If your dog isn't licensed you better act quickly. Dog wardens are in our area through the end of April, and they're handing out fines.
To get your dog a license, you don't need to prove your pet has had a rabies vaccination, but the shot is still required by law, and wardens around the state are checking for both.
"It's not required when you buy the license but it is required by law, so you wanna make sure that you get both of those things taken care of," said Ruth Thompson- Carroll of the A.N.N.A. Shelter in Erie.
That means you need separate proof of your pets rabies vaccination.
It's not required for the license, because the state says it's not the responsibility of the agency issuing the license. Vaccination is the responsibility of the pet owner.
"You need the certificate that your vet will give you and they will verify that with your vet," said Thompson- Carroll.
"Rabies is becoming a more serious concern across the state including in Erie County," said Joe Grisanti, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. "I think that any responsible person looking out for their health and the health of their family would get their animal vaccinated."
The small cost of a license- $6.45 for a spayed or neutered pet and $8.45 for one that's not- can help you avoid the bigger cost of fines.
"The fine ranges from $50 to $300, and because they've given prior warning and this is now April and your license is supposed to be purchased in January, they're going for the big guns," said Thompson- Carroll. "I tell people it's six dollars now or 300 later."
Dog licenses aren't just a way for the state to make money. Their main purpose is to keep dogs out of the kennels, and keep pets and owners together.
"I think the biggest reason why a person should have their animal licensed is because if they ever lose that animal, it's gonna aid in locating that animal," said Grisanti.
Thompson- Carroll agrees, "If you love your pet throw a tag on him."
If you still need to get your pet licensed, click here.
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