Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office Aggressively Enforcing Law; Protecting Man's Best Friend

Sep 28, 2012, 16:06 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Nearly 3,000 Kennels Inspected Already This Year

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania's Dog Law Enforcement Office is aggressively enforcing the state's dog laws and protecting the well-being of dogs and puppies across the state.

"Pennsylvania has one of the toughest dog laws with the most aggressive protections for adult dogs and puppies in the nation," said Michael Pechart, acting director of the office. "The Dog Law Enforcement Office takes seriously its charge to vigorously enforce the law and ensure the health of dogs in commercial kennels."

In 2012, the office has been working aggressively to shut down illegal kennels, including one that was harboring 187 Chihuahuas in July.

So far this year, dog wardens have conducted nearly 3,000 inspections of the state's 2,098 kennels. Each kennel is required to be inspected twice annually, and the office is on track to fulfill its inspection requirements.

Wardens have also issued nearly 2,500 citations to dog owners in Pennsylvania, including commercial kennels, not in compliance with the state's dog law.

Pennsylvania was once home to more than 300 commercial kennels, now only 51 remain. Of those kennels, 49 are in complete compliance with the dog law, including commercial kennel regulations. The office is actively working to bring all 51 kennels into compliance.  

In addition to these enforcement efforts, dog law officials are working to:

  • Provide varied veterinary expertise and efficiency to the office than ever before by assigning four veterinarians, one near each corner of the state, to examine dogs in kennels as needed;
  • Restore the solvency of the Dog Law Restricted Account, which was robbed of $4 million to balance the budget under the Rendell administration;
  • Increase enforcement of dangerous dog laws by citing owners who fail to register their dangerous dogs with the office;
  • Shut down illegal kennels that house 26 or more dogs in a calendar year;
  • Halt illegal internet sales of dogs from kennels not licensed or inspected by the state; and
  • Raise awareness of dog licensing requirements, as only 20 percent of the state's eligible dogs are licensed.

The Dog Law Enforcement Office is responsible for ensuring the welfare of not only breeding dogs and puppies in commercial breeding kennels, but also all other non-commercial kennels. The office also regulates dogs classified as dangerous and oversees annual licensure and rabies vaccinations for dogs.

State law requires that all dogs three months of age or older be licensed each year. Dog licenses are available at county treasurers' offices. A list of county treasurers and a downloadable license application is available at

To confidentially report unsatisfactory conditions at a kennel, or if a kennel is suspected of operating illegally, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's toll-free tip line at 877-DOG-TIP1.

Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture