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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: September 25, 2013 04:32 PM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman and Sen. Richard L. Alloway, II
To: All Senate members
Subject: Commonwealth Dog Law
We will soon introduce legislation that would transfer administration of the Commonwealth’s Dog Law from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Under our legislation, it would be the Department of Health that would carry out all the administrative and oversight tasks currently required by the Dog Law, including the regulation of dog kennels; the collection of complaints and tips alleging violations of the Dog Law; the seizure of dogs from illegal, unlicensed kennels; and the collection of dog-license, kennel and out-of-state-dealers fees.

We propose this transfer of administration to recognize Pennsylvania’s obligation to assess and monitor dog health as it relates to human health: rabies and ringworm are just two examples of transmittable illnesses or infections. We also propose it to acknowledge generally the role that dogs play in so many happy and healthy Pennsylvania families. For these reasons, we believe the Dog Law more properly belongs under the auspices of the Health Department rather than Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture.

Furthermore, with Dog Law enforcement in the Department of Agriculture, dogs are treated as any other agricultural product. But when enforcement is with the Department of Health, the focus correctly changes to the health, welfare and safety of both the dogs and their owners.

Introduced as SB1126