Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement
Keeping Pennsylvania Growing means managing the millions of dogs living in the state. The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is responsible for ensuring the welfare of breeding dogs and puppies in commercial breeding kennels. The Office also regulates activities pertaining to dogs that are classified as dangerous, and oversees annual licensure and rabies vaccinations for dogs.
Attention Commercial Kennel Owners/Operators:
order to try to harmonize the interests of the mother and the puppies with the
law, in 2010 the Department put in place regulations and a policy that balanced
the competing interests and provided a solution which has thus far worked.
due to litigation pursued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the resolution of
that conflict in place for six years was ruled on September 9, 2016 by the PA
Commonwealth Court to have been impermissible.
Commonwealth Court has ruled that the interests of the adult dog are paramount
while nursing puppies and that whelping pens must be constructed identically to
adult dog enclosures.
Commonwealth Court has determined that only the General Assembly can address
the conflict any further at this time.
Department must require nursing mothers and their puppies be housed in
enclosures identical to those that are required for all dogs over 12 weeks of
October 3, 2016, all commercial kennels were notified by letter in crystal
clear terms of this fact. Whelping
pens must be treated and constructed as adult dog enclosures beginning with the
2017 kennel license year.
Commercial Kennel Letter