Did you know that PA dog license fees haven't increased since 1996?
In that same time….
- Postage increased 72%
- A loaf of bread increased 114%
- A gallon of milk increased 182%
- A gallon of gas increased 133%
The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement that protects Pennsylvanians – both humans and the four-legged and furry – is at risk of running out of funds to fuel their vital work. Without additional revenue, through an increase in dog license fees, wardens will no longer be able to crack down on illegal kennels, protect the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvania's dogs and puppies, or protect Pennsylvanians from dangerous dogs.
What's at Stake?
Simply put, the well-being of canines across the state. Since 2008, Pennsylvania has established some of the most stringent requirements for protecting dogs in commercial kennels. Without this legislation, the bureau will not have the resources needed to continue this work. Without this legislation, Pennsylvania's dogs and puppies are a great risk for mistreatment due to lack of oversight.
In addition to protecting dogs in kennels, the bureau:
- Helps protect stray dogs. Just last year, more than 600 stray dogs were either reunited with their owners or brought to a safe shelter to wait for a forever home by PA dog wardens.
- Funding to animal shelters. In 2019, the bureau dispersed funds for 3,019 stray dogs held in animal shelters statewide.
- Monitors dangerous dogs and responds to dog bites. Currently, there are 611 dangerous dogs, in Pennsylvania. Dog wardens investigate dog bites, pursue justice for victims, and maintain and track Pennsylvania's dangerous dog registry.
Senate Bill 663 & House Bill 1504
Senator Judy Schwank and Representative Eddie Day Pashinski have introduced two corresponding pieces of legislation to ensure the bureau is funded and able to protect both dogs and the public in PA. The proposed fee increase is in line with standard inflation and will fund the work of wardens to ensure humane treatment of dogs and investigation and tracking of dangerous dogs.
A minimal fee increase – for example for a spayed/neutered dog would increase from $6.50 to $10 annually – will benefit Pennsylvanians at large.
House Bill 1277
Additionally, Representative Jason Ortitay's House Bill 1277, would allow all fines collected under the Dog Law to remain in the Dog Law Restricted Account. This legislation passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously. Like Senate Bill 663 and House Bill 1504, this vital piece of legislation is crucial to the solvency of the Dog Law Restricted Account.
From 1998 through 2018 the Bureau retained only $1.5 million or 25% of the total fines and penalties revenue collected, the remainder being diverted to the Judicial Computer System Augmentation Account.
This isn't just important for your dog. This is important for your neighbors, your community, and every dog in Pennsylvania.