Laurel Health Centers

Licensing Requirements of the PA Dog Law

Renew your annual dog license!


by Melissa Bravo - January 28, 2015

It is that time of year again, and for those of us who own a dog over 3 months of age, we will need to renew our annual dog license provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The current version of the Dog Law enacted in December 1982 and last amended in 1996 offers PA residents the option to acquire a life time dog license for their house hold canine via a tattoo or microchip. The life-time fee for a dog license ranges from $30.00 to $50.00. This option is worth considering if you intend to remain in one county for ten to fifteen years, which is the average life expectancy of our canine companions. The law does recognize that owners and dogs might change counties during the course of the year, and allows for applying for such dispensation at your current county office for an additional $1.00 fee.


For owner’s-who are defined in the law as “every person having a right to property in such dog, and every person who keeps or harbors such dog or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog to remain on or about premises occupied by him”; wanting only to pay the annual fee, you will need to make out a check to the County Treasurer in the amount of $3.00 to $7.00 to receive your annual metal dog tag. In exchange for processing the state dog law applications, the County has the right to keep $1.00 for every tag sold. Once issued, the tag is required to be attached to a collar or harness unless the dog is confined- such as those times when your dog is contained within the boundaries of your property or home; or as the law states “are actively engaged in shows, obedience or field trials.”


Under the title Section 302. SEIZURE AND DETENTION OF DOGS; COSTS; DESTRUCTION OF DOGS, the law states that “every police officer, State dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer can seize and detain any dog which is found running at large, either upon the public streets or highways of the Commonwealth, or upon the property of a person other than the owner of such dog, and unaccompanied by the owner or keeper.” Within this section is the authority that, after due consideration, it is determined the dog constitutes a threat to the public health and welfare, they may humanely kill any dog which is found running at large. To read the law in its entirety, click on this link which will take you to Chapter 21 of the PA Code. Additional regulations can be found in Chapter 27 of the PA code under the “Dangerous Dog” regulation. For more detailed assistance you can contact the Dog Warden for Tioga County, Ned Lucas, at 814-932-1294.

Annual Dog License applications can be downloaded via this link to the Tioga County Court House, or this link for the lifetime applications. The licenses can also be purchased in the Court House in the office of the Treasurer; or at the Walmart in Mansfield, at the Pleasant Valley Veterinary Office in Elkland, or at the Blossburg Hardware store.



Writing: Melissa Bravo


Produced by Vogt Media

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