PA Dog Laws

Owning a dog and taking care of them is a great responsibility for the pet owner.  In caring and playing with your dog, certain laws in Pennsylvania require your dog to be registered, vaccinated and licensed.  All dog owners need to learn and understand their full responsibilities that come along with dog ownership.

When walking your dog in the park or along the street it is your responsibility to clean up after your dog.  

With the Pennsylvania Dog laws, all dogs must be under control and supervised at all times.  You are responsible for damages caused by your dog on someone else’s property.

To obtain a dog license you can contact the Lancaster County Treasurer's Office at 717-299-8000 Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or click on the link provided to take you to the website for the license application.
To contact the Dog Law Enforcement Office to report a problem call: 717-787-3062 or 1-877-364-8471. 
To Read more information on the Pennsylvania Dog Laws click on the link provided.

License Your Dog in PA

All dogs three months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.

An annual license is $8.50 and a lifetime license is $51.50. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.50 and lifetime is $31.50. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.

The small license fee helps the millions of dogs in the state by funding the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

Dog licenses are available from your local county treasurer and other licensing agents.

Reasons for dog licensing:

  • It’s the law. All dogs three months and older must have a current license.
  • If your dog gets lost, a license is the best way to get him back. A license helps animal control and shelters identify your dog and get him back home safely.
  • 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 you pay to license your dog helps keep shelters running and supports the work of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which is responsible for ensuring the welfare of dogs, regulating dangerous dogs and overseeing annual licensing and rabies vaccinations.