PITTSBURGH, March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today urged Pennsylvanians to license their dogs, saying a current dog license is the best way to ensure lost dogs are reunited with their families.
"Dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities, and licensing your dog is on the top of the list," said Governor Corbett. "For less than two cents a day, a dog license can give you assurance that if your dog ever gets lost, he has a ticket home."
Governor Corbett proclaimed March as "Dog License Awareness Month," reminding Pennsylvanians to purchase licenses before dog wardens begin canvassing homes to check for current license and rabies vaccinations.
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 to ensure all Pennsylvanians are following the laws," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "Buy a license for your dog now, because the cost of a license is less than 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 Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein. "Buy a license from your county treasurer or another licensing agent like a retail store, veterinarian office or, in many cases, online."
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 David Swisher, Animal Friends' president and chief executive officer. "More than 7,600 dogs entered shelters and animal control agencies in Allegheny County in 2013. 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."
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