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08/11/2022 08:48 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=37404
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 2, 2022 12:22 PM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Dog Law Modernization Legislation
 
The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement (BDLE) has been operating in a deficit for a number of years and annually requires a transfer of funds to maintain operations.  This has prevented the BDLE from hiring a new warden when a position is vacated, thus resulting in the Bureau being understaffed.  It is for this reason that the Department of Agriculture has reached out again (see attached letter) asking for increases to both dog and kennel license fees.  At the request of the Department, in the near future I plan to introduce legislation to return the BDLE to solvency and make other important changes to modernize Dog Law. 
 
This legislation will streamline annual and lifetime dog licenses and reasonably increase fees for the first time in 25 years.  Under these updates, Pennsylvania residents will pay $8 for an annual license or $80 for a lifetime license for male and female dogs.  Pennsylvania residents 65 years of age or older and persons with disabilities will pay $6 for an annual license or $50 for a lifetime license for male and female dogs.  In addition, since kennel inspections are a significant portion of the work done by this Bureau and kennel license fees have not been increased in 57 years, since 1965, the proposal includes a 25% percent increase for each classification.  Beginning in five years, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture will be granted the authority to increase these fees, but only by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 
 
Currently, the Department of Agriculture acknowledges that only approximately 50% of dogs in the Commonwealth are licensed.  In order to capture additional licenses, this legislation will update the current licensing requirement for a dog at three months of age or older, to the point of transfer to a new owner, or whichever occurs first.  It will also establish an online licensing website for counties that do not currently offer, thus increasing convenience for their residents.  A statewide licensing database will also be created to modernize the information and provide accessibility to law enforcement statewide. 
 
This proposal will also make changes to provisions of Dog Law pertaining to the:
  • Clarification of dangerous dog determination.
  • Requirement that kennels notify the Department of updates to their type or classification.
  • Rescue network kennel licensing and related documentation of foreign dogs.
  • Revocation of kennel licenses when the kennel is charged with animal cruelty.
  • Required transparency of both the source of a dog and the identifying seller’s license information in advertisements.
  • Proof of licensure when requested by the appropriate authorities.
  • Increased criminal penalties for violators.
 Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to modernize Pennsylvania’s Dog Law and ensure it is being executed as it was intended.   

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Introduced as SB1289