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June 15, 2023

Senator Katie Muth
Senate Box 203044
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3044 

Dear Senator Muth,

A critical role of local government leaders is ensuring our residents' safety and security. The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement (BDLE) has been a trusted partner in achieving that goal. From inspecting kennels, investigating illegal kennels, and reuniting stray dogs with their families to protecting the public from dangerous dogs, BDLE has played an important role in the community. And we wish they continue doing so.

BDLE's mission to protect animal welfare and public safety and its existence in the community has diminished significantly over the past several years. Fees from dog licenses, which fund Dog Law's operation, have not increased in nearly 30 years and kennel license fees have not increased in nearly 60 years. The Dog Law fund went negative in September 2020; since then, BDLE has been reliant on the Department's General Fund support to maintain the bare minimum operations. Their only lifeline is the immediate passage of SB 746. Sponsored by Senator Elder Vogel, SB 746 modernizes dog licensing in Pennsylvania, strengthens penalties for violators of the Dog Law, and improves customer service, public safety, and animal welfare for all residents. SB 746 would provide mission-critical funding so that all shelters, kennels, and residents can continue to benefit from the services vital to our community's well­ being.

There is so much at stake. Since establishing some of the most stringent requirements in 2008 for protecting dogs in commercial kennels, the state has made great progress to ensure dogs are treated humanely. Without SB 746, the state will not have the financial resources to continue its work, threatening to undo the progress made over the past fifteen years and putting dogs and puppies at greater risk of mistreatment and neglect. It will continue to shift the financial burden for managing stray and dangerous dogs to the local government entities and put an impossible and unfair strain on law enforcement to fill the gap. Shelters and humane organizations will continue to receive bare minimum funding for housing and care of stray dogs, and our residents will lack many services that ensure their safety due to a lack of dog warden presence in their community and continued untimely responses.

Like you, we have taken a vow to serve the public, and we see this as a crucial step in fulfilling that promise. We ask for your immediate support and movement of this critical piece of legislation.

The Honey Brook Township Board of Supervisors urges you to pass Senate Bill 746 for the sake of all Commonwealth residents.


John H. McHugh, Chairman
Tracy Olsen, Vice Chairman
Laura Burdy, Member