Agriculture Secretary Urges Pennsylvanians to License Their Dogs

- Agriculture Secretary George Greig today urged Pennsylvanians to license their dogs during a tour of the Elk County Humane Society in St. Mary’s, saying a dog license is the best way to ensure lost dogs get home quickly.

“Dog wardens are conducting license and rabies compliance checks across the state to make sure Pennsylvanians are following the laws,” said Greig. “Buy a license for your dog now, because the cost of a license is less than the penalty for being caught without one.”

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.

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.

“Buying a dog license is easy and affordable, and dog owners can purchase a license at the treasurer’s office and through agents across the county,” said Elk County Treasurer Peggy Schneider.

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.

“Every day we rescue lost dogs, some are not licensed,” said Karen Cappellio, operations manager for the humane society. “Many dogs in area shelters across the county could be reunited with their owners if they simply had a license.”

Licensing fees support animal control through the department’s 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  or call 717-787-3062.

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