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Agriculture Secretary Urges Dog Owners to License Their Dogs March is Pennsylvania Dog License Awareness Month
2017-03-15

                No one wants to think about the family dog getting lost, but in the event that does happen, a dog license is the best way to make sure your furry friend gets home safely, according to Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.

                Redding visited the Humane Society of Cambria County March 10, to mark Gov. Tom Wolf's proclamation of March as Dog License Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

                "Bringing your pet home safely is an important reason to buy a dog license, but there are others," said Redding. "Every dog license sold helps give organizations like the department, the county, the Humane Society and other partners the resources to keep dogs safe – whether they are lost or in a kennel – and to help ensure they are treated safely and humanely."

                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.

                When a dog goes missing, Redding explained, it can end up in a shelter, and without a license, reuniting the dog with its family can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

                A new video produced for this year's "Love Your Dog. License Your Dog." campaign, which will be shared through social media, notes that more than 5,000 unlicensed dogs end up in animal shelters each year.

                "Licensing your dog is the surest way to be reunited in the event he or she goes missing," said Redding. "It's quick, and it's easy. Licenses are available through your country treasurer, 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.

                Owners who fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog. In 2016, the bureau issued 2,997 summary citations and 124 misdemeanor complaints for various dog law violations, including failure to license, abandoned dogs, or dogs running at large or abandoned.

                For more information, visit www.licenseyourdogpa.pa.gov or call the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement at 717-787-3062


 

 

 

 

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