Rescue operations can be a good way to give a dog a loving home, but state officials says there are laws that need to be followed.
A growing number of groups and individuals are working to find homes for dogs that may come from unstable situations. However, Donna Gilson with DATCP says those trying to bring a dog in to Wisconsin need to have a clear health history for that animal available.
Gilson says dogs brought in to the state of Wisconsin need to have a health certificate signed by a federally accredited veterinarian, indicating that they have an up to date rabies vaccination.
The warning is being prompted by a case in Dane County, where an adopted dog had to be quarantined after it bit a young girl in the face and the rescuer could not produce a health certificate. The animal did not have rabies and was returned to the rescue organization.
Gilson says consumers need to ask for that health information to protect themselves and the animal they are adopting. No matter how good their intentions may be, Gilson says rescue groups that don’t follow the law are doing the dog no favors and could put families at risk.
Gilson says the law is intended to reduce the risk of rabies and other canine diseases from being spread. She says it also is meant to protect consumers from adopting an animal with a largely unknown history.
Gilson says consumers with a concern about a rescue animal’s health should contact DATCP.