menu close open event RSVP required ticketed event
Toggle Search

Humane Officers, Law Enforcement Officers, Veterinarians

95.21 (4) (b) Sacrifice of other animals. An officer may order killed or may kill an animal other than a dog or cat if the officer has reason to believe that the animal bit a person or is infected with rabies.

Except as provided in a 95.36, if an animal of a species raised primarily to produce food for human consumption is killed under this paragraph, the owner is eligible for an indemnity payment in an amount equal to the indemnity provided under s. 95.31 (3). If the decision is made by an employee of the department, the indemnity shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.115 (2) (b). If the decision is made by another officer, the indemnity shall be paid from the dog license fund.

(5) .(d) Sacrifice of a dog or cat exhibiting symptoms of rabies. If a veterinarian determines that a dog or cat exhibits symptoms of rabies during the original or extended observation period, the veterinarian shall notify the owner and the officer who ordered the animal quarantined and the officer or veterinarian shall kill the animal in a humane manner and in a manner which avoids damage to the animal's head. If the dog or cat is suspected to have bitten a person, the veterinarian shall notify the person or the person's physician.

Powers and duties of humane officers. (1) ENFORCEMENT. A humane officer shall enforce s.95.21, this chapter, chs. 174 and 951 and ordinances relating to animals enacted by political subdivisions in which the humane officer has jurisdiction under s. 173.03 (3).

(2)INVESTIGATION. A humane officer shall investigate alleged violation of statutes and ordinances relating to animals and, in the course of the investigations, may execute inspection warrants under s.66.0119.

(3) SEEK SUBPOENAS. A humane officer may request the district attorney for the county to obtain subpoenas to compel testimony and obtain documents in aid of investigations.

(4) ISSUE CITATIONS. If authorized by the appointing political subdivision, a humane officer shall issue citations under s. 66.0113 for violations of ordinances relating to animals.

(4m) REQUESTS PROSECUTIONS. A humane officer may request law enforcement officers and district attorneys to enforce and prosecute violations of state law and may cooperate in those prosecutions

(5) PROHIBITED ACTIONS. Unless also law enforcement officer, a humane officer may not in the course of his or her duties do any of the following:

(a) Execute a search warrant. (b) Carry firearms. (c) Stop or arrest persons. (d) Stop, search, or detain vehicles, except under an inspection warrant under s. 66.0119. (e) Enter any place or vehicle using force or without the consent of the owner, except in an emergency occasioned by fire or other circumstance in which that entry is reasonable and is necessary to save an animal from imminent death or a person from imminent death or injury. (f) Remove any animal from the custody of another person by force.

(6) Conflict of interest prohibited. No humane officer may sell or otherwise dispose of any animal that came into the humane officer's custody in the course of his or her duties.

173.10 Investigation of cruelty complaints. A person may apply for a search warrant under a 968.12 if there is a reason to believe that a violation of ch. 951 has taken place or is taking place. If the court is satisfied that probable cause exists, it shall issue a search warrant directing a law enforcement officer in the county to proceed immediately to the location of the alleged violation with a doctor of veterinary medicine, if the court determines that a veterinarian is necessary for purposes of the search, and directing the law enforcement officer to search the place designated in the warrant, retaining in his or her custody subject to the order of the court such property or things as are specified in the warrant, including any animal. If the person applying for the search warrant is a humane officer, the warrant shall direct that the humane officer accompany the law enforcement officer who is directed to perform the search. The warrant shall be executed and returned to the court which issued the warrant in accordance with ss.968.15 and 968.17. This section does not affect other powers and duties of law enforcement officers.

173.12 Animal fighting ; seizure. (1) Any veterinarian who has reason to believe that an animal has been in a fight in violation of s. 951.08 shall report the matter to the local humane officer or to a local law enforcement agency. The report shall be in writing and shall include a description and the location of the animal, any injuries suffered by the animal and the name and address of the owner or person in charge of the animal, if known.

(1m) If an animal has been seized because it is alleged that the animal has been used in or constitutes evidence of any crime specified in s. 951.08, the animal may not be returned to the owner by an officer.

Under s. 968.20 (2). In any hearing under s. 968.20 (1), the court shall determine if the animal is needed as evidence or there is reason to believe that the animal has participated in or been trained for fighting if the court makes such a finding, the animal shall be retained in custody.

(2) If the charges under s. 951.08 are dismissed or if the owner if found not guilty of a crime specified in s. 951.08, the animal shall be returned to the owner unless he or she is subject to the restrictions under s.951.08 (2m).

(3) (a) If the owner is convicted under s.951.08 or is subject to the restriction under s 951.08 (2m).the animal shall be delivered to the local humane officer or county or municipal pound. If there is no local humane officer or pound, the animal may be delivered to a local humane society or to another person designated by the court. If the animal is one year old or older or shows indication of having participated in fighting, the animal shall be disposed of in a proper and humane manner.

(b) If the animal is less than one year old and shows no indication of having participated in fighting. The animal shall be released to a person other than the owner or disposed of in a proper and human manner. If the animal is a dog, the release or disposal shall be in accordance with s. 173.23 (I m), except that the fees under s. 173.23 ( Im ) (a) 4 are covered under s173.24.