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Dog wardens across PA going door-to-door, checking for dog licenses

If you are a pet owner, it's time to double check if your dog license is up to date.

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Jossie Carbonare
HARRISBURG, PA — If you are a pet owner, it's time to double check if your dog license is up to date.

With a list in hand, dog wardens across the state of Pennsylvania will be going door-to-door, cracking down for the next few weeks.

"It's about us keeping not only the dogs of Pennsylvania safe, but also the public," said Micheal Smith, executive deputy secretary for Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Michael Smith with The Department of Agriculture, is behind enforcing the states dog law that dates back to 1893.

"We go to different counties throughout Pennsylvania in what we call our canvasing effort, and that's in effort to make sure the dogs are properly licensed and that they are meeting their rabies requirements," said Smith.

Under Pennsylvania law, dogs 3 months or older must have a valid license.

"The fine for not having a dog license is $300, which is significantly more than the cost of the dog license itself. It's $6.50 for an annual license and $31.50 for a lifetime license," added Smith.

The money you pay for a license goes toward answering animal complaints, calls, inspections of kennels and other things that benefit the animal community. Without that money, the state would not be able to offer any of those resources.

"We're actually able to call the county, look up the dog owner and reunite them far more quickly than with a microchip or other means," said Dr. Jennifer Fletcher, CCRT at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County.

"It's not just a law for a law, it's a public health concern and so I really think that the dog license enforcement is really supportive of the fact that we need to protect animals and humans from rabies as well," added Fletcher.

Dog licenses may be purchased from a county treasurer.

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