Oneida County, WI
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Oneida County by Ord. No. 119-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This ordinance hereby adopts the provisions of § 95.21, Chapters 173, 174 and 951, of the Wisconsin Statutes, exclusive of any penalties.
The provisions of this ordinance shall be interpreted to be the minimum requirements and shall be liberally translated in favor of Oneida County and shall not be deemed a limitation of any power granted by the State of Wisconsin State Statutes.
This ordinance shall be effective and enforceable in all areas of Oneida County except where municipalities have enacted legislation which is as or more restrictive than this ordinance.
Words or phrases, unless specifically defined, shall be interpreted as having the same meaning as they have in Wisconsin Statutes, Wisconsin Administrative Codes and/or judicially interpreted by Wisconsin Case Law.
(1) 
ANIMAL — Includes every living warm-blooded creature, except for human beings, reptiles or amphibians.
(2) 
ANIMAL AT LARGE — Any animal shall be deemed to be at large when off the property of the owner and not under the control of the owner or some other person.
(3) 
ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER — Any person designated by a government agency (County or town), to enforce the adopted ordinances of the County and the State Statutes, as they pertain to animal control, except authority restricted to humane officers under § 173.07, Wis. Stats.
(4) 
ANIMAL SHELTER — Any facility operated by a humane society or municipal agency or its authorized agents for the purpose of impounding and caring for animals held under the authority of this Ordinance or State Law.
(5) 
CONFINED — The restriction of an animal at all times by the owner or an agent of the owner to an escape proof building, vehicle or other enclosure.
(6) 
CRUEL — Causing unnecessary and excessive pain or suffering or unjustifiable injury or death.
(7) 
DATCP — The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
(8) 
DOMESTIC ANIMAL — Any animal, which normally can be considered tame and converted to home life or livestock and includes livestock, dogs and cats.
(9) 
DWELLING UNIT — For purposes of Chapter 23 exclusively, means a building or portion thereof, designated or used exclusively for residential purposes.
(10) 
EXOTIC ANIMAL — Any animal that is not normally domesticated in the United States or is wild by nature.
(11) 
HEALTH OFFICER — The person with authority in the County or a municipality for public health law enforcement and the implementation of public health program activities, or duly designated representative of such person.
(12) 
KENNEL or CATTERY — Any premises wherein any person engages in the business of boarding, breeding, buying, letting for hire, training for a fee or selling of dogs or cats.
(13) 
LICENSING AUTHORITY — The municipal treasurer or its delegated collecting agent.
(14) 
OWNER — Any person who owns, harbors, or keeps a domestic animal or owns or keeps any animal. Where a family keeps an animal all adult members of the household shall be responsible for the requirements of this Ordinance. Any animals shall be deemed to be harbored if it is fed and/or sheltered.
(15) 
PUBLIC NUISANCE — Any domestic animal or animals which engage in one or more of the following:
(a) 
Molesting passers-by or passing vehicles.
(b) 
Attacking persons or animals without provocation when said persons or animals were peacefully conducting themselves where they were lawfully entitled to be.
(c) 
Trespassing on school grounds, parks, cemeteries or other public and private property.
(d) 
Being repeatedly at-large, where repeatedly means at least two times.
(e) 
Damaging private or public property.
(f) 
Barking, whining, howling or other noise in a continuous manner, such as it causes an unreasonable disturbance to a person or persons.
(16) 
QUARANTINE or ISOLATION FACILITY — A humane society, shelter, veterinary hospital, municipal pound, which is equipped with a pen or a cage which isolates one animal from contact with other animals.
(17) 
RESTRAINT — Any animal secured by a leash, lead or within the fenced (underground/above ground) property limits of the animal's owner or leashed by a chain or other significant restraining device that limits the animal to the property limits of the owner.
(18) 
VETERINARIAN — A person who is currently licensed in the State of Wisconsin to practice veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury of animals.
(19) 
VETERINARY HOSPITAL/CLINIC — Any establishment maintained and operated by a licensed veterinarian for surgery, diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury of animals.
(20) 
VICIOUS ANIMAL — An animal will be considered vicious if within any twelve-month period, it bites two or more persons or inflicts serious injury to one person in unprovoked circumstances off the owner's premises.
(21) 
WILD ANIMAL — Any indigenous, warm-blooded mammal, which is now or historically has been found in the wild.
(1) 
Authority. This animal control ordinance was adopted by the Oneida County Board under the authority of §§ 59.54(6), 59.54(20), 95.21, and Chapters 173 and 174, Wis. Stats.
(2) 
Administration. The Animal Control Ordinances shall be cooperatively administered by the Oneida County Sheriff's Department along with the Oneida County Health Department, the Oneida County Board of Supervisors, and the Oneida County Law Enforcement and Judiciary Committee.
(3) 
Enforcement. Enforcement shall be under the direction of the Oneida County Sheriff's Department and/or the town designee. Unusual cases may necessitate consultation with the veterinary advisor.
(1) 
Dog License Taxes. The dog license taxes paid to the County Treasurer shall be kept in a separate account and shall be known as the "Dog License Fund," which shall be appropriated and disbursed for the purposes and in the manner following:
(a) 
Within 30 days after receipt of the same, the County Treasurer shall pay to the State Treasury 5% of the minimum tax provided for under § 174.05(2), Wis. Stats., of all dog license taxes.
(b) 
Expenses necessarily incurred by the County in purchasing books, forms and other supplies required in the administering of the dog license law.
(c) 
Expenses incurred by the County under § 95.21(4)(b) and (8), Wis. Stats.
(2) 
Claims. Any amount remaining in the fund after deducting the above expenses shall be made available for and may be used as far as necessary for paying claims allowed by the County to the owners of domestic animals, for damages done by dogs during the license year for which taxes were paid. These claims are limited to $1,000 per incident. In addition, NO claim shall be paid to any person who has failed to obtain a license for a dog that is required to be licensed.
(3) 
Surplus Funds. Any amounts left in the Dog License Fund after the payment of claims shall be distributed to the towns pursuant to the mandates of Wis. Stats., §§ 174.06, 174.07 and 174.09, and pursuant to any amendment thereto. If the County has contracted with an entity to act as the pound facility for the County, the funds shall then be disbursed pursuant to Wis. Stats., § 174.09(2), to that facility and not to the towns as described above.
[Amended by Res. No. 59-2018]
(4) 
Liability. All claims filed under Paragraph (2) above shall be solely against the Dog License Fund and shall not create any other liability on the part of the County.
(1) 
Dog License. Except as provided in § 174.054, Wis. Stats., the owner of a dog more than five months of age on January 1 of any year or five months of age within the license year shall annually, on or before the date the dog becomes five months of age, pay the dog license tax of $5 for neutered/spayed dogs and $15 for intact dogs and obtain a dog license. Any license-eligible dog obtained during the license period or brought into the County must be licensed within 30 days of obtaining the animal or bringing the animal into the County. The license year commences on January 1 and ends on the following December 31. Proof of rabies vaccination in the form of a signed certificate from a veterinarian (see § 23.08(5) below) shall be presented at the time of licensing to the city, village, or town treasurer or clerk issuing the license pursuant to §§ 174.05 and 174.07, Wis. Stats. The licensing person shall prepare a report to the County Clerk as prescribed in § 174.08, Wis. Stats.
[Amended by Res. No. 59-2018]
(2) 
Multiple Dog License. A single owner having possession of five or more adult dogs may obtain a Multiple Dog License. Such owner shall pay the license tax as prescribed by the County pursuant to § 174.053, Wis. Stats. Tags shall be issued for all dogs pursuant to § 174.07, Wis. Stats. The animal owner or keeper shall keep at all times the multiple dog license tags attached to the collar of each dog over five months old.
(3) 
Kennel. A person who keeps or operates a kennel may, instead of obtaining individual licenses for each dog, apply for a kennel license for the keeping or operating of the kennel. The kennel owner or keeper shall keep at all times a kennel license tag attached to the collar of each dog over five months old. Tags may be transferred from one dog to another whenever a dog is removed from the kennel.
(4) 
Dog License Tag. After issuing the license and collecting the associated fee (s) the official shall deliver to the owner a tag of durable material bearing the same serial number as the license, the name of the County in which issued and the license year.
(5) 
Dog License Tags to be Attached to Collar. The owner shall securely attach the tag the tag to a collar and a collar with the tag attached shall be kept on the dog for which the license is issued at all times but this requirement does not apply to a dog during competition or training, to a dog securely confined indoors, to a dog while hunting, to a dog securely confined to a fenced area or to a dog while actively involved in herding or controlling livestock if the dog is under the control of its owner.
(6) 
Duplicate Dog License Tags. A new tag with a new number shall be furnished to the owner by collecting official in place of the original tag upon presentation of the license. The collecting official shall then endorse the new tag number on the license and shall keep a record on file.
(1) 
Pursuant to § 11.14, the County has adopted the State Rabies Control Program and the provisions of § 95.21, Wis. Stats.
(2) 
Initial Rabies Vaccination. The owner of a dog shall have the animal vaccinated by a veterinarian by five months of age. An owner, who imports a dog into Oneida County that has reached five months of age, must have the dog vaccinated as evidenced by a current certificate of rabies vaccination from this state or another state. All veterinarians practicing in Oneida County shall adopt the standard legal description for a rabies tag as defined by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.
(3) 
Re-Vaccination. The owner of a dog shall have the animal re-vaccinated before the date that the immunization expires, as stated on the certificate. If no expiration date is specified on the certificate, within one year of the previous vaccination.
(4) 
Rabies Vaccination Tag. After issuing the certificate of rabies vaccination, the person who administers the vaccine under § 95.21(2)(a), Wis. Stats., shall deliver to the owner a rabies vaccination tag of durable material bearing the same serial number as the certificate, the year the vaccination was given and the name, address and telephone number of the supervising veterinarian.
(5) 
Rabies Vaccination Tag to be Attached. The owner shall attach the rabies vaccination tag or a substitute tag to a collar and a collar with the tag attached shall be kept on the dog at all times but this requirement does not apply to a dog during competition or training to a dog while hunting, to a dog securely confined indoors, to a dog securely confined in a fenced in area or to a dog while actively involved in herding or controlling livestock if the dog is under the control of its owner. The substitute tag shall be of durable material and contain the same information as the rabies vaccination tag.
(6) 
Duplicate Rabies Vaccination Tag. The person who administers the vaccine under § 95.21(2)(a), Wis. Stats., may furnish a new rabies vaccination tag with a new serial number to an owner in place of the original tag upon presentation of the certificate of rabies vaccination. The person who administers the vaccine under § 95.21(2)(a), Wis. Stats., shall then indicate the new tag number on the certificate and keep a record in the file.
(1) 
Quarantine or sacrifice of an animal suspected of biting a person or being infected or exposed to rabies. A law enforcement officer, the Director of the Oneida County Health Department, or their designee shall order a dog or cat quarantined if the officer has reason to believe that the animal bit a person, is infected with rabies or has been in contact with a rabid animal.
(a) 
If the quarantine cannot be imposed because the dog or cat cannot be captured, the law enforcement officer or their designee may kill the animal.
(b) 
The dog or cat may be killed only as a last resort or if the owner agrees.
(c) 
The animal shall be killed in a humane manner and in a manner, which avoids damage to the animal's head.
(d) 
An animal other than a dog or cat may be killed if the officer has reason to believe that the animal bit a person or is infected with rabies.
(e) 
A dog or cat may be killed if the owner of the dog or cat violates Subsection 2(a), (b) or (c).
(f) 
A law enforcement officer or their designee who kills an animal shall arrange delivery of the carcass to a veterinarian.
(g) 
The veterinarian shall prepare the carcass, properly prepare and package the head of the animal in a manner to minimize deterioration, arrange for delivery by the most expeditious means feasible of the head of the animal to the state laboratory of hygiene and dispose of or arrange for the disposal of the remainder of the carcass in a manner which minimizes the risk of exposure to any rabies virus.
(2) 
Quarantine of a dog or cat.
(a) 
Delivery to Isolation Facility or Quarantine on Premises of Owner. An officer who orders a dog or cat to be quarantined shall arrange delivery of the animal, or shall order the animal delivered to an isolation facility as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours after the original order is issued or the officer may order the animal to be quarantined on the premises of the owner if the animal is immunized currently against rabies as evidenced by a valid certificate of rabies vaccination or other evidence.
(b) 
Health Risk to Humans. If a dog or cat is ordered to be quarantined because there is reason to believe that the animal bit a person, the custodian of an isolation facility or the owner shall keep the animal under strict isolation under the supervision of a veterinarian for at least 10 days after the incident occurred. "Supervision of a veterinarian" includes, at a minimum, examination of the animal on the first day of isolation, on the last day of isolation, and on one intervening day. If the observation period is not extended and the veterinarian certifies that the dog has not exhibited any signs of rabies, the animal may be released from quarantine at the end of the observation period.
(c) 
Risk to Animal Health. If a dog or cat is ordered to be quarantined because there is reason to believe that the animal has been exposed to a rabid animal and if the dog or cat is not currently immunized against rabies, the custodian of an isolation facility or the owner shall keep the animal leashed or confined for 180 days. The owner shall have the animal vaccinated against rabies between 155 and 165 days after the exposure to a rabid animal. If a dog or cat is ordered to be quarantined because there is reason to believe that the animal has been exposed to a rabid animal but if the dog or cat is immunized against rabies, the custodian or isolation facility or the owner shall keep the animal leashed or confined for 60 days. The owner shall have the animal revaccinated against rabies as soon as possible after the exposure to a rabid animal.
(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.
(e) 
NOTE: All suspected animals are assumed to be rabid unless proven negative for rabies by the State Lab of Hygiene.
(3) 
The owner of any animal involved in a bite incident is responsible for any expenses incurred in connection with keeping the animal in an isolation facility, supervision and examination of the animal by a veterinarian, preparation of the carcass for laboratory examination, and the fee for the laboratory examination.
(4) 
Failure of the owner to deliver an animal to a veterinarian or place quarantine as directed within 24 hours shall be grounds for a judge to issue an order authorizing the animal control officer or responsible agency to seize said animal and make such delivery as intended at the owner's expense.
(5) 
Any law enforcement officer, trained individual or animal control officer with reasonable cause to believe an animal has bitten, or is suspected to have bitten a person or has been bitten by another animal, shall issue quarantine. A quarantine may be delivered by personal service, registered mail (with a minimum verbal notice prior, to insure notification of animal examined or quarantined within 24 hours of the incident) or by posting a quarantine sign in a minimum of two conspicuous places on the property.
(1) 
Restraint. All owned animals shall not be permitted to run at large.
(2) 
Animal Nuisance. All owners shall exercise care and control of their animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance.
(3) 
Declaration of a Vicious Animal. The Animal Control Officer of the County or Town or any Law Enforcement Officer, after conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding an unprovoked attack, is hereby empowered to declare an owned animal in question vicious. The owner or caretaker of the animal shall be served personally or by certified mail with return receipt requested, with an order declaring the animal vicious. Any owner or caretaker aggrieved by said order may petition the Oneida County Law Enforcement and Judiciary Committee to request review of the order by filing a notice with the Oneida County Clerk within 30 days from the date of service of the order or within 30 days from the date of mailing of the order. Upon receipt of the petition, the Committee shall schedule and conduct a hearing in conformance with Wis. Stats., Chapter 227. After the hearing, the owner or caretaker shall be notified in writing of the determination. If the owner or caretaker of the animal contests the determination, he/she may, within 30 days of the date of mailing of the determination of the Oneida County Law Enforcement and Judiciary Committee, seek review of the decision by filing pursuant to Wis. Stats. Chapter 227 with the circuit court.
[Amended by Res. No. 36-2009]
(4) 
When an animal has been declared vicious, the owner shall comply with the following. While on the owner's or caretaker's property, the animal must be either securely confined indoors; or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and designed to prevent the animal from escaping, or causing further injury. The pen or structure must be constructed with chain link fencing on all four sides and enclosed at the top using material of sufficient tensile strength to prevent escape. The sides of the pen must be imbedded in the ground no less than two feet, or have a concrete pad for the bottom; or securely confined using a material of sufficient tensile strength to adequately confine the animal without risk of breaking if the animal is large and aggressive.
(5) 
While off the owner's or caretaker's premises, the vicious animal must be muzzled and restrained by a suitable chain or leash not exceeding four feet in length and under the control of the owner or the owners immediate family of at least 16 years of age. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the animal or interfere with its vision or respiration but must prevent it from biting any person or animal.
(6) 
All owners or caretakers of vicious animals shall display, in prominent places on their premises, near all entrances to the premises, signs in letters of not less than two inches high using the words "Warning - Vicious Animal". A similar sign is required to be posted on the kennel or pen of the animal.
(7) 
No person shall sell or transfer possession of a "vicious animal" to another person without first notifying the person to whom the "vicious animal" is being sold or transferred of the fact that the animal has been deemed a "vicious animal".
Health care providers, attending physicians, and attending veterinarians are required to report all incidents of suspected and/or confirmed animal bites on persons in Oneida County within 24 hours to the appropriate law enforcement agency. This includes bites occurring to the owner or immediate family. In the case that no health care providers, physicians, or veterinarians are contacted, the owner is responsible for reporting the incident within 24 hours.
(1) 
Animals at Large. Animals at large shall be referred to the local governmental authority and impounded in a temporary or permanent animal shelter and confined in a humane manner.
(2) 
Public Nuisance. When an animal is causing a public nuisance and its owner cannot be contacted at the time of the complaint, it may be impounded by the local governmental or town authority or designated Animal Control Officer after an attempt has been made to contact the owner or if the owner is unknown. After impoundment, reasonable attempts shall be made to contact the owner. Animals kept within a premise can only be removed with appropriate court approval.
(3) 
Lawful Killing of a Dog. A person may intentionally kill a dog only if a person is threatened with serious bodily harm by the dog and other restraining actions were tried and failed; or, immediate action is necessary. A person may intentionally kill a dog if a domestic animal that is owned or in the custody of the person is threatened with serious bodily harm by the dog and the dog is on property owned or controlled by the person and other restraining actions were tried and failed; or, immediate action is necessary.
(4) 
Reclaiming an Impounded Animal. An owner reclaiming an impounded animal shall pay the accrued impoundment and boarding fees and comply with the license and vaccination requirements of this Ordinance.
(5) 
Animals Not Reclaimed. Any animal not reclaimed by it's owner within seven days becomes the property of the local governmental authority and shall be placed for adoption in a suitable home or humanely euthanized, preferably by lethal injection. Cost for impounding and euthanization shall be at the owner's expense.
(6) 
An animal owner aggravated by such quarantine may, within 30 days, petition the County Board Law Enforcement and Judiciary Committee. The Committee shall conduct a hearing within 10 days after receiving the petition to determine if the quarantine shall remain in effect or be withdrawn. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Division of Animal Health, the State of Wisconsin Humane Officer and/or the Wisconsin State Rabies Program, or a Wisconsin Licensed Veterinarian may be consulted for a determination based on the circumstances of the incident and the animal(s) species involved. The quarantine remains in effect until after the hearing unless properly released pursuant to § 12.08.
This Chapter incorporates the provisions of §§ 10.951.02, 10.951.13 & 10.951.14 as they relate to Chapter 951, Wis. Stats., and the penalties as set forth in § 25.04 for violation of those referenced sections. The Sheriff's department will investigate crimes against animals, using clarifications and references provided by the State of Wisconsin Humane Officer as a guideline in making such determinations. The County appointed Humane Officer(s) shall attend, when possible, training as offered by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
(1) 
The owner or person having immediate control of an animal shall promptly remove and dispose of, any excreta left or deposited by the animal upon public or private property (other than property owned by the animal owner). This shall be inapplicable in cases in which a person is being assisted by a trained assistance animal, or in the case of the transportation of animals or the transport of animals.
(2) 
All pens, yards, structures, or areas where animals are kept shall be maintained in a nuisance-free manner. Minimum standards of sanitation for both indoor and outdoor enclosures shall include periodic cleaning to remove excreta and other waste materials, dirt and trash so as to minimize health hazards.
All dead domestic animals shall be disposed of in a manner pursuant to Wis. Stats. 95.50. Animals killed by motor vehicles shall not be included in this section.
Animals killed by motor vehicles will be disposed of in a manner outlined by any present contracts for removal in place with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Oneida County or other arrangements.
(1) 
Any exotic animal kept in the County of Oneida shall be contained in a pen or enclosure of proper size and strength as to prohibit the animals escape.
(2) 
It shall be the duty of each individual city, town, or local municipality to regulate or implement any ordinance concerning the sale or keeping of exotic animals, as they see fit. If at any time, County personnel are needed in order to contain, capture, or humanely destroy an exotic animal, the animal owner will be responsible for the costs associated.
(1) 
Civil and Criminal Provisions. This Ordinance shall be enforced by the Oneida County Sheriff, or any Oneida County Deputy Sheriff. The Director of the Oneida County Health Department, pursuant to Oneida County § 11.14, shall act as the rabies control officer responsible for the operation of the County Rabies Control Program and the coordination of the same with the State Rabies Control Program and the person to whom reports of dog bites and other suspicious animal bites or behavior shall be reported. In the absence of the Director, the Assistant Director of the Oneida County Health Department shall act in this capacity.
(2) 
Interference with Officer. Law enforcement agency personnel or their designee, are authorized to catch and impound animals at large with such authorizations to include the pursuit of animals upon non-animal owner private property. It shall be a violation of this Ordinance to interfere with the Animal Control Officer, Law Enforcement Officer(s), Humane Officer or Oneida County Health Department employee in the performance of their duties.
(3) 
Tampering with Signs. Anyone tampering with signs posted pursuant to this Ordinance shall be subject to forfeiture.
(4) 
Release of Animal. Only authorized person or persons receiving proper authorization have the authority to release an animal from a pen, cage or holding facility.
(5) 
Dangerous Animals. A Wisconsin Licensed Veterinarian shall be consulted and/or utilized to assist in tranquilizing or otherwise handling dangerous animals.
(1) 
Except as otherwise provided herein, any person violating any provision of this Chapter or the rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee shall be subject to a penalty under § 25.04 of this General Code.
(2) 
This Ordinance may be enforced by issuance of citations by the Oneida County Sheriff's Office or other County designee.
(1) 
This ordinance hereby adopts Wis. Stats., § 173.11, concerning abatement of violations.
(2) 
The official(s) designated for the purposes of modifying or withdrawing abatement orders shall be the Oneida County Law Enforcement Committee.
(1) 
Pursuant to Wis. Stats., § 173.13, the following individuals have authority to take animals into custody provided the condition or conditions outlined in Wis. Stats., § 173.13, are present:
(a) 
A humane officer, on behalf of a political subdivision in which the humane officer has jurisdiction.
(b) 
Any law enforcement officer.
(2) 
When taking custody of an animal Wis. Stats., § 173.13, shall be complied with in its entirety.
It shall be the duty of each town in Oneida County to provide on an annual basis to the Oneida County Clerk, the following information:
(1) 
A list of individuals appointed to perform animal control duties.
(2) 
A list of approved shelter facilities that may be utilized by their town in the event an animal is taken into custody.
All costs associated with animal control violations, impoundment, quarantine, or abatement shall be the responsibility of the animal owner.