Begin Main Content Area

Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement

Protector of Dogs, but will it last: picture of dog warden with stray dog emphasizing need to increase dog license fee.

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.

Animal Cruelty & Libre’s Law:

In August 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed Libre’s Law, paving the way for Pennsylvania to be the most improved state in the country for animal protection. The new law includes improvements to tethering conditions for outside dogs, adds protection for horses, increases penalties for animal abuse, requires convicted abusers to forfeit animals, and grants civil immunity for veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement does not oversee or have jurisdiction over animal cruelty. PA dog wardens receive humane officer training, which provides them with knowledge about what to look for in kennels and other situations where animal cruelty may be present. If a warden suspects cruelty, they will refer the case to a humane society police officer or police officer for official investigation.


If you suspect animal abuse and would like to report it, you should contact your local humane society police officer or local police station. In the absence of local police, contact the Pennsylvania State Police.