Fees to license pet dogs could go up

Written by on February 23, 2021

Fees to license pet dogs could go up

By Megan Frank

February 25, 2021

Photo | Pexels

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is running out of money.

Officials with the PA Department of Agriculture say that’s because the cost to license a dog hasn’t increased in 25 years. 

To fix it, some lawmakers want to see an increase in the dog licensing fee, even if that makes dog owners upset.

Nearly 90% of funding for Pennsylvania’s dog law office comes from dog license fees. The office provides services like inspecting kennels and responding to dog attacks. 

Shannon Powers, press secretary with the Dept. of Agriculture says that work is in jeopardy unless the annual license fee is raised from $6.50 to $10. 

“That [fee] funds the work of protecting communities from dangerous dogs and dogs running at large and [the work of] reuniting stray dogs with their owners when they’re lost,” Powers says, “If people want those services, want kennels to be safe [and] don’t want puppy mills, that tiny licensing fee is what pays for the work of ensuring that animals are treated humanely.” 

Still, only about half of all Pennsylvanians who own dogs have licensed them. 

Powers says license enforcement could improve if the office had funding to staff more canvassing efforts to check for the licenses.

Click on the links for Lehigh County and Northampton County for more information on how to license a dog.

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