Animal Laws for Dogs in Madison & Dane County
In many cases animal laws may differ slightly depending on whether you live in the City of Madison or in Dane County. However there are several animal laws that are the same no matter where you live.
Wisconsin State Law requires that all Dogs be vaccinated for Rabies by the age of 5 months. Rabies Vaccinations are good for 6 months, 1 year or 3 years depending on the type of vaccine used and the age of the animal when the vaccination was given. Owners should check with their vet and make sure their pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations at all times.
All Dogs kept in Madison and Dane County are required to be licensed by the age of 5 months. Licenses are sold on an annual basis.
You must purchase a new license for your dog at the beginning of each calendar year. Please see Dog & Cat Licensing
for more details.
An ID tag with owner Name, Address and Phone Number is also required by both City and County and can go a long way towards getting someone's pet back home if it gets lost. Owners may obtain an ID tag from their local vet or the Humane Society and should keep it on their pet at all times.
Running At Large
Both the City of Madison and Dane County have running at large laws for dogs. Dogs are not to run at large off the owners property unless they are in an off leash dog park or have permission to be loose from the owner of the property they are on.
In addition, for Madison Dog Owners, the following Madison General Ordinances (M.G.O.) pertain to your responsibilities for cleaning up after your dog
- ALWAYS carry equipment sufficient to clean up your dog's feces whenever you and your dog are off your property. M.G.O. 7.322(2).
- Do not allow your dog to defecate on any property, public or private (except your own property), unless you immediately remove, and properly dispose of the waste. M.G.O. 7.322(1).
- Do not allow dog feces to accumulate on your property. M.G.O. 7.37(8).
- Dog feces can pose health risks to people and pets. The fine for violating any of these ordinances is $100.00.
Dog Park Permits are required for posted City of Madison and Dane County Parks. For further information, go to Dog Park Permits