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March 2018 has been designated "Dog License Awareness Month."

BUCKS COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed March as Dog Licensing
Awareness Month.

  On Friday, Department of Agriculture Executive Deputy Secretary Michael Smith visited
the Bucks County Upper Bucks SPCA to remind Pennsylvanians about the benefits of
and need to license their dogs. 

According to the experts having a dog license is not only the best way to bring home a lost pet more quickly, but the proceeds of dog license sales also ensures dogs and the public are kept safe.


According to Smith, licensing your dog is quick and easy. Licenses are available through
country treasurers’ offices and many counties offer licenses through sub-agents like
veterinarian offices or online.

The fee for an annual dog license is $6.50, or $8.50 if the animal is not spayed or neutered.
Lifetime licenses are available for dogs that have permanent identification like a microchip or
tattoo. Older adults and persons with disabilities may be eligible for discounts.
The dog license application is simple and only requests owner contact information and details
about the dog being licensed, such as name, age, breed, and color.

Pennsylvania law requires a current license for all dogs at least three months old, but according
to estimates from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, fewer than
half of all dogs in the commonwealth are licensed, although rates vary by county. Owners who
fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog.
 
“The Dog Law Restricted Account will go negative as soon as June of this year,” said Smith in a prepared release from Pennsylvania Internet News Service.. “If
that happens, we will not have the resources we need to keep dogs and the public safe. That
means fewer dog wardens to pick up strays, inspect kennels, or investigate dog bites. And it
means we will no longer be able to track dangerous dogs, leaving the public without the
information they need to know whether there is a dangerous dog in their neighborhood. We
simply cannot allow that to happen.”

Smith said two bills in the General Assembly would solve this problem. Senate Bill 738 and
House Bill 1463, sponsored by Senator Judy Schwank and Representative Eddie Day
Pashinski, respectively, would raise dog license fees at a rate commensurate with inflation since
the last fee adjustment, but also institute much-needed reform measures that will allow us to
modernize our operations to provide better services to Pennsylvanians and realize greater
efficiencies.

To find your county treasurer, dog warden, and a database of shelter and kennel inspections,
visit licenseyourdogpa.pa.com or call the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement at 717-787-3062.


 


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