Unvaccinated Animals

If an unvaccinated dog or cat bites someone, an officer will order that the animal be quarantined for a period of at least 10 days after the bite. The "officer" can be a public health official, a law enforcement officer, a DNR game warden or a humane officer.
  • Within 24 hours after the quarantine order is issued, the unvaccinated dog or cat must be delivered to an isolation facility (e.g., veterinarian clinic, humane society shelter, animal pound) for the 10-day observation period.
  • During the 10-day quarantine, the dog or cat will be held under strict isolation at the facility and examined by a licensed veterinarian on the first day, the last day and one intervening day of the observation period.
  • The quarantine must be released after the veterinarian certifies that the animal has exhibited no signs of rabies during the 10-day quarantine period.
  • The veterinarian may extend the quarantine if clinical signs warrant the extension, however, this rarely occurs.
  • After the quarantine is released, the animal can be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies vaccinations are not to be administered during the quarantine period.
  • In the event the animal under quarantine exhibits signs of rabies, state statute requires that the animal be humanely killed and the brain submitted to the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene for rabies testing.
  • The owner of the animal is responsible for all expenses incurred in connection with the quarantine.