Dog Law Enforcement Office Actively Enforcing Law; Protecting Man’s Best Friend

imagesHarrisburg – 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 and most aggressive protections for dogs and puppies in the nation.

“The Dog Law Enforcement Office takes seriously its charge to vigorously enforce the law and ensure the health and safety of dogs across the state,” said Agriculture Executive Deputy Secretary Michael Pechart. “This year, the office has increased enforcement actions, license sales and public outreach to ensure the continued safety of Pennsylvania’s dogs and citizens.”

In 2013, the office cited 31 illegal kennels, refused operating licenses to five kennels and revoked two licenses.

This year, dog wardens have conducted nearly 3,780 inspections of the state’s 2,229 licensed kennels. Each kennel is required to be inspected twice annually.

Wardens have also issued nearly 3,400 citations and 58 misdemeanors to dog owners in Pennsylvania, including commercial kennels not in compliance with the state’s dog law, compared to 2,728 citations and 47 misdemeanors in 2012.

Pennsylvania was once home to more than 300 commercial kennels, now only 57 remain. Of those kennels, 56 are in complete compliance with the dog law, including commercial kennel regulations.

In addition to enforcement actions, the office worked with county treasurers to increase the sales of dog licenses. Sales are up 14.7 percent from 815,753 in 2012 to 935,949.

Wardens issued 910 citations to Pennsylvanians who failed to license their dog and 624 citations to those who failed to show proof of rabies vaccination. Fines can be up to $300 per violation plus court costs.

“The Dog Law Enforcement Office has worked tirelessly to motivate treasurers to increase license sales,” said Dauphin County Treasurer Janis Creason. “They have offered a tremendous amount of support and encouragement, which has fostered a cooperative spirit among county treasurers.’’

“The results of their efforts are obvious. We hit the ball out of the park this year in dog license sales,” Creason said.

Creason, and county treasurers across the state, took part in the statewide effort to sell 100,000 dog licenses during March for Dog License Awareness Month. Pennsylvania dog owners exceeded the goal by purchasing 24,555 licenses, resulting in the donation of $10,000 from national pet specialty retailer PetSmart® to Susquehanna Service Dogs. The non-profit organization trains and provides service and hearing dogs that help children and adults with special needs become more independent.

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

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.

Confidentially report illegal or unsatisfactory conditions at kennels by calling the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s toll-free tip line at 877-DOG-TIP1.

~ News Release via Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture ~


One response to “Dog Law Enforcement Office Actively Enforcing Law; Protecting Man’s Best Friend

  1. Christen Pulaski

    Working for a dog Kennel in Cochranville I will tell you they are really cracking down which is great. When they come in for a routine inspection they check every dogs license and rabies. I have had quite a few clients come home to a citation in the mail. People get mad about this but they need to figure out it is all for the welfare of the dogs and trying to shut down these horrible puppy mills. The unfortunate thing is a lot of them operate illegally without a license and don’t get checked. There was one in Upper Oxford busted a few years ago. The sad thing about that is the warden that inspected that kennel totally missed the obvious signs of it being a puppy mill. It took someone buying a sick puppy and turning them in for them to get busted. I take pride in working for a kennel establishment that knows the laws and obeys them making it a happy healthy vacation home for peoples pooches.

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