PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today urged Pennsylvanians to license their dogs, saying a dog license is the best way to ensure lost dogs have a happy homecoming.
"Warmer temperatures bring opportunities for both people and dogs to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, but far too often dogs get away from their families and get lost," said Governor Corbett. "A dog license is not just the law, it's also one of the best ways to help get your lost dog home safely."
Corbett proclaimed March as "Dog License Awareness Month," in Pennsylvania. State law requires all dogs three months and older to be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. Owners who fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog.
"Dog wardens across the state will be out in full force in the coming months ensuring all Pennsylvanians are following the laws," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "Dog licenses are easy to purchase and the cost is minimal compared to the penalty for being caught without one."
An annual dog license is $8.45 or $6.45 if the animal is 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.
"Licensing your dog is easy and affordable," said Montgomery County Treasurer Jason Salus. "Buy a license from your county treasurer, online or from another licensing agent like the SPCA, a retail store or veterinary office."
The dog license application is simple and only requests owner contact information and details about the dog being licensed, like name, age, breed and color. The information is used by animal control and shelters to identify lost dogs and get them home safely.
"Each day we rescue lost dogs, some of which are not licensed," said Carmen Ronio, Montgomery County SPCA executive director. "It's heartbreaking to know that many of the dogs in area shelters could have been reunited with their owners if they simply had a license."
Ronio said more than 2,600 dogs entered shelters and animal control agencies in Montgomery County in 2013.
Licensing fees support animal control through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Dog Law Enforcement Office, which is responsible for ensuring the welfare of dogs, regulating dangerous dogs and overseeing annual licensing and rabies vaccinations.
For more information, visit www.licenseyourdogPA.com or call the Dog Law Enforcement Office at 717-787-3062.
Owen McEvoy, Governor's Office, 717-783-1116
Samantha Elliott Krepps, Agriculture, 717-787-5085
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor