PLAINS TWP. — Having a dog license is the best ticket home if Rover, Spike or Maggie ever got lost and then found.
State Agriculture Secretary George Greig was joined by state Rep. Phyllis Mundy and Luzerne County Manager Robert Lawton on Thursday to promote the importance of obtaining a dog license. The event was held at the SPCA of Luzerne County with the echoes of dogs barking in another room.
“It is very important to license your dog; it’s the law,” Greig said. “It also gives you a peace of mind that if your dog ever gets lost, you’d be able to get him home quicker with a license.”
Cindy Stark, shelter manager at the SPCA, said the shelter took in 755 stray dogs last year.
“Of those 755, we managed to return over 300 to their owners,” Stark said. “That leaves a lot who weren’t returned to the owners.”
Twenty-five of the 300 returned dogs had licenses — with only 15 with licenses that were current, Stark said.
Greig said a dog license is affordable. It costs $8.45 for a dog license and $6.45 for a license if the dog is spayed or neutered. Senior citizen dog owners are eligible for a discount.
Dogs that are 3 months old or older are required under state law to be licensed, and the fine for not having a dog license is $300.
Mundy, D-Kingston, said revenue from dog licenses helps fund the operation of animal shelters and dog inspections.
“The low rate of compliance contributes to the struggle many animal shelters face in keeping their doors open,” Mundy said. “Dog license revenue compensates shelters for taking in certain dogs, it pays for kennel inspections and provides shelters with grants to help fund their operations. These activities are at risk due to the lack of funding.”
Dog licenses can be purchased at the Luzerne County Treasurer’s Office or online at www.padoglicense.com.