Paws behind bars logo of the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project, Inc.


Wisconsin Act 90:

What Happens During An Inspection?

rescued dog at adoption day

What Is A Puppy Mill?   *   What Can I Do About It?   *   Laws/Legislation   *   ACTION ALERTS!


An article by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for Pet Journal, May 2012

Puppies like this one have a better life thanks to Act 90.       Although some of the licensees under Act 90 have been licensed and subject to inspection previously by the US Department of Agriculture, many are new to the world of inspections. Let's talk about what happens when the inspector calls.

       First of all, the point of inspections is not to put anyone out of business. The point is to be sure you meet the requirements so you can stay in business.

       For pre-licensing inspections, DATCP inspectors call ahead of time to make an appointment at a time convenient to you. The inspector examines records and walks through the facility with you, discussing as you go.

       Inspectors use a detailed checklist of the requirements in ATCP 16, the administrative rule that contains standards. These were developed by a committee made up of breeders and shelter representatives. (Please see the links at the bottom of this page or the DATCP website: Dog Breeders & Sellers Law for more information about ATCP-16 and deteails about the standards of care required by Act 90.)

       The checklist covers:

  • Whoever adopts this rescued dog will know that he has had his required vaccinations thanks to the CVI required by Act 90.Record-keeping: Whether records are retained long enough and are accessible, show locations where dogs are kept, contain information about each individual dog (breed, markings, birthdate if known, where it came from and where it went, veterinary care), and detail plans to provide socialization.

  • Certificates of veterinary inspection (CVI's): Whether they are properly completed for each dog sold, reflect required tests and vaccination, and are distributed to buyers.

  • General care of dogs: Whether dogs get enough food, water, exercise, and veterinary care; are kept in compatible groups; and get adequate socialization and enrichment with toys, activity and contact with other dogs.

  • Enclosures: Whether they are safe and clean, with enough space and ventilation; whether tethering is done safely and appropriately;a nd whether outdoor exercise areas provide enough space and shade.

  • Transportation: Whether dogs are transported in clean, dry, safe conditions with fresh air and protection from heat and cold, and are removed from vehicles often enough.

Regulation and inspection assures a good life for the puppies' moms and dads, like this breeder dog.       For each individual standard, the inspector checks one of three boxes: compliant, non-compliant, or not applicable. As the inspector works, he or she discusses observations with you. You will receive a written report, which includes the checklist, photos of the facility, and explanations of any violations in more detail - along with how to correct them and the timeline to do so. There shouldn't be any surprises when you read the report.

       If your facilities and practices meet the standards, you will receive a regular license. If you have some violations, you may receive a conditional license until they are corrected, or the inspector may instruct you to correct them by the time of the next routine inspection. Major violations that pose a threat to dogs will likely require correction before you receive a license. If violations are so numerous or so extreme that the dogs are in imminent danger or they cannot be corrected within the license period, we will revoke the temporary license you receive when you first apply. That has only happened twice to date.

       As you can see, the standards are clear and straightforward, but the inspectors do have latitude in deciding the next step if you don't meet some of them. They will work with you to help you meet the standards, as long as you are also willing to work with them. The goal here is to keep you in business while protecting the dogs and the people who buy or adopt them.

       If you have questions, please feel free to call DATCP at 608-224-4872, or email

 pawprint bullet point   Act 90: Protecting Pets and People, From the Regulators' Viewpoint   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Act 90: The Good, the Bad, and the Ambiguous, by Monica Gardner, Waupaca Co. HS   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   DATCP website: Dog Breeders & Sellers Law    pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Act 90: DATCP Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators License List   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   How to File a Complaint   pawprint bullet point

In his eyes, we are the world!


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

What Is A Puppy Mill?
What Can I Do?
Laws/ Legislation


Home   *   Contact Us   *   Site Map 

What is a Puppy Mill?   *   What YOU Can Do   *   Laws/Legislation   *   Action Alerts

Thorp Dog Auctions   *   Puppy Mill Survivors   *   Photo Album

Guide to Finding a Pet   *    Breeders With Pride   *   Drive To Save Lives!


© Copyright, 2012. The Wisconsin Puppy MIll Project
P.O. Box 926    *    Sheboygan, WI 53082-0926   *

Photos Copyright © 2012, Pat Crean, Flying Spots Photography. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Website design by Hook & Web Designs