REMINDER: all dogs, big and small, must be registered with PA by January 1st

19 December 2023- Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding reminded Pennsylvania dog owners to purchase a 2024 license from their county treasurer by January 1, 2024. Licenses are not just a legal responsibility of owning a dog, they protect all Pennsylvania dogs and are the best way to bring your pet home quickly if it’s lost.

“If you love your dog, license your dog,” said Secretary Redding. “It’s simple. The best way to protect the dogs we love is with a license. Even if a dog has a chip, a license on their collar is clearly visible and helps ensure they will be brought home rather than ending up in a shelter.”

All dogs three months of age and older are required to be licensed in Pennsylvania. An annual license is $8.70, and a lifetime license is $51.70. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.70, and lifetime is $31.70. Lifetime licenses require that the dog have a microchip or tattoo. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.

Your dog license purchase keeps all PA dogs and communities safe by funding the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s work:

  • Inspecting Pennsylvania’s boarding and breeding kennels and ensuring the health and wellbeing of dogs housed there;
  • Investigating and prosecuting illegal kennel operators;
  • Ensuring that dogs in breeding operations don’t go without veterinary care;
  • Protecting the public by monitoring dangerous dogs, investigating dog bites, and holding owners responsible;
  • Reuniting licensed lost dogs with their families; and
  • Helping unlicensed lost dogs find shelter.

Fines for unlicensed dogs range from $50 to $300, plus court costs – far more than the cost of a license.

Licenses can be purchased through Pennsylvania’s county treasurers.

On January 21, 2024, Act 18 of 2023, The Dog Law Modernization Act, will take effect, bringing added protections for Pennsylvania’s dogs, consumers and communities. Learn details of these changes and more about Pennsylvania’s Dog Law at agriculture.pa.gov.