2019 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 174. Dogs.
174.01 Restraining action against dogs.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 174.01 (2019)

174.01 Restraining action against dogs.

(1) Killing a dog.

(a) Except as provided in par. (b), a person may intentionally kill a dog only if a person is threatened with serious bodily harm by the dog and:

1. Other restraining actions were tried and failed; or

2. Immediate action is necessary.

(b) 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:

1. Other restraining actions were tried and failed; or

2. Immediate action is necessary.

(2) Inapplicable to officers, veterinarians, and persons killing their own dog. This section does not apply to an officer acting in the lawful performance of his or her duties under s. 29.921 (7), 95.21, 173.23 (1m) (c), (3), or (4), or 174.02 (3), or to a veterinarian killing a dog in a proper and humane manner, or to a person killing his or her own dog in a proper and humane manner.

(3) Liability and penalties. A person who violates this section:

(a) Is liable to the owner of the dog for double damages resulting from the killing;

(b) Is subject to the penalties provided under s. 174.15; and

(c) May be subject to prosecution, depending on the circumstances of the case, under s. 951.02.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 775 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1979 c. 289; 1981 c. 285; 1983 a. 451; 1987 a. 332 s. 64; 1997 a. 192, 248; 1999 a. 32; 2005 a. 162.

Within the meaning of the 4th amendment, domestic animals are effects and the killing of a companion dog constitutes a seizure, which is constitutional only if reasonable. Viilo v. Eyre, 547 F.3d 707 (2008).

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