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2009 WI Act 90 / ATCP 16 Administrative Rules

Standards of Care: General

Information from the "Plain Language Analysis" prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

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Please note: The Standards of Care set forth in ATCP 16 apply only to those required to be licensed under Act 90 and NOT to pet or privately owned animals. (See Who Needs a License? for further information.)

 pawprint bullet point   Act 90, 173.41(10) Standards of Care   pawprint bullet point   Food and Water   pawprint bullet point   Animal Health and Veterinary Care   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Housing and Transportation   pawprint bullet point   Exercise   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Dog Grouping and Separation   pawprint bullet point   Behavior and Socialization   pawprint bullet point


Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Act 90 Standards of Care

Ellie May was confiscated in a cruelty investigation of a commercial breeder.173.41(10) Standards of Care. A person who is required to be licensed under sub. (2) shall do all of the following with respect to each dog kept by the person:

       (a) Provide sufficient food to maintain the dog in good health.

       (b) Provide sufficient water to maintain the dog in good health. If fresh water is not available to the dog at all times, the person shall provide fresh water daily and in sufficient quantity for the health of the dog.

       (c) Ensure that necessary and standard veterinary care is provided in a timely manner

       (d) Ensure that the dog is not kept in an enclosure unless all of the following apply:

  1. The enclosure is of an appropriate size, as determined by the department, based on the size, age, and number of dogs kept in the enclosure and the length of time the dog is kept in the enclosure.
  2. The enclosure is structurally sound and maintained in good repair to protect the dog from injury.
  3. If wire flooring is used, it is coated, is of a sufficient gauge to ensure that it will not cause injury to the dog, and is used only in the manner specified by the department.
  4. The enclosure is maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

       (e) Ensure that the dog is not kept in an enclosure for a period that the department determines to be excessive, considering the size of the enclosure and any other factors that the department considers relevant.

       (f) Ensure that the dog is kept outdoors only if all of the following apply:

  1. The dog is of a breed or type that is typically kept outdoors.
  2. The dog is acclimated to the outdoors.
  3. The person provides adequate shelter from the sun and inclement weather.

       (g) Ensure that all facilities in which the person keeps the dog have adequate lighting and ventilation and that a proper temperature is maintained for the dog, considering its type or breed.

       (h) Ensure that the dog is provided adequate daily access to exercise, as determined by the department.

       (i) Ensure that the dog is observed every day by the caretaker of the premises at which the person operates or an individual under the direct supervision of the caretaker to monitor the health and temperament of the dog and to provide care to the dog as needed.

 pawprint bullet point   2009 WISCONSIN ACT 90 (pdf)   pawprint bullet point




Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Dog Care, General: Food and Water

  • Woo the Shar Pei cannot open his eyes because of entropian eyelids.Each dog must be fed at least once a day, unless another schedule is needed to maintain or restore the dog’s health.

  • The size and nutritional content of a dog’s daily food ration must be based on dog’s age, condition, size and weight.

  • Dog food must be wholesome, uncontaminated and palatable. Dog food must be stored in a manner that keeps it wholesome, uncontaminated and palatable. Food storage containers must be clean.

  • An adequate quantity of fresh water must be made available to each dog at all times, or as often each day as is necessary to keep the dog well-hydrated at all times. Water must be fluid, potable and uncontaminated.

  • Fresh water available at all times, or as often each day and in sufficient quantity to keep the dog well-hydrated at all times.

  • Food and water must be provided in durable containers, except that food may be provided in disposable containers if discarded after one use.

  • Water containers, non-disposable food containers and non-disposable utensils must be cleaned and sanitized as often as necessary to keep them free of accumulated dirt, debris and disease hazards.




Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Dog Care, General: Animal Health and Veterinarian Care

  • Lizzie was sold with a terrible case of mastitis.Dogs must be handled as carefully as practicable, and in a humane manner that does not cause physical harm or unnecessary injury.

  • A caretaker, or an individual acting under a caretaker’s oral or written instructions, must perform daily body, mobility and behavior checks on each dog.

  • A dog with a communicable disease must be separated from other susceptible animals to minimize the risk of disease transmission to those animals.

  • Dogs must be groomed as necessary to prevent abnormal matted hair and overgrown nails, and to allow freedom of movement and normal bodily functions.

  • A veterinarian must examine each dog as often as necessary to ensure adequate health care.

  • Sick, diseased or injured dogs must receive timely veterinary care or must be euthanized in a legal and humane manner.

  • DATCP may, by written notice, require a license holder to submit a dog for veterinary examination if a DATCP inspection indicates that the dog is ill, injured or neglected.




Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Dog Care, General: Housing and Transportation

  • A west highland terrier balances on wire mesh too large for its feet.Housing and transportation: Dogs must be kept in facilities that comply with this rule (see below), and transported in compliance with this rule (see below). The facility standards do not apply to a facility used only to breed, raise and sell dogs for purposes of scientific research, provided that all of the following apply:

    • The facility was in existence, and was used only for that purpose, on the effective date of this rule.

    • The license holder does not materially expand or remodel the facility.

    • The dogs are sold from the same facility where they are bred and raised.

    • The dogs are sold only to animal care facilities licensed or registered by USDA and are not resold to any other person.

    • Dog enclosures in the facility comply with USDA rules under 9 CFR subchapter A (animal welfare).




Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Dog Care, General: Exercise

  • Little pup on the wire at an unregulated WI puppymill. A dog must have reasonable daily exercise, based on the dog’s breed, size, age and health condition. Dogs must have daily access to a run or exercise area where they can achieve a running stride. Repetitive unsupervised physical activity (such as unsupervised placement on a moving treadmill) that restricts a dog’s ability to engage in other activity must be avoided except for good cause.




Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Dog Care, General: Dog Grouping and Separation

  • Cheyenne the Akita has a very scarred nose.Dogs must be separated, as necessary, into compatible groups.

  • Females in season (estrus) may not be kept in the same un-separated enclosure with sexually intact males, except for breeding purposes.

  • Dogs exhibiting potentially harmful aggressive behavior must be separated from other dogs.

  • Puppies under 4 months old may not be kept in the same un-separated enclosure with adult dogs other than their dam or foster dam, unless under direct supervision.




Tiny blue paw print bullet point   Dog Care, General: Behavior and Socialization

  • Lazarus is terrified of people, ignores food, goodies, and toys, and tries to make himself invisible when anyone approaches.All dogs must have daily, full-body physical contact with other compatible dogs, except where such contact must be avoided for good cause.

  • All dogs must have daily positive human contact, not limited to feeding time.

  • All dogs must have safe play objects or other effective forms of inanimate enrichment in their primary enclosures, except where such objects or enrichment must be denied for good cause.

  • Dogs may not be deprived of contact, activity or enrichment for extended periods, except for good cause.

  • A license holder must have a written plan for meeting these requirements, and must instruct employees and agents on the terms of that plan.




Act 90/ATCP 16 Information:

 pawprint bullet point   Clearing Up the Confusion About WI's New Dog Seller/ Dealer/ Shelter Law   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   ATCP 16: Who Needs a License, Inspections, and Record-Keeping   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Questions and Answers for Rescues/ Shelters   pawprint bullet point   Dog Seller and Shelter Form Links   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Certificates of Vet. Inspection/Age of Transfer   pawprint bullet point   Certificates of Vet. Inspection FAQ   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   ATCP 16 Standards of Care (General)   pawprint bullet point   ATCP 16 Standards of Care, Indoor Facilities   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   ATCP 16 Standards of Care, Outdoor Facilities   pawprint bullet point   Transporting Dogs   pawprint bullet point

pawprint bullet point    Act 90/ATCP 16: Facts for Consumers   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   ATCP 16 Plain Language Factsheet (pdf)   pawprint bullet point   ATCP 16 Full Formal Language (pdf)   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   2009 WISCONSIN ACT 90 (pdf)   pawprint bullet point   DATCP Dog Breeders & Sellers Law web pages

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