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


DATCP Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators License List

rescued dog at adoption day

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Rescued greyhound at an adoption event.       Now that the Wisconsin Dog Breeders and Sellers Program is firmly in place, the Wisconsin Department of Trade, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has made the list of all licensed facilities available to the public online via their website. Licensed facilities include: Dog Sellers and Dog Facility Operators who sell at least 25 dogs from more than 3 litters, or non profit animal shelters (includes rescues) that shelter at least 25 dogs annually, and animal control facilities under contract with a municipality. You can access the list by clicking on the link below:

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

       We have received many inquiries that ask, in essence, "If the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law (Act 90) is working...why are there still 'puppy mills' in Wisconsin?" Some people also believe that rescues and shelters are being unfairly "targeted."

Dog from an animal control facility at an adoption "meet
and greet"       Please note that the purpose of the law was not to "shut down" anybody. The intent and purpose of the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law was to REGULATE a previously totally UNregulated industry. Regulation means setting laws and standards that are considered reasonable by, and suitable for, most while requiring good care for dogs and providing consumers with some protection when buying a dog.

       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 to inspect and license dog sellers, as well as conducting follow-up inspections and investigating complaints. As a result, standards of living for dogs in commercial facilities, while still not ideal, have improved tremendously -- or the facilities have been denied licenses and are out of business. Gerald Schulz's Pretty Penny Kennels is an example of this -- he refused to upgrade to Wisconsin's minimum standards, and he is now Out Of Business! (Interested in DATCP's 2014 program report, detailing statistics from 2011 - 2013? Please Click here!)

       According to a colleague who is tracking puppy mill activity in the Clark County area (the location of the highest concentration of mills in the state), about HALF of the mills previously operating in that region have voluntarily closed. The millers simply didn't think what they were making in profits was worth the potential expense of complying. The Thorp Dog Auction has ended, too.

Rescued dog at an adoption event        Other substandard facilities improved their buildings, grounds and breeding programs to meet the standards. The list of improvements has been dramatic. As with most enforcement, if an operator isn't meeting the standards, the operator must first be given due process to improve conditions...and that process takes time.

        Rescues have NOT been "targeted" -- the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project's position is that any animal shelter or rescue group that is unable or unwilling to comply with the common sense, fair and balanced requirements of the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law should probably "get out of the business" and let those of us who see the amazing benefits of the law across this state, take care of the dogs. We are willing to make the small sacrifices and absorb the modest costs to have oversight. Oversight and regulation make sure that conditions ARE improving for the dogs, and the legitimate shelters and rescues we have interviewed after inspection have had nothing but compliments for the law, the rules, the inspection and the process! (Please see Act 90: The Good, the Bad, and the Ambiguous, an editorial by Monica Gardner Operations Manager, Humane Society of Waupaca County, Inc., for her observations on shelter licensing.) You can check DATCP's list to see which rescues and shelters in Wisconsin are licensed.

 pawprint bullet point   Act 90: The Good, the Bad, and the Ambiguous   pawprint bullet point

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

Rescued dog at an adoption event       DATCP realizes they can't be everywhere and see everything, so they have developed a form for investigating complaints against dog breeders/ sellers (including shelters and rescues) in Wisconsin. 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 is keeping his/her dogs, PLEASE see our Filing a Complaint page for details on how to contact DATCP with your concerns! 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 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   How to File a Complaint   pawprint bullet point    Reporting Animal Abuse   pawprint bullet point

       We at WPMP want to extend a huge THANK YOU to DATCP and all of the rescuers, breeders, sellers, and consumers who are co-operating with the licensing process. Even though WI still has a few commercial dog breeding facilities, the standards of care in them under the Dog Breeders and Sellers Law are hugely better than before the law took effect and (unfortunately) conditions that a lot of pet dogs and hunting dogs are living under.

       Does this mean that it is "safe" to buy puppies from Wisconsin pet stores? Most emphatically NOT! Though some sell "home grown" pups, please note that many, many animals are still being brought in from unregulated out-of-state commercial breeders to be sold in WI pet stores. Want to put commercial breeders out of business altogether, both here and across the country? Be careful buying pets over the internet and from "roadside signs," and NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a puppy or kitten (or any other animal, for that matter) from a petstore! (Please see our Finding Your New Best Friend! pages for suggestions in choosing a reputable breeder.)


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

 pawprint bullet point   Act 90: What Happens During an Inspection?   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   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

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