or inaccurate CVIs.