Rabies Quarantine Requirements

Whether your dog or cat is vaccinated or not, Wisconsin state law requires that any dog or cat that bites a person is quarantined for 10 days so that it can be observed for signs of rabies. The processes and outcomes of individual situations will vary based on the details. The following are general guidelines for each situation:

Unvaccinated Dog or Cat

  • An officer will order the animal quarantined for a period of at least 10 days after the bite.
  • Within 24 hours the dog or cat must be delivered to an isolation facility for the 10-day observation period.
  • The dog or cat will be held under strict isolation and examined by a licensed veterinarian on the first day, last day and one day during the observation period.
  • If no signs of rabies are exhibited, the quarantine is released.
  • If signs of rabies are detected, the animal is humanely euthanized and the brain submitted for rabies testing.
  • Owner pays all costs incurred in connection with the quarantine.

Vaccinated Dog or Cat

  • An officer will order the animal quarantined for a period of at least 10 days after the bite.
  • Vaccinated dogs and cats may be quarantined on the premises of the owner if the animal is kept in strict isolation or in the home and walked on a leash by a responsible adult.
  • The dog or cat must be examined by a licensed veterinarian on the first day, last day and one day during the observation period. These are the only times the animal can leave the owner’s premises.
  • If no signs of rabies are exhibited, the quarantine is released.
  • If signs of rabies are detected, the animal is humanely euthanized and the brain submitted for rabies testing.
  • Owner pays all costs incurred in connection with the quarantine.​

What if I don’t want to qu​​arantine my dog?

State law indicates that you can be fined between $100 and $1,000 or imprisoned for up to 60 days or both for failure to comply with a quarantine order.

Where can I find the law?​

A full copy of the law can be found here: Wis.Stats.Sec.95.21.