WEST CHESTER, PA — State law requires all dogs three months and older to be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year.
An annual dog license is $8.50, or $6.50 if the animal is spayed or neutered. Lifetime licenses are available for dogs that have permanent identification like a microchip or tattoo. Older adults and people with disabilities may be eligible for discounts.
The dog license application is simple and only requests owner contact information and details about the dog being licensed, including name, age, breed and color.
Chester County Treasurer’s Office offered these reasons for dog licensing:
- If a dog gets lost, a license is the best way to get him/her back. A license helps animal control and shelters identify a dog and its rightful owners.
- It’s the law. All dogs three months and older must have a current license.
- The cost of a license is less than the penalty for being caught without one. Owners who fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog.
- License fees support animal control. The annual fee to license a dog helps keep shelters running and supports the work of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which provides a number of vital services to protect dogs and the public. Last year, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement:
- Enforced health and safety regulations in kennels by licensing 2,428 such operations and conducting more than 5,200 inspections.
- Helped to secure more than 4,500 stray dogs, placing them in shelters until those that were licensed could be reunited with their owners.
- Issued more than 3,000 citations and filed 115 misdemeanor complaints for violations of the Dog Law, including failing to license dogs, abandoning dogs, and allowing them to run at large.
- Investigated nearly 1,500 dog bites, and they investigated and monitored 587 dogs that were deemed dangerous by magisterial judges.
For more information, contact the Chester County Treasurer’s Office at www.chesco.org/1112/Dog-License.
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