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Filing a Complaint

Against a Dog Seller or Dog Facility Operator in Wisconsin

These are just a few of the 76 dogs who called this backyard pen home.

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Wire cages suspended on the sides of a structure that looked like a poultry building.       Since the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law went into effect in 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) had been working tirelessly inspecting and licensing dog sellers, as well as conducting follow-up inspections and investigating complaints. YOUR help is needed, though: if you have reason to suspect that any unlicensed breeder is selling more than 25 dogs a year, or are concerned about the conditions in which a breeder/ seller/ shelter/ stray hold facility is keeping dogs, PLEASE use DATCP's form for filing a complaint!

       All complaints will be investigated. With the public's help, DATCP has been able to prosecute at least one notorious "scofflaw" breeder who went "underground" to avoid upgrading her facilities in compliance with the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law.

       Please click here or use the link below to go to the form on the DATCP website. You have the option of remaining anonymous; however, if you do not fill in your name, address, email, and/or phone number, DATCP will not be able to contact you for more information about the complaint. If you include your email address, you will receive an email confirmation of your complaint with information on how to check the status of the investigation online.

       It is VITAL that you give as much information as you can. Please fill in business name, business contact info, business address, phone number, website URL, etc. in the fields provided. There is also a large box for information about the complaint: give a concise, factual statement, with as much detail as possible, providing dates, times, locations, contacts with the business -- phone numbers, email, texts etc. If you aren't able to supply an address, include as much information about where this person/business is located as you can. Remember, DATCP can't investigate if inspectors don't know where to find the business!

       And -- if you are reporting an ad on Craig's List or Facebook, PLEASE remember that these ads are only online for a limited time and may be impossible for an investigator to find, so get a "screen shot" or otherwise capture internet information if at all possible. Any documentation you can provide will be extremely helpful.

       The Complaint Form web page also lists a current telephone number for those who prefer lodging a complaint by phone. If you have witnessed something that leads you to believe dogs are in immediate danger, please call and speak to someone directly!

 pawprint bullet point   DATCP Dog Seller and Dog Facility Operator Complaint Form    pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   DATCP Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators License List   pawprint bullet point


       DATCP WILL investigate all complaints! You may be contacted for more information about the complaint, and, if you so request, you may remain anonymous. If you include your email address, you will receive an email confirmation of your complaint with information on how to check the status of the investigation online.

       Unfortunately, by law, DATCP does NOT have the authority to shut down a facility or confiscate dogs. If inspectors run into a situation where the dogs are in immediate danger, they will call in law enforcement and have the animals removed and the owner cited. Otherwise, if the facility isn't in compliance with all of the facility, animal care, and/or records keeping requirements, owners will be given the opportunity to correct the violations, then will be reinspected. Some violations are minor and can be corrected immediately, some require re-inspection, and in some cases, if, after repeated inspections, violations aren't corrected, the license is suspended.

       PLEASE NOTE: This form and complaint process are intended for investigation of dog breeders/ sellers and other Act 90 licencees only. If you have witnessed animal cruelty in general and wish to report it, please see our Reporting Animal Abuse page.

 pawprint bullet point   Reporting Animal Abuse   pawprint bullet point


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   pawprint bullet point

What Is A Puppy Mill?
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