How Many Dogs or Cats Can You Own in Wisconsin?

How many dogs or cats are considered too many in a single household in the state of Wisconsin? The answer to this question is it depends on individual municipalities in the Badger State. In other words, Wisconsin does not have a statewide ordinance regulating the number of pets a resident can own. However, each Wisconsin municipality has its own rules regarding pet ownership.

In many Wisconsin cities, residents are required to obtain a permit before keeping more than three dogs or cats. If you are considering adopting a dog or cat or welcoming additional pets into your Wisconsin home, you need to check with your local Animal Control to make sure you are in compliance with the laws. Meanwhile, this article includes pet ownership limitations in some Wisconsin cities.

Two dogs and a cat

Milwaukee, WI

According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee residents can own up to six domestic animals, including cats and dogs, with an Animal Fancier permit. However, without a permit, Milwaukee residents are limited to four dogs or four cats, or a combination of both animals not exceeding four. Unfortunately, people living in multiple dwellings can't be granted an animal fancier permit. Milwaukee Code requires dog and cat owners to license their pets each year.

Green Bay, WI

In the City of Green Bay, an excess animal permit is required to own more than two adult dogs. As for the number of cats, Green Bay residents may own a maximum of three without obtaining a permit. The loud and persistent barking of dogs is prohibited in Green Bay. Further, Green Bay has a Dangerous Dog Law which defines a dangerous dog as any dog that approaches or attacks a person or another domestic animal in a menacing fashion without provocation while off its owner's property. If a dog is convicted to be dangerous in Green Bay, the owner may be given five days to remove the dog from the City.

Kenosha, WI

In Kenosha, Wisconsin, households in residential areas are limited to three cats or three dogs, or a combination thereof over the age of five months. However, Kenosha residents who wish to exceed this limit may obtain a Pet Fancier Permit from the Committee on Licenses and Permits to do so. With a Pet Fancier Permit, a Kenosha resident can own up to five dogs, cats or a combination thereof. The permit costs $35 and expires on December 31 each year. But before a resident is granted the permit, he or she must not have a conviction for cruelty, neglect or mistreatment of an animal within the previous two years, according to the city's Code of Ordinances.

Racine, WI

In the City of Racine, residents of single-family residences are allowed to keep up to three domesticated animals without obtaining a permit. However, if you have more than three pets, you must obtain a Pet Fancier's Permit, which allows you to keep up to seven animals. This permit is limited to dogs, cats, and ferrets. On the other hand, residents of multiple-family residences are allowed to keep up to two domesticated animals per unit, but they are not eligible for a pet fancier permit.

Appleton, WI

The City of Appleton limits households to a maximum of six animals, of which no more than 3 can be dogs and 2 can be rabbits. However, you won't have a problem if all six animals are cats. All cats and dogs five months of age in Appleton are required by law to be vaccinated and licensed.

Appleton animal welfare laws require owners and caretakers to provide adequate care for their animals. This includes providing them with food, water, heating, cooling, ventilation, sanitation, shelter, and necessary medical treatment. It is also mandated that animals be restrained by a leash not more than eight feet in length and under the control of a responsible person when they are off their property limits.

Waukesha, WI

The City of Waukesha has strict ordinances when it comes to pet ownership. Only a maximum of two dogs over 3 months old and two cats over 6 months old are allowed per household. Additionally, pets are not allowed to roam freely and must be under the control of their owner or leashed at all times. Pet owners are also required to clean up after their pets. However, dogs can still enjoy some outdoor activities in designated areas such as Rivers Crossing Park, Bethesda Park, and the MacArthur Dog Run.

Eau Claire, WI

In the City of Eau Claire, a household or individual cannot have more than a total of 5 animals over the age of five months, which includes dogs and cats. The specific limit is 3 dogs or 4 cats or a combination thereof not exceeding 5. Additionally, it is mandatory for any dog or cat over the age of five months to have a license obtained before being kept within the city limits.

Other Wisconsin Municipalities

  • Janesville, WI - Up to four dogs or cats per property
  • West Allis, WI - Residents can have 4 cats and 2 dogs without a permit
  • La Crosse, WI - 4 cats or dogs per residence
  • Wauwatosa, WI - Households are limited to only three pets
  • Fond du Lac, WI - A permit is required to own a maximum of 4 pets
  • Berlin, WI - No more than 3 dogs or 5 cats per dwelling unit
  • Wausau, WI - Residents may own 2 dogs or 3 cats without a permit
  • Greenfield, WI - A permit is required to own more than 2 pets
  • Sun Prairie, WI - Limited household to no more than 2 dogs and 2 cats
  • Beloit, WI - 3 dogs per residential property. No limit on cats
  • Oak Creek, WI - 3 dogs and cats per household
  • Franklin, WI - No more than 2 dogs or cats without a permit
  • Manitowoc, WI - 3 dogs and 3 cats per parcel of property
  • West Bend, WI - Permits 2 dogs and 2 cats per household
  • Mount Pleasant, WI - Allows seven pets with a permit
  • Neenah, WI - 6 animals per premises
  • Superior, WI - 3 dogs or cats or a combination thereof per residential lot
  • De Pere, WI - 4 dogs or cats per dwelling unit
  • Mequon, WI - Up to 3 dogs and 4 cats
  • Caledonia, WI - No more than 12 dogs per property. No limit on cats
  • Muskego, WI - A maximum of 4 dogs. No limit on cats
  • Watertown, WI - A maximum of 4 dogs or 5 cats
  • Middleton, WI - 5 dogs or cats or any combination thereof per premise,
  • Pleasant Prairie, WI - No more than 4 dogs. No limit on cats
  • South Milwaukee, WI - A maximum of 3 pets per premise
  • Onalaska, WI - 4 dogs or 4 cats per household


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