|April 29, 2019 03:07 PM
|Senator Judith L. Schwank
|All Senate members
|PROTECTING PENNSYLVANIANS AND THEIR DOGS
| In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that amends the Dog Law (Act 225 of 1982) to streamline the dog license structure to a single fee matrix and ensure the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement (BDLE) can perform its vital function to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians and their dogs. My legislation will also make sure that every dog in Pennsylvania can be more easily licensed by requiring owners to license their dog at the point of sale or transfer. Currently, a dog can be transferred at 8 weeks but is not required to be licensed until 3 months. These commonsense efficiencies will offset PA Department of Agriculture’s costs while increasing the rate of licensure.
Dog license fees have not been increased since 1996, while the BDLE’s responsibilities continue to evolve and grow exponentially. Despite the Department's best efforts to reduce costs and increase marketing of licenses, a dog license fee increase remains the most logical solution to the funding problem.
Dog license sales are the primary revenue generator (about 87%) for the Department's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement (BDLE).
Because the Dog Law Fund is unable to support a full complement of staff around the commonwealth, public health and safety is at risk. Pennsylvanians will benefit from this bill because BDLE will be able to continue to investigate dog bites, pick up stray dogs, inspect licensed kennels and reimburse for damage to livestock caused by dogs. County Treasurers will benefit as they will receive more in revenue for their part in administering the licensing process and shelters will benefit if grants are reestablished for taking in stray dogs that cannot otherwise be placed.
A minimal fee increase for a dog license will continue to benefit Pennsylvania's residents, canines and counties. Any future license increases would be subject to the regulatory review process.
Introduced as SB663