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Pennsylvania Dog Laws


  1. All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed.
  2. All dogs must be under control and may not be allowed to run at large. Dogs are personal property and owners are responsible for damages caused by their dog.
  3. It is illegal to mistreat or abuse any animal. Violations should be reported to the local humane organization or police.
  4. You may not place any position or harmful substance in any place where it may be easily found and eaten by dogs whether it be your property or elsewhere.
  5. It is illegal to abandon or attempt to abandon any dog. Fines for abandonment range from $300 to $1,000 plus court costs.
  6. No dog under eight weeks old may be bartered, traded, sold or transferred.
  7. You must have a current kennel license if you operate a kennel in which at least 26 dogs are kept or transferred in a calendar year. All boarding and day care facilities require a kennel license.
  8. It is illegal to interfere with an officer or employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture engaged in enforcement of dog laws.
  9. Maximum fine for owning an unlicensed dog is $300.


For more information, visit:

Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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