Dog Laws of Appleton

Appleton's Dog Laws

Are you a responsible pet owner in Appleton, Wisconsin?

If yes, it’s essential to know the specifics of Appleton’s dog laws to understand how they impact you as a pet owner or community member.

Let’s discover together the nuances of licensing, leash requirements, and responsibilities, ensuring you’re well-informed about maintaining a harmonious community with your four-legged friends.

Licensing/Vaccination of Dogs in Appleton

In Appleton, all dogs over five months of age must be licensed and vaccinated. As a dog owner, you must provide proof of a current rabies vaccination certificate from a licensed veterinarian and proof of neutering and spaying to obtain a license.

You need to renew licenses yearly, and the period commences on January 1st and ends on the following December 3lst. You can purchase or renew a dog license at the Appleton Police Department on weekdays, Monday through Friday.

The cost of the license varies depending on your dog’s spaying/neutering status. If your dog is neutered or spayed, the license may cost $6, while it costs $11 for non-sterilized dogs. Your dogs must wear both license and rabies tags when off your premises.

You may be charged a late penalty if you fail to purchase a license before April 1st for dogs five months or older by April 1st or within 30 days of acquiring a licensable dog.

If your puppy reaches licensable age after July 1st of the license year, you will be charged only half the amount (after July 1st). [1]

Licensing/Vaccination of Dogs in Appleton

Leash Laws for Dogs in Public Areas in Appleton

If you’re the owner or caretaker of a dog off your property, you should have your dog restrained by a leash not more than eight feet in length. [2]

According to Appleton’s Parks and Recreation regulations, dogs are required to be on a leash at all times when in public areas like parks and other outdoor recreational spaces. The leash length requirement is eight feet, and you are expected to have control over your dogs at all times to ensure the safety of other park users. [3]

Responsibilities of Dog Owners in Appleton

Owning a dog in Appleton comes with a set of responsibilities that contribute to the safety and cleanliness of the city. From leash laws to waste management, dog owners play a significant role in upholding the standards of pet ownership in the community. Here are some of your dog ownership responsibilities:

  • You are responsible for ensuring that your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and receive regular health check-ups from a licensed veterinarian
  • In Appleton, you are allowed to keep a maximum of three dogs at a time
  • As a dog owner, you must clean up after your pets and properly dispose of their waste in designated receptacles
  • You should provide proper training and socialization for your pets to ensure they are well-behaved and do not pose a risk to others
  • You are expected to provide your pets with adequate food, water, shelter, medical treatment, and exercise, as well as ensure they do not become a nuisance to your neighbors
  • You should provide a safe and secure environment for your pets, such as a fenced yard or properly secured containment system to prevent them from roaming off the property
  • You are obligated to report any incidents involving your dog, such as bites or aggressive behavior, to the local authorities [2]
Responsibilities of Dog Owners in Appleton

Regulations for Owning Dogs in Appleton

Appleton, Wisconsin, has strict dog control regulations to ensure its residents’ safety and well-being. Appleton has no breed-specific regulations, meaning all breeds are treated equally under the law. Following are some of the significant rules: 

  • Keeping or harboring any dog that continuously barks, howls, or yelps, causing disturbance to the peace of the neighborhood or annoying the ordinary sensibilities of the residents, is unlawful. Such animals are considered a public nuisance.
  • Failing to provide proper care and physical control for a dog under your custody or ownership, resulting in harm, is considered animal neglect.
  • In the City of Appleton, you are responsible for your dog if it is found running at large. Suppose your dog is deemed a dangerous animal and is believed to be running at large and cannot be safely captured. In that case, any police officers or Animal Control Officials have the authority to euthanize the dog if they believe it is necessary.
  • You are not allowed to keep any dog that is not securely held and makes people fear being seriously hurt. If you own a dangerous or vicious animal for any reason, you are required to register it with the City Clerk or City Collector. [4]

Penalties for Violating Dog Laws in Appleton

As a dog owner in Appleton, you are required to comply with local ordinances regarding licensing, vaccination, and leash laws. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in the following fines and penalties: [5]

Your dog can’t make loud or annoying noises for a long time, like 30 minutes in a row or 3 hours on and off. You will be fined $50 to $100 for making this nuisance barking.

The Animal Control Officer (ACO) shall take your animal into custody if it is found at large and impound it in the animal shelter. The ACO shall impound a nuisance dog if they cannot locate the owner. In such situations, you must pay a fine ranging from $500 to $2500 for animal shelter requirements.

If your dog is discovered without a license or lacking proof of rabies vaccination, you will be subject to a fine ranging from $50 to $100. You may also incur a fine ranging from $50 to $250 if your dog is found running at large.

You are responsible for ensuring your dogs do not trespass onto others’ private property and cause harm to a person or domestic animals. Failure to do so may result in a penalty ranging from $50 to $500 and other legal consequences.

Penalties for Violating Dog Laws in Appleton

Consult with Goldberg & Loren’s dog bite lawyers in Appleton if you or a loved one have been injured as a result of violations of the local dog laws. 


Yes, the city of Appleton requires dogs to be on a leash not longer than eight feet when they are outside of your property. [2]

Dogs on designated trails or walkways must be restrained by a leash no longer than eight feet and under the control of a competent individual at all times. Exceptions require written permission from the Department Director for special events or activities. [3]

If your dog makes loud or annoying noises continuously for more than 30 minutes or intermittently for 3 hours, you may incur a fine of $50 to $100 for creating a disturbance. [5]


[1] Animal License Information. (n.d.). Appleton Police Department. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from

[2] Animal Control. (n.d.). Appleton Police Department. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from

[3] Park Rules & Regulations – Appleton Parks and Recreation. (2021, May 25). Appleton Parks and Recreation -.

[4] Appleton City, MO: Animal Regulations. (n.d.). Appleton City, MO Code.

[5] TOWN OF APPLETON ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE. (n.d.). Appleton Maine. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from

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