Liz Rohde Photo
Liz Rohde Photo

Wardens with the state Department of Agriculture might have been all bark the last couple of times they visited York to enforce dog licensing laws, but this time pet owners will be fined — not just warned — if they aren't in compliance.

York County Treasurer Barb Bair said state agents will be canvassing local neighborhoods in April, making sure dog owners have current licenses and rabies vaccinations for their dogs. The tags are the quickest way to return a lost dog, she said.

Under state law, all dogs 3 months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year, even if they're kept primarily inside.

The fee is $6.45 for each spayed or neutered dog and $8.45 for other dogs. Older adults and people with disabilities can purchase discounted licenses for $4.45 for spayed or neutered dogs and $6.45 for others. Fines range from $50 to $300.

The state canvassed York at least twice last year. Bair, whose office issues licenses, said applications nearly doubled during those months.

Bair said about 30,000 dog owners apply for dog licenses through her office each year, but that number probably represents only about half of the dogs owned by Yorkers.

Dogs that are microchipped or tattooed still need a license, she said.

The dog wardens also will be checking to ensure dogs have been vaccinated against rabies.


All dogs and non-feral cats 3 months and older must be vaccinated against rabies, with booster vaccinations administered.

Licenses: Licensing fees fund the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Dog Law Enforcement Office, which enforces the state's dog laws, performs kennel inspections, regulates dangerous dogs and oversees licensing and rabies vaccinations.

For more information, call Bair's office at 771-9603.

Licenses can be purchased at Bair's office, 28 E. Market St., online at, or at any of the following locations:

•Dennis Emmel, 315 Chestnut St., Delta;

•Pet's Best Friend, 5771 Harmony Grove Road, Dover;

•Hanover Walmart, 495 Eisenhower Drive, Hanover;

•Jocelyn's Puppies, 10 Carlisle St., Hanover;

•Animal Medic Inc., 3910 N. George St. Ext., Manchester;

•Four Paws Pet Shop, 530 Constitution Ave., New Freedom;

•Cape Horn Country, 3100 Cape Horn Road, Red Lion;

•Diehl's Service Center, 870 Delta Road, Red Lion;

•Spring Grove Animal Hospital, 31 W. Hanover St., Suite 3, Spring Grove;

•Hopewell Veterinary Services, 2 Trouts Lane, Stewartstown;

•East York Veterinary Center, 1997 Industrial Highway, York;

•Morgan's Paws Pet Care Center, 305 Hill St., York;

•West York Agway, 2650 W. Market St., York;

•York County S.P.C.A., 3159 Susquehanna Trail North, York.

— Reach Christina Kauffman at