Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Lawyers continue to urge lawmakers to be “a voice for daddy’s puppies.”
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and supporters such as Second Lady Gisele Fetterman, State Sen. Judy Schwank and State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski are asking their lawmakers to endorse Senate Bill 232 and House Bill 526.
The laws, if passed, would slightly increase dog license fees, which have not changed in over 25 years.
The royalties are the source of funding for the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which cracks down on illegal puppy factories and kennels, ensures the health and welfare of dogs in breed kennels, conducts inspections in licensed kennels, examines dog bites, monitors and tracks dangerous dogs, investigates attacks Farm animals and compensates farmers, houses and brings lost dogs together with their families.
The entire work of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is currently in jeopardy as the Bureau has been unable to fill critical positions for overseers and is barely able to meet the minimum requirements due to a funding crisis as costs have continued to rise while revenue has Not.
In 2021, for the first time since it was founded in 1893, the bureau will be dependent on tax money from the state government.
“We are here today to ask anyone in Pennsylvania who loves dogs and wants neighborhoods across the Commonwealth to stay safe to turn to your lawmaker and ask them to rescue the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement,” said Redding.
âWe have been warning for years that that day would come – when the office ran out of money and services were at risk. Dog licenses cost less than the cost of a chew toy. Our neighboring states charge up to US $ 20 and the national average for an annual license is US $ 10, “added the Agriculture Minister.
âWe have dog lovers and lawyers coming to us today from all over the state who have said they want to increase the fee – they want dogs to be loved and healthy and happy, they want lost dogs to have a chance to get home , They want protection for the dogs that spend their lives in a kennel and they want dog bite victims to have someone to stand up for them and dangerous dogs that don’t roam the streets. If that’s what you want, call your legislature, âRedding had said.
All dogs three months and older must be licensed, and the cost of a license has been $ 6.50 as of 1996.
Related Reading: Half Of Pa.’s Dogs Are Unlicensed: What Local Legislators Are Going To Do About It
“It breaks my heart to think of the abused and neglected dogs who could be overlooked without proper enforcement,” said Second Lady Gisele Fetterman, the wife of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.
âOur puppy Levi was chained outside for the first two years of his life. He was saved because the resources were there to save him, “Fetterman said.
Since the current dog license fee was set in 1996, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s operating costs have more than doubled as the dog population has increased by seven percent, the number of kennels has increased by 19 percent, and the number of annual kennel inspections has increased by 85 percent .
Although the workload has increased, the bureau is now working with 14 less dog guards.
If the Pennsylvania dog license fee is not collected, the bureau must continue to use taxpayer money to operate.
âSo many people in the Commonwealth consider their dogs family. At the moment we are not doing enough at the state level to ensure their safety, âsaid Schwank.
“A modest increase in the dog license would allow the underfunded Dog Law Enforcement Bureau to provide the kind of field office we need to ensure that our canine friends are safe and healthy,” said Schwank, a state senator.
According to the state, the license fee for a spayed / neutered dog would increase from $ 6.50 to $ 10 annually. In addition to increasing license fees, the new legislation would also require puppies to be approved as young as eight weeks old if they could be legally sold. Ideally, the earlier license requirement would both increase license sales and enable new dog owners to receive training at the point of sale.
“A reasonable increase in the dog license fee is the most logical solution to solving the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement’s problems by restoring funding without the need to use taxpayer money,” Pashinski said.
“House Bill 526 and Senate Bill 232 would do just that, save taxpayers millions of dollars, restore the resources our dog guards need to protect dogs in commercial kennels, protect the public from dangerous dogs, stray dogs with their families.” reunite, and much more. You can do all of this by simply increasing that fee by about a dime a day, “Pashinski added.
Pennsylvania are encouraged to contact their lawmakers and ask them to support SB 232 and HB 526.