Pashinski, advocates stress importance of dog licensing bill

WILKES-BARRE, July 30 – State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, Democratic chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, joined advocates from the Luzerne County SPCA to call for passage of H.B. 1463, legislation that would stabilize the Dog Law Restricted Account and streamline the dog licensing process.

“Dog licensing fees go toward a number of valuable services in Pennsylvania, including securing stray dogs, inspecting licensed kennels and investigating dog bites,” Pashinski said. “The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has gone 21 years without raising the fee, but now, with the Dog Law Restricted Account close to operating in the red, it’s time to act to ensure these vital operations can continue to be performed.”

“Dog lovers more than anyone understand the need to help all dogs and these license fees support all Dog Law activities, including unregulated kennel investigations,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania State Director of the Humane Society. “This legislation will help Pennsylvania become a more humane state for dogs and a state dog lovers can be proud to live in. I encourage everyone to contact their representative to support House Bill 1463 or their state senator to support the companion bill, Senate Bill 738.”

House Bill 1463 includes proposed modest fee increases to license a dog, as well as a streamlined system for dog licensing. The dog licensing fee has not been increased in 21 years and currently, each county, and some cities, have their own individual system for licensing dogs.

The proposed fee increase would be as follows:

Current fee

H.B. 1463 fee

Regular dog license



Sterilized dog license



Regular lifetime dog license



Sterilized lifetime dog license



Senior/disabled regular dog license



Senior/disabled sterilized dog license



Senior/disabled regular lifetime dog license



Senior/disabled sterilized lifetime dog license



“In addition to stabilizing the funding used to protect dogs across Pennsylvania, this legislation has a consumer convenience component,” Pashinski said. “By streamlining and modernizing the licensing process, we’re making it easier for Pennsylvanians to license their dog and easier for the Department of Agriculture to keep and maintain proper records.”

The Dog Law Restricted Account, which is managed by the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement under the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, is used to support the bureau’s activities, including investigating dog bites, securing stray dogs, inspecting licensed kennels and reimbursing for damage to livestock caused by dogs.

If nothing is done to stabilize the Dog Law Restricted Account, the fund balance is expected to be negative throughout 2019 and beyond. This will diminish the bureau’s ability to protect dogs and the general public. In an attempt to cut costs, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement has eliminated approximately 30 positions and reimbursements to 50 shelters across Pennsylvania.