17737 Agriculture Dog License

Detective Joanne Resh, with the Lancaster County Defense Attorney's Office, left, smiles with Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, right, as Jennifer Nields, human law enforcement officer with the Pennsylvania SPCA, center, holds Spot, a 2-year-old French bulldog, during a press conference, which recognized Love Your Dog Month in Pennsylvania, reminding dog owners that a dog license is key to the safety and security of their dogs, their families and their communities, inside the Lancaster SPCA on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Ag Secretary Russell Redding met on Wednesday with lawmakers, local officials and a couple of pups to promote the well-being of Pennsylvania’s dogs.

Pennsylvania requires a current license for all dogs at least 3 months old, but the Ag Department — which oversees Dog Law enforcement — estimates that fewer than half of the state’s dogs are licensed.

Dog license fees fund kennel inspections, monitoring of dangerous dogs, returning of stray dogs to owners, and compensation for farmers whose livestock are attacked by dogs.

The fee for an annual dog license is $6.50, or $8.50 if the animal is not spayed or neutered.

Licensing fees have not increased in 24 years, yet costs for Dog Law enforcement have increased 112% in that time.

Increasing fees would require legislation, and the top Democrats on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs committees in both houses of the Legislature have written bills to do just that.