PA dog owners: Time to get your licenses renewed

Pennsylvania dog owners, it's that time of year again, time to add a new dog license to your Christmas list.

State law requires that all dogs three months or older be licensed by Jan. 1 each year.

If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.45 and lifetime is $31.45. An annual license is $8.45 and a lifetime license is $51.45. The fee went up by 45-cents to cover the cost of postage involved with licensing.

All dogs must be licensed. Failure to license a dog is a summary offense and could result in a maximum fine of $300 for each unlicensed dog.

Fees collected through dog licensing are used by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to protect the safety, health and welfare of dogs.

Having a license tag on your dog's collar can also mean the difference between life and death for lost dogs. [You may have read the recent story about Target, the hero dog who survived a war in Afghanistan only to escape from his yard in Arizona, get taken to a shelter and mistakenly euthanized.]

More than 929,000 dogs were licensed in 2010 but officials estimate many more are unlicensed. In many counties the number of licensed dogs has decreased, though there's no indication the total number of dogs has dropped.

More information about dog licensing, a list of county treasurer’s offices and a downloadable license application are available online at, under “Programs” and then “PA Dog Licensing.” You may also purchase your license online at

(Photo: Courtesy of, a wonderful site for lovers of canine ephemera.)