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State officials remind families to get dogs from reputable breeders


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- State officials are reminding Wisconsin residents to purchase their pets from reputable breeders.

The CDC is reporting an increase in the imports of dogs from outside of the country who don't have the proper records of vaccination. State veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw says that's an issue because diseases like rabies and other illnesses can affect both the health of other pets as well as the health of humans as well. Most of these dogs are being sold online sight-unseen and come into the country with phony documentation.

McGraw says any reputable breeder will let you inspect their site. "If people won't let you see the kennels where the dogs are kept, or they won't let you see the females, the mother of these babies, then you've got a real problem because they might be hiding something." He says that goes for Wisconsin breeders as well, who should already be getting their dogs checked before selling them.

Professional dog breeders are required to get a license from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. "Anyone that sells 25 or more dogs has to be licensed with the department, and with that licenses, there should be a license number they would be willing to share with you along with records of veterinary care." Those registration numbers are required to be on advertising for the dogs they're selling, and dogs cannot be sold when they are less than 7 weeks old.

If you're having an issue with a dog breeder or have other questions about breeder licensing, contact DATCP at 608-224-4889 or visit their website at http://datcp.wi.gov.