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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2023 10:28 AM
From: Senator Elder A. Vogel, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updates to Pennsylvania's Dog Law
The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement (BDLE) has been operating in a deficit for several 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 in 2022 the Department of Agriculture reached out again asking for increases to both dog and kennel license fees. I plan to introduce legislation to return the BDLE to solvency and make other important changes to updates to the Dog Law.
This legislation will revise annual and lifetime dog licenses and reasonably increase fees for the first time in over 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.
Currently, the Department of Agriculture acknowledges that only approximately 50% of dogs in the Commonwealth are licensed.  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. 
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.

Co-sponsors from last session included Senators Schwank, Baker, Bartolotta, Cappelletti, Flynn, Fontana.

Representative Eddie Day Pashinski will also introduce companion legislation.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to update Pennsylvania’s Dog Law and ensure it is being executed as it was intended.

Introduced as SB746