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Pennsylvania

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes. Title 3. Agriculture. Chapter 8. Dogs. Dog Law; Title 34 Pa.C.S.A. Game. Chapter 23. Hunting and Furtaking. Subchapter E. Dogs Pursuing Game or Wildlife. Chapter 29. Special Licenses and Permits. Subchapter C. Permits Relating to Hunting Dogs

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 3 P.S. 459-101 - 1205; 3 P.S. 501, 531 - 532, 550 - 551; 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2381 - 2386; 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2941 - 2945

Citation: PA ST 3 P.S. 459-101 - 1205; PA ST 3 P.S. 501, 531 - 532, 550 - 551; PA ST 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2381 - 2386; PA ST 34 Pa.C.S.A. 2941 - 2945


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   These statutes represent Pennsylvania's Dog Law, and contain provisions related to licensing, rabies quarantines, kennels, and the dangerous dog chapter.  The significant features of the law include a statewide control requirement for dogs (Section 305) and provisions for "dangerous dogs" (Section 501 et. seq.).  Under the latter, any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal, including household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings, whether or not such a dog bears a required license tag.  There is no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.  Any person who has been attacked by a dog(s) may file a complaint to have the dog registered as "dangerous."  Not only is a crime in the Commonwealth to harbor a dangerous dog, but an owner must post a surety bond for $50,000 (can be an insurance policy) and the dog must be proper enclosed unless muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash while under physical restraint of a responsible person.  The article does not apply if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.


Statute in Full:

Links on Other Pages:

Link to Dog Purchaser Protection Act

Link to Chapter 7A. Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act.  

Definitions and Introductory Provisions:

§ 459-101. Short title

Dog License Provisions:

§ 459-200. Issuance of dog licenses; compensation; proof required; deposit of funds; records; license sales; rules and regulations; failure to comply; unlawful acts; penalty

§ 459-201. Applications for dog licenses; fees; penalties

§ 459-202. License certificates; tag removal; exclusion for some dogs

§ 459-203. Tags furnished to county treasurers and other agents; lost tags

§ 459-204. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 4, effective in 60 days

§ 459-205. Transfer of dog licenses or tags; other licensing requirements

Kennel Provisions:

§ 459-206. Kennels

§ 459-207. Requirements for kennels

§ 459-208. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days

§ 459-209. Out-of-state dealer license; application; fee; prohibitions

§ 459-210. Bills of sale

§ 459-211. Revocation, suspension or refusal of kennel licenses

Dog Transportation/Importation:

§ 459-212. Dogs temporarily in the Commonwealth

§ 459-213. Transportation of dogs

§ 459-214. Health certificates for importation

§§ 459-215, 459-216. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days

Service Dogs/Municipal Dogs:

§ 459-217. Service dogs and dogs used by municipal or State Police departments

Powers of State Regarding Dogs:

§ 459-218. Inspections of premises and dogs

§ 459-219. Additional duties of the department

§ 459-220. Refusal of entry

§ 459-221. Canine Health Board

§ 459-301. Quarantines

Confinement and Seizure of Dogs:

§ 459-302. Seizure and detention of dogs; costs; destruction of dogs

§ 459-303. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 9, effective in 60 days

§ 459-304. Dogs in heat, confinement thereof

§ 459-305. Confinement of dogs

§ 459-402. Notice requiring examination of dog

Dog Bites/Dangerous Dogs, Dogs As Nuisance - Authority to Kill:

§ 459-501. Killing dogs; dogs as nuisances

§ 459-502. Dog bites; detention and isolation of dogs

§ 459-501-A. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days

§ 459-502-A. Registration

§ 459-503-A. Requirements

§ 459-504-A. Control of dangerous dogs

§ 459-505-A. Public safety and penalties

§ 459-506-A. State registry

§ 459-507-A. Construction of article

Abandonment of Animals Prohibited; Actions for Damages by Owner; Actions Against Owners for Damage Done by Dogs:

§ 459-601. Theft; poison; abandonment of animals by owner

§ 459-602. Dogs used for law enforcement

§ 459-603. Selling, bartering or trading dogs

§ 459-701. Reimbursement for damages; complaints

§ 459-701.1. Reimbursement for rabies

§ 459-702. Quarantines due to damages

§ 459-703. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 20, effective in 60 days

§ 459-704. Killing of dogs causing damages

§ 459-705. Harboring unlicensed dogs; forfeiture of rights of reimbursement

§ 459-706. Damages caused by coyotes; complaints; liability

§ 459-801. False statements

§ 459-802. Burdens of proof

Enforcement Provisions:

§ 459-901. Enforcement of this act by the secretary; provisions for inspections

§ 459-902. Rules and regulations

§ 459-903. Violations

§ 459-904. Permanent identification altered

§ 459-905. Disposition of fines and penalties

§ 459-906. Reports to General Assembly

§ 459-907. State dog wardens; plan for appointment

Adoption and Sterilization Provisions:

§ 459-901-A. Definitions

§ 459-902-A. Spaying or neutering as condition for release of certain animals

§ 459-903-A. Refund of deposit upon proof of sterilization

§ 459-904-A. Rules and sterilization agreement

§ 459-905-A. Extension of time to sterilize

§ 459-906-A. Exemption from sterilization; refund of deposited funds

§ 459-907-A. Death of adopted animal

§ 459-908-A. Forfeiture of deposited funds and adopted dog or cat

§ 459-909-A. Disposition of forfeited funds; record of accounts

§ 459-910-A. Construction of article

§ 459-911-A. Penalty

Funding Appropriations and County Dog Law Programs; Application of State Dog Law

§ 459-1001. Dog Law Restricted Account; disposition and appropriation of funds accruing under the provisions of this act

§ 459-1002. County dog law programs

§ 459-1101. Liability of the State

§ 459-1201. Applicability to cities of the first class, second class, second class A and third class

§ 459-1202. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 29, effective in 60 days

§ 459-1203. Severability

§ 459-1204. Acts not affected

§ 459-1205. Repealer

Dog Law of 1921:

§ 501. Loss of livestock from rabies caused by bite of dog

Dogs Worrying Sheep:

§ 531. Dogs worrying or accustomed to worry sheep

§ 532. How damages recovered

Noise Pollution:

§ 550. General immunity from noise

§ 551. Nuisances and injunction

Fish and Wildlife Laws Related to Dogs:

Title 34 Pa.C.S.A. Game. Chapter 23. Hunting and Furtaking. Subchapter E. Dogs Pursuing Game or Wildlife.

§ 2381. Dogs pursuing, injuring or killing game or wildlife

§ 2382. Training dogs on small game

§ 2383. Dogs pursuing, injuring or killing big game

§ 2384. Declaring dogs public nuisances

§ 2385. Destruction of dogs declared public nuisances

§ 2386. Penalties

Title 34 Pa.C.S.A. Game. Chapter 29. Special Licenses and Permits. Subchapter C. Permits Relating to Hunting Dogs

§ 2941. Dog training areas

§ 2942. Special retriever training areas

§ 2943. Field dog trials

§ 2944. Field dog trials for retrievers

§ 2945. Fox chasing

 

 

 

§ 459-101. Short title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Dog Law."

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. I, § 101, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-102. Definitions

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

"Abandon.” To forsake entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for the care and support of an animal by its owner or his agent.

“Abandonment.” Relinquishment of all rights and claims to an animal by its owner.

“Agent.” A person defined in section 200 who is authorized by this act to process applications for dog license certificates and issue dog license certificates and tags.

“Animal control officer.” Any person appointed to carry out the duties of dog control.

“Attack.” The deliberate action of a dog, whether or not in response to a command by its owner, to bite, to seize with its teeth or to pursue any human , domestic animal, dog or cat.

“Boarding kennel.” Any establishment available to the general public where a dog or dogs are housed for compensation by the day, week or a specified or unspecified time. The term shall not include a kennel where the practice of veterinary medicine is performed if the kennel is covered by the provisions of the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), [FN1] known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” The term shall include any boarding facility operated by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine whether or not this facility is on the same premises as a building or structure subject to the provisions of the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” The term shall include any establishment available to the general public that, for consideration, takes control of a dog from the owner for a portion of a day for the purposes of exercise, day care or entertainment of the dog. For the purpose of this term, each time a dog enters the kennel it shall be counted as one dog. This term does not include an establishment engaged only in dog grooming or dog training.

“Cat.” The genus and species known as Felis catus.

“Commercial kennel.” A kennel that breeds or whelps dogs and:

(1) sells or transfers any dog to a dealer or pet shop kennel; or

(2) sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per calendar year.

“Confiscate.” To appropriate property to the use of the government or to adjudge property to be forfeited to the public, without compensation to the owner of the property.

“County animal warden.” Any person employed or appointed under section 1002(a.1). [FN2]

“County treasurer.” The elected officer for any county or any county employee assigned to the office of the county treasurer charged with the receipt, custody and disbursements of its moneys or funds. The term county treasurer shall include those officials in home rule charter counties responsible for county treasurer's duties.

“Coyote.” The genus and species known as Canis latrans.

“Dangerous dog.” A dog determined to be a dangerous dog under section 502-A. [FN3]

“Dealer.” A person who:

(1) publicly or privately sells or offers for sale any dog belonging to another person for consideration, a fee or a commission or percentage of the sale price;

(2) transfers dogs at wholesale for resale to another; or

(3) offers or maintains dogs at wholesale for resale to another.

“Dealer kennel.” A kennel operating within the Commonwealth which:

(1) publicly or privately sells or offers for sale any dog as an owner, agent or assignee for a fee, commission or percentage of the sale price;

(2) transfers dogs at wholesale for resale to another; or

(3) offers or maintains dogs at wholesale for resale to another. The term does not include a pound, shelter or common carrier or a kennel defined elsewhere in this section.

“Department.” The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“Detection dog.” A dog which is trained and used for accelerant detection, bomb or explosives detection, narcotics detection or other scent detection.

“Dog.” The genus and species known as Canis familiaris.

“Dog control.” The apprehending, holding and disposing of stray or unwanted dogs. Dog control may be performed by humane society police officers, police officers, State dog wardens or animal control officers.

“Domestic animal.” Any equine animal or bovine animal, sheep, goat, pig, poultry, bird, fowl, confined hares, rabbits and mink, or any wild or semiwild animal maintained in captivity.

“Establishment.”

(1) The premises on, in or through which a dog is kept, bred, harbored, boarded, sheltered, maintained, sold, given away, exchanged or in any way transferred.

(2) The term shall encompass all of the following on, in or through which any of the activities under paragraph (1) take place:

(i) The home, homestead, place of business or operation of a person, including a dealer, which includes all of the land, property, housing facilities or any combination of land, property or housing facilities of the individual or person.

(ii) All of the persons residing in or on the establishment.

(iii) A person, organization, business or operation which utilizes offsite or rescue network kennel homes to keep, maintain, breed, train, harbor, board, shelter, sell, give away, adopt, exchange or in any way transfer dogs.

(3) The term shall not include a gathering of dog owners where dogs remain in the custody and care of their owners, such as a hotel or campground, a place for grooming or training or an event such as a field trial, performance event, hunting event or dog show.

“Housing facility.” A structure that provides animals with shelter, protection from the elements and protection from temperature extremes.

“Humanely killed.” A method of destruction in accordance with the act of December 22, 1983 (P.L. 303, No. 83), [FN4] referred to as the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law.

“Humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals.” A nonprofit society or association duly incorporated pursuant to 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 53 Subch. A (relating to incorporation generally) for the purpose of the prevention of cruelty to animals.

“Humane society police officer.” Any person duly appointed pursuant to 22 Pa.C.S. § 501 (relating to appointment by nonprofit corporations) to act as a police officer for a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals. The term shall include any person who is an agent of a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals as agent is used in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals).

“Kennel.” Any establishment in or through which at least 26 dogs are kept or transferred in a calendar year, or a boarding kennel as defined in this act.

“Licensed doctor of veterinary medicine” or “veterinarian.” A person who is currently licensed pursuant to the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.”

“Muzzle.” A device, in any arrangement of straps or wires, placed over an animal's mouth to prevent the animal from biting or eating.

“Nonprofit kennel.” A kennel registered under the laws of this Commonwealth as a nonprofit entity or a nonprofit animal control kennel under sections 901 and 1002. [FN5] The term shall include kennels operated by approved medical and veterinary schools and nonprofit institutions conducting medical and scientific research, which shall be required to register, but shall not be required to pay any of the license fees set by this act, and which may use their own identification tags for dogs within their kennels without being required to attach tags hereinafter prescribed while dogs are within such kennels, if approved by the secretary.

“Out-of-state dealer.” A person who does not reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and who:

(1) sells or offers for sale a dog in this Commonwealth belonging to another person, for any type of consideration, fee, commission or percentage of the sales price; or

(2) transfers a dog in this Commonwealth for resale to another for any type of consideration, fee, commission or percentage of the sales price.

“Owner.” When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, includes every person having a right of property in such dog, and every person who keeps or harbors such dog or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.

“Permanent identification” or “permanently identified.” Any long-lasting identification designed to be nonremovable, such as a tattoo or microchip, determined by the Department of Agriculture through regulation. Any dog permanently identified shall be required to bear a license tag in accordance with the provisions of this act.

“Person with a disability.” A person who receives disability insurance or supplemental security income for the aged, blind or disabled under the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq. ) ; who receives a rent or property tax rebate under the act of March 11, 1971 (P.L. 104, No. 3), [FN6] known as the “Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act,” on account of disability; who has a disability certificate issued by the United States Veterans' Administration; or who has a special registration plate under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1338 (relating to person with disability plate and placard).

“Persons.” Includes State and local officers, or employees, individuals, corporations, copartnerships and associations. Singular words shall include the plural. Masculine words shall include the feminine and neuter.

“Pet shop-kennel.” Any kennel or person that acquires and sells dogs for the purpose of resale, whether as owner, agent or consignee, and sells or offers to sell such dogs on a retail basis.

“Police officer.” Any person employed or elected by this Commonwealth, or by any municipality and whose duty it is to preserve peace or to make arrests or to enforce the law. The term includes constables and dog, game, fish and forest wardens.

“Primary enclosure.” The primary structure that restricts a dog's ability to move in a limited amount of space, such as a room, cage or compartment. The term does not include any run described in section 207(i)(6). [FN7]

“Private kennel.” A kennel not meeting the definition of “commercial kennel” where dogs are kept or bred by their owner, for the purpose of hunting, tracking and exhibiting in dog shows, performance events or field and obedience trials.

“Proper enclosure of a dangerous dog.” The secure confinement of a dangerous dog either indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and domestic animals and designed to prevent the dangerous dog from escaping. The pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top and shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded at least two feet into the ground.

“Public place.” A place in this Commonwealth to which the general public has a right to resort. A public place need not be a place devoted solely to use by the public, but may be a place which is visited by many persons on a regular basis and is usually accessible to the neighboring public. A public place shall also include television and radio media.

“Rescue network kennel.” A kennel that utilizes rescue network kennel homes with the goal of ultimately transferring the dog to a permanent owner or keeper through any means of transfer.

“Rescue network kennel home.” An establishment to which a rescue network kennel assigns a dog until the dog is ultimately transferred to a permanent home.

“Research.” Investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts or procedures, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws as related to the advancement of medical science and technological treatment of disease or surgical operations, medical procedures, transplants, functions and any form of medical or pharmacological actions on dogs when applied and personally supervised by a qualified scientist with degrees approved by the secretary.

“Research kennel.” Any Federal research kennel or other research kennel duly registered with and inspected by the Federal Government under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (Public Law 89-544, 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) and its attendant regulations.

“Search and rescue dog.” A dog which is trained to locate lost or missing persons, victims of natural or manmade disasters and human bodies.

“Secretary.” The Secretary of Agriculture or any person to whom authority has been delegated by the Secretary of Agriculture.

“Seizure.” The act of taking possession of property for a violation of law or the taking or removal from the possession of another. The term shall not include the taking of ownership of property.

“Service dog.” Any dog which has been or is in the process of being trained as a guide dog, signal dog or has been trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

“Severe injury.” Any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.

“State dog warden.” An employee of the department whose primary duty is to enforce this act and the regulations pursuant thereto.

“Veterinarian-client-patient relationship.” As defined in section 3(15) of the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), [FN8] known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.”

“Vivisection.” The cutting of or operation on a living animal for physical or pathological investigation or animal experimentation.

“Wild” or “semiwild animal.” A domestic animal which is now or historically has been found in the wild, including, but not limited to, bison, deer, elk, llamas or any species of foreign or domestic cattle, such as ankole, gayal and yak.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. I, § 102, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 1, imd. effective; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 1, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] 63 P.S. § 485.1 et seq.

[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-1002.

[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-502-A.

[FN4] 3 P.S. § 328.1 et seq.

[FN5] 3 P.S. §§ 459-901, 459-1002.

[FN6] 72 P.S. § 4751-1 et seq. (repealed); see now, 53 P.S. § 6926.1301 et seq.

[FN7] 3 P.S. § 459-207.

[FN8] 63 P.S. § 485.3.

 


 

§ 459-200. Issuance of dog licenses; compensation; proof required; deposit of funds; records; license sales; rules and regulations; failure to comply; unlawful acts; penalty

Issuance of dog licenses; compensation; proof required; deposit of funds; records; license sales; rules and regulations; failure to comply; unlawful acts; penalty

(a) Issuance of dog licenses.--

(1) The county treasurer shall be an agent and shall process applications for dog license certificates and issue dog license certificates and tags.

(1.1) The county treasurer shall be permitted and may permit agents to issue vanity or collector tags that are approved by the department, in addition to the license.

(2) The county treasurer may authorize magisterial district judges to be agents and to process applications for dog license certificates and to issue dog license certificates and tags.

(3) The county treasurer may authorize other agents within the county to process dog license certificates and to issue dog license certificates and tags. At least half of the agents appointed in each county shall have hours of operation after 5 p.m. at least one weekday and shall be open at least one day of each weekend. Agents who have been appointed by their respective county treasurers under this paragraph shall meet bonding requirements as their respective county treasurers may require.

(4) The secretary shall have the authority, after a review of the agents appointed by a county treasurer, to appoint agents within each county to process dog license certificates and to issue dog license certificates and tags. Priority shall be given to licensed doctors of veterinary medicine and kennels licensed under this act. At least half of the agents appointed in each county shall have hours of operation after 5 p.m. at least one weekday and shall be open at least one day of each weekend. Agents appointed by the secretary under this paragraph shall be required to post a bond or other security instrument in a form satisfactory to the secretary in an amount he determines. The secretary may recall the appointment of any agent at any time.

(5) Agents who have been appointed by their respective county treasurers prior to the effective date of this section may continue to act as agents for the county treasurers under such bonding requirements as the county treasurer may require.

(b) Compensation.--For services rendered in collecting and paying over dog license fees, agents, for as long as they continue to act in that capacity, may collect and retain a sum equal to the cost of a postage stamp plus $1 for each dog license sold, which amount shall be full compensation for services rendered by them under this act. The compensation shall be retained by the respective agents and shall cover, among other things, the cost of processing and issuing dog licenses, postage, mailing, returns and bonding of the agents. A magisterial district judge authorized by the county treasurer to process applications for dog license certificates and issue dog license certificates is not authorized to collect compensation under this subsection. Agents under subsection (a)(3) and (5) shall collect an additional 50¢ which shall be remitted to the county treasurer, for the use of the county, in the same manner as records are forwarded under subsection (e).

(b.1) Mailings.--Advertisements, promotions, requests for donations, solicitations and other materials may not add to the cost of postage to be paid by the department and may not be directly attached to a dog license application, dog license renewal notice or other dog law document. Dog license mailings, renewals and other notices related to State dog licenses shall not contain any extraneous advertising, promotions, requests for donations, solicitations or other materials unless the advertisement, promotion, request for donation, solicitations or other materials have met one of the following conditions:

(1) They have been previously approved in writing by the department.

(2) They each contain a disclaimer stating that, “The solicitation or request for a donation herein is not for a program sponsored by, funded by or endorsed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (the Department). The Department takes no responsibility for this program. Participation in this program is voluntary, is not a condition of receiving a dog license and does not change the cost of obtaining a dog license. Any donation will be deposited into an account separate from the account for dog license revenues. ”

(c) Proof required.--Each agent shall secure positive proof of the owner's identification, age and disability, if any, and the dog's spay/neuter status, as may be appropriate, for each dog license sold.

(d) Deposit of funds.--All dog license fees paid to an agent under this act, less compensation if collected, shall be paid by those agents into the State Treasury for deposit in the Dog Law Restricted Account at least once a month, and they shall be applied to the purposes provided for in this act. An agent shall make a return to the department upon a form to be supplied by the department.

(e) Records.--Each agent shall keep on a printed form supplied by the department a correct and complete record of all dog licenses issued, funds that are received and uncollected funds that have been subtracted from the money forwarded to the secretary. The records shall be available at reasonable hours for inspection by any employee of the department charged with the enforcement of this act or any representative of the Department of Auditor General or Office of Attorney General. Within five days following the first day of each month, each agent shall forward to the secretary and to the county treasurer of the county in which the agent is situated, on forms supplied by the department, a complete report of dog licenses issued, in correct numerical sequence. All money collected from the sale of dog licenses, less compensation if collected, and any other information required by the secretary shall be forwarded to the secretary with the report.

(e.1) Electronic records.--Within the later of 180 days of the effective date of this section or 60 days after the county treasurer has the capability to submit an electronic file of license holders, the county treasurer shall submit to the secretary an electronic data file of license holders. The county treasurer shall monthly update the data file and submit the updated file monthly to reflect all new applicants.

(f) License sales.--Each agent shall process applications and issue dog license certificates on a year-round basis. Nothing in this act shall permit an agent while acting in that capacity to suspend license sales during any time. If checks are returned for delinquent funds or the proper dog license fee is not collected for any reason and if these funds have been subtracted from the money forwarded to the secretary, the agent shall report the delinquency to the department on a form supplied by the department.

(g) Rules and regulations.--The department may promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to control and supervise the issuance of dog licenses by agents.

(h) Failure to comply.--An agent who fails to comply with this act or regulations adopted under this act relating to the issuance, recording of data or remitting of costs for dog licenses issued shall not be entitled to retain the sum under subsection (b) for his services but shall pay the sum to the State Treasury for deposit into the Dog Law Restricted Account. Delinquent agents are subject to a penalty of 10% per month on any outstanding balance of dog license money due the department, which penalty shall be compounded on a monthly basis. Any money not paid may be recovered by the Commonwealth by suit in the same manner as like amounts are recoverable by law. Delinquent agents shall be recalled after a delinquency period of 60 days.

(i) Unlawful acts concerning agents.--It is unlawful for an agent or his representative to knowingly:

(1) Issue a dog license at a fee greater than the fee prescribed in this act.

(2) Issue a dog license without first securing the proofs required under subsection (c).

(3) Falsify the date of a license certificate.

(4) Violate any other provision of this section.

(j) Penalty.--Any agent who violates this section or the rules or regulations promulgated under it commits a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500 and, in addition, may have his agency recalled at the discretion of the secretary. Each day of violation or each illegal act constitutes a separate offense.

CREDIT(S)

1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 2, imd. effective. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

 

§ 459-201. Applications for dog licenses; fees; penalties

(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), on or before January 1 of each year, the owner of any dog, three months of age or older, except as hereinafter provided, shall apply to the county treasurer of his respective county or an agent under section 200(a), [FN1] on a form prescribed by the department, for the appropriate license for the dog. The application and license certificate shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the dog, the name, address and telephone number of the owner and the year of licensure. The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate license fee as follows:

(1) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the license fee shall be $5.

(2) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $7.

(3) For Pennsylvania residents 65 years of age or older and persons with disabilities:

(i) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the license fee shall be $3.

(ii) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $5.

(4) Compensation, if collected under section 200(b), [FN2] shall also be paid by all applicants, regardless of age or disability.

(5) All additional costs of a vanity or collector tag issued under this subsection shall be in addition to the required license fee under this section. The additional cost shall be distributed equally between the county treasurer that issued the license and the Dog Law Restricted Account. A vanity or collector tag shall not be issued without approval of the department.

(b) Lifetime license.--The owner of any dog three months of age or older which has been permanently identified may apply to the county treasurer of his respective county or an agent under section 200(a), on a form prescribed by the department for a lifetime license for such a dog. Except as otherwise provided in this act, a dog which has been issued a lifetime license shall be required to wear a license tag. The application and license certificate shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of such dog, the type and number of permanent identification and the name, address and telephone number of the owner. The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate license fee as follows:

(1) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the lifetime license fee shall be $30.

(2) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $50.

(3) For Pennsylvania residents 65 years of age or older and persons with disabilities:

(i) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the license fee shall be $20.

(ii) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $30.

(4) Compensation, if collected under section 200(b), shall also be paid by all applicants, regardless of age or disability. A dog which has been issued a lifetime license prior to the effective date of this act shall not be subject to fees under this subsection.

(5) All additional costs of a vanity or collector tag issued under this subsection shall be charged in addition to the fees under this section. The additional cost shall be distributed equally between the county treasurer that issued the tag and the Dog Law Restricted Account. A vanity or collector tag shall not be issued without approval of the department.

(c) Penalty.--A person who violates this section commits a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300 for each unlicensed dog. Fraudulent statements, including those related to the breed of the dog, failure to pay the appropriate fee or failure to update records, including address and contact information, within 120 days of moving constitute a violation. The burden of proof shall be the same as under section 802. [FN3]

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-200(a).
[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-200(b).
[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-802.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 201, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 3, imd. effective; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 3, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-202. License certificates; tag removal; exclusion for some dogs

(a) General rule.--Each dog license certificate shall be dated and numbered, and shall bear the name of the county where such license is issued and any other information required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the department. All dog licenses except lifetime licenses as provided in section 201(b) [FN1] shall expire upon December 31 of the year for which the license was issued. A tag bearing the same number issued with the license certificate shall be affixed to a substantial collar or harness. The collar or harness shall be furnished by the owner, and, with the tag attached, shall at all times be kept on the dog for which the license is issued, except as otherwise provided in this act. It shall be unlawful for any person, except the owner or his authorized agent, or a State dog warden, to remove any license tag from a dog's collar or harness or to remove any collar or harness with a license tag attached thereto from any dog, except as provided in 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game), and except as herein or otherwise provided.

(b) Exception.--The following need not wear a license tag on a collar or a harness:

(1) Dogs when confined.

(1.1) Dogs when restricted to the property of a kennel licensed under this act.

(2) Dogs when being transported for law enforcement.

(3) Dogs when being transported to or from a veterinary office pursuant to an order of the secretary for humane purposes.

(4) Dogs which are confined to the property of the owner or when training for or engaging in dog shows, performance events or hunting activities and dogs while being transported by or on behalf of their owner or keeper to or from the location at which they train or engage in dog shows, performance events or hunting activities, as long as a copy of the kennel license or individual dog license or tag is in possession of the owner or keeper accompanying each dog.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-201.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 202, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 3, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 3, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-203. Tags furnished to county treasurers and other agents; lost tags

The department shall furnish to the county treasurers and to other agents under section 200(a) [FN1] tags to be given to applicants for dog licenses. The department shall furnish to the county treasurers tags to be distributed to agents under section 200(a)(3) and (5). Such tags shall bear the name of the county where such dog license is issued and a serial number corresponding to the number on the issued dog license certificate. Such tags shall not contain more than one square inch of area between the ears or the fastening device and have impressed thereon the calendar year for which the tag is valid. If any tag is lost, it shall be replaced by the county treasurer upon production of the dog license certificate. The cost for the issuance of a tag due to loss shall be $1 paid to the county treasurer for the use of the county.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-200(a).

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 203, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 3, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-204. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 4, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-205. Transfer of dog licenses or tags; other licensing requirements

(a) Transfer of dog license.--It is unlawful to transfer a dog license or dog license tag issued for one dog to another dog, except as otherwise provided in this act. Whenever the ownership or possession of any dog is permanently transferred from one person to another within the same county, the license of such dog may be likewise transferred, upon application to an agent under section 200(a). [FN1] Such application shall be accompanied by a bill of sale or an affidavit from the owner that ownership of the dog is to be transferred. A new dog license, or the transfer of a dog license already secured, is not required when the possession of a dog is temporarily transferred for the purpose of hunting game, or for breeding, boarding and training, trial or show, in this Commonwealth. The issuing agent shall charge and retain $1 for such transfer application.

(b) Dog moved to another county.--Whenever any dog licensed in one county is permanently moved to another county, an issuing agent of the county where the dog license was issued shall, upon the application of the owner or keeper of such dog, certify such dog license to an agent of the county to which the dog is moved. Such agent shall thereupon, and upon the payment of a fee of $1 for the use of the agent, issue a dog license and tag for such dog in the county to which it is moved.

(c) Owners of unlicensed dogs.--Any person other than as exempt in section 206, [FN2] becoming the owner of any dog three months old or older, which has not already been licensed shall forthwith apply for and secure a license for such dog under the provisions of this act.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-200(a).

[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-206.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 205, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-206. Kennels

(a) Applications, kennel license classifications and fees.--Any person who keeps or operates a kennel shall, on or before January 1 of each year, apply to the department for a kennel license. Kennels shall be classified by type, and the fee for the license shall be determined by the kennel type, the number of dogs housed, kept, harbored, boarded, sheltered, sold, given away or transferred in or by the kennel. The application forms and kennel licenses shall be as designated by the secretary. A separate license shall be required for each type of kennel and every location at which a kennel is kept or operated. A kennel license is required to keep or operate any kennel. All kennel licenses shall expire on December 31. When two or more licensed kennels are operated by the same person at the same location, each kennel shall be inspected and licensed as required by law.

Kennel Class I.--To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 50 dogs or less of any age during a calendar year--$75 per year.

Kennel Class II.--To keep or operate a private kennel, pet-shop kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 51 to 100 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$200 per year.

Kennel Class III.--To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 101 to 150 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$300 per year.

Kennel Class IV.--To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 151 to 250 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$400 per year.

Kennel Class V.--To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 251 to 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$500 per year.

Kennel Class VI.--To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, kennel or dealer kennel for a total of more than 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$750 per year.

Boarding Kennel Class I.--To keep or operate a boarding kennel having the capacity to accommodate a total of 1 to 10 dogs at any time during a calendar year--$100 per year.

Boarding Kennel Class II. --To keep or operate a boarding kennel having the capacity to accommodate a total of 11 to 25 dogs at any time during a calendar year--$150 per year.

Boarding Kennel Class III.--To keep or operate a boarding kennel having the capacity to accommodate 26 or more dogs at any time during a calendar year--$250 per year.

Nonprofit Kennel.--To keep or operate a nonprofit kennel--$25 per year.

Kennel Class C-I.--To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 50 dogs or less of any age during a calendar year--$75 per year.

Kennel Class C-II.--To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 51 to 100 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$200 per year.

Kennel Class C-III.--To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 101 to 150 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$300 per year.

Kennel Class C-IV.--To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 151 to 250 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$400 per year.

Kennel Class C-V.--To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 251 to 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$500 per year.

Kennel Class C-VI.--To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of more than 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year--$750 per year.

(b) Nonprofit kennels.--A nonprofit kennel shall apply for a nonprofit kennel license. Such kennel may use its own identification tags for dogs confined therein. The secretary may approve, upon application, the removal of tags from licensed dogs confined therein. A rescue network kennel may be a nonprofit kennel if it meets the definition of nonprofit kennel.

(c) Deleted by 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days.

(d) Issuance of tags.--The department shall issue the number of tags equal to the number of dogs three months of age or older, or a lesser number as determined by the kennel owner's needs, approved by the secretary to be kept in a kennel described under this section. All tags shall bear the name of the county where they are issued, the kennel license number and any other information required by the secretary through regulations. The tags shall be utilized and displayed as set forth in section 207(d). [FN1]

(e) Kennel closing, changing name or moving to another location.--If a person that keeps or operates a kennel closes, changes its name or moves to another location, the person shall file an application with the secretary notifying the secretary of the move, closure, transfer or change of name. Upon approval by the secretary, which shall require an inspection and approval of the new facility, the kennel license may be allowed to remain in effect until the end of the calendar year at which time it shall be renewed in accordance with this act. If a kennel is closing, the secretary shall conduct a postclosure inspection.

(f) Adequacy of fees.--On or before July 1 of each year, the department shall submit a report to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives comparing the expenses incurred by the department for enforcing this act with regard to kennels and the revenues received by the department in accordance with this section.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-207.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 206, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 3, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-207. Requirements for kennels

(a) Deleted by 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days.

(a.1) Prohibition to operate; injunction; fines.--

(1) It shall be unlawful for kennels described under section 206 [FN1] to operate without first obtaining a kennel license from the department.

(2) The secretary shall not approve any kennel license application unless such kennel has been inspected and approved by a State dog warden or employee of the department.

(3) The secretary may file a suit in equity in the Commonwealth Court to enjoin the operation of any kennel that violates any of the provisions of this act.

(4) It shall be no defense to any civil penalty or criminal prosecution under this act that a person operating a kennel failed to properly obtain the appropriate license.

(5) A kennel operator that is applying for a different license because of an increase in the total number of dogs or due to birth of additional dogs in the kennel during a calendar year shall not be in violation, provided the application is filed within seven days of the increase.

(a.2) Civil penalties and remedies.--The following shall apply to civil penalties and remedies for unlicensed kennels:

(1) In addition to proceeding under any other remedy available at law or in equity for a violation of a provision of this act or a rule or regulation adopted or order issued under this act, the secretary may assess a civil penalty, in addition to any penalty under section 903(c), [FN2] against an unlicensed kennel of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each day it operates in violation of this act. The penalty shall be premised on the gravity and willfulness of the violation, the potential harm to the health and safety of the animals and the public, previous violations and the economic benefit to the violator for failing to comply with this act.

(2) In cases of inability to collect the civil penalty or failure of a person to pay all or a portion of the penalty, the secretary may refer the matter to the Office of Attorney General, which shall institute an action in the appropriate court to recover the penalty.

(a.3) Cease and desist order.--

(1) The secretary may provide a written order to cease and desist operating to an owner who is operating a kennel without a license. The order shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action and shall advise the affected person that within ten days of receipt of the order, he may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing.

(2) The written order to cease and desist operating shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person operating the unlicensed kennel or a responsible employee of such a person. The order to cease and desist shall become a final order of the department upon expiration of the ten-day period for requesting an administrative hearing unless a timely request has been filed with the department.

(3) A person receiving a written cease and desist order shall, upon the order becoming final, comply with all of the following:

(i) Immediately cease and desist from operating a kennel, including boarding, buying, exchanging, selling, offering for sale, giving away or in any way transferring dogs.

(ii) Acquire no additional dogs nor increase the number of dogs in the kennel by any means, including breeding. This subparagraph does not apply to an acquisition or increase by birth of puppies from a mother which, at the time of the order, was:

(A) on the property;

(B) pregnant; and

(C) owned by the kennel or the kennel owner.

(iii) Notify the department prior to the euthanization of any dog. No dog may be euthanized unless it is determined by a veterinarian that the euthanasia will prevent the dog from suffering caused by a medical condition. If a veterinarian determines a dog should be euthanized, a copy of the veterinarian's findings, signed by the veterinarian, must be provided to the department. The provisions of this subparagraph do not apply to an emergency situation if it is deemed by the veterinarian that immediate euthanasia is necessary to relieve the suffering of the dog. Following euthanasia in an emergency situation, a copy of the veterinarian's findings must be signed by the veterinarian and provided to the department.

(iv) Permit State dog wardens to inspect the kennel without a warrant in order to determine compliance with the department's order, any relevant court order and any provision of this act.

(v) Divest of all dogs numbering over 25, unless directed otherwise by the department order, within a reasonable time period as determined by the department, but not to exceed ten days. The department's order shall set forth the manner by which the kennel owner may divest of the dogs. If there are more dogs on the premises than permitted in the department order after the expiration of the time period set forth in the order, the kennel may select the dogs to be kept, up to the number allowed under this subparagraph. The dogs not selected shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the department order or to an entity approved by the department without compensation to the owner.

(4) The following applies to appeals:

(i) This paragraph applies to a person who has received a written cease and desist order and who:

(A) has timely filed a request for an administrative appeal; and

(B) would require a kennel license under this act, pending the exhaustion of all administrative appeals.

(ii) A person subject to subparagraph (i) shall, during the duration of all administrative appeals and thereafter if the department's action is upheld, be subject to the requirements set forth in paragraph (3)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv).

(iii) Within ten days after the exhaustion of an administrative appeal under subparagraph (i)(A) in which the department's action is upheld, the kennel shall reduce the number of dogs under paragraph (3)(v).

(iv) Removal of dogs may occur under section 211(d), (e) and (f). [FN3]

(5) Failure to take action or to meet the conditions imposed under this subsection, in addition to any other penalties allowed under this act, may result in imposition by the department of an administrative penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per day for each violation. Each dog in excess of the number of dogs permitted under paragraph (3)(v) or (4)(iii) shall count as one violation.

(6) Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(b) Maintenance of kennels.--All kennels shall be maintained in a sanitary and humane condition in accordance with standards and sanitary codes promulgated by the secretary through regulations.

(c) Records to be maintained.--Every keeper of a kennel shall keep, for two years, a record of each dog at any time kept in the kennel. Such record shall show:

(1) The breed, color, markings, sex and age of each dog.

(2) The date on which each dog entered the kennel.

(3) The full name and physical address at the time the dogs were received of the previous owner or kennel from whom the dog was received. This paragraph shall not apply to a boarding kennel.

(4) The full name and physical address of the person or kennel to whom the dog belongs.

(5) For what purpose each dog is kept in the kennel.

(6) The date on which each dog leaves the kennel.

(7) How the dog is dispensed. If the dog was transferred to another person or kennel, the record must state the full name and physical address of the person or kennel to whom the dog was dispensed.

(8) The name, address and telephone number of the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine used by the kennel. Such record shall be legible and shall be open to inspection and may be copied by any employee of the department, State dog warden or police officer as defined by this act.

(c.1) Nonprofit kennels.--All nonprofit kennels shall be required to keep all records required to be kept under this section, except that, in the case of a dog running at large, it shall not be a violation of subsection (c)(3) or (4) for the nonprofit kennel to list only the location from which a dog was retrieved if the information required to be maintained under subsection (c)(3) and (4) is unknown and not available to the nonprofit kennel.

(d) Tags.--Every holder of a kennel license shall attach one tag to a collar or harness of each dog three months old or older kept by that person, whenever the dog is not within the kennel except as provided for in sections 202 and 213. [FN4] Dogs housed in rescue kennel network homes shall have and display the dealer's tag or rescue kennel network home's tag or individual dog license as provided in this section.

(e) Display of kennel license.--The following shall apply:

(1) A person operating a kennel required to be licensed under this act shall display, in a place conspicuous to persons authorized to enter, a current and valid kennel license certificate issued by the department. The kennel license certificate shall show all of the following:

(i) The year for which it was issued.

(ii) The kennel class and type.

(iii) The number of dogs allowed to be housed in that class of kennel per calendar year.

(2) Rescue network kennel homes associated with a dealer or rescue kennel network shall display a copy of the dealer's or the rescue kennel network's kennel license.

(3) If the secretary revokes or denies a kennel license, the department shall issue a notice of revocation or denial. The notice shall be posted in a place conspicuous to persons authorized to enter and approved by the department for a period of time as provided in this subsection. In the case of a revocation or denial of a kennel license, the kennel shall display the notice of revocation or denial until such time as the kennel has ceased to operate or as the department determines and sets forth in the order. In the case of an appeal of revocation or denial, the notice of revocation or denial shall remain posted until the final disposition of appeal or the department has reissued a valid kennel license.

(4) If the secretary finds a kennel operating without a license, the kennel, upon notice of violation or order, shall display a notice of violation issued by the department. The notice shall be posted in a place conspicuous to persons authorized to enter and approved by the department until the time as the kennel has ceased to operate or as the department determines and sets forth in the order or until such time as the kennel has come into compliance and the secretary has issued a valid kennel license.

(5) Failure to display a current and valid kennel license certificate or a notice of revocation, suspension or denial as provided in this subsection constitutes a violation of this act.

(f) (Reserved).

(g) Additional requirements for boarding kennels, nonprofit kennels and Kennel Class I through VI license holders.--The following shall apply to boarding kennels, nonprofit kennels and Kennel Class I through VI license holders:

(1) Kennels under this subsection must develop and follow an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the opportunity for exercise. The plan shall be approved by a veterinarian.

(2) All kennels for dogs shall be equipped with smoke alarms or fire extinguishers. Housing facilities shall be equipped with fire extinguishers on the premises. An indoor housing facility may have a sprinkler system.

(h) Additional requirements for Kennel Class C license holders only.--The following shall apply only to primary enclosures for all dogs in Kennel Class C kennels:

<Text of subsecs. (h)(1) to (16) effective Oct. 9, 2009.>
(1) Primary enclosures must be designed and constructed so that they are structurally sound and must be kept in good repair.

(2) Primary enclosures must meet the following requirements:

(i) Have no sharp points or edges that could injure the dogs.

(ii) Be maintained in a manner to protect the dogs from injury.

(iii) The height of a primary enclosure that is not fully enclosed on the top shall be sufficient to prevent the dog from climbing over the walls.

(iv) Keep animals other than dogs from entering the enclosure.

(v) Enable the dogs to remain dry and clean.

(vi) Provide shelter and protection from temperatures and weather conditions that may be uncomfortable or hazardous to any dog.

(vii) Provide sufficient space to shelter all the dogs housed in the primary enclosure at one time.

(viii) Provide potable water at all times, unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian in a writing that shall be kept in the kennel records.

(ix) Enable all surfaces in contact with the dogs to be readily cleaned and sanitized in accordance with paragraph (14) or be replaceable when worn or soiled.

(x) Have floors that are constructed in a manner that protects the dogs' feet and legs from injury. The floor shall not permit the feet of a dog housed in the primary enclosure to pass through any opening.

(xi) Provide space to allow each dog to turn about freely and to stand, sit and lie in a normal position. The dog must be able to lie down while fully extended without the dog's head, tail, legs, face or feet touching any side of the enclosure.

(xii) The interior height of a primary enclosure shall be at least six inches higher than the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure when it is in a normal standing position.

(3) Each bitch with nursing puppies shall be provided with an additional amount of floor space based on her breed and behavioral characteristics and in accordance with generally accepted husbandry practices as determined by the attending veterinarian. If the additional amount of floor space for each nursing puppy is less than 5% of the minimum requirement for the bitch, the amount of floor space must be approved in writing by the attending veterinarian and shall be kept in the kennel records.

(4) All dogs housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible, as determined by observation. Not more than six adult dogs may be housed in the same primary enclosure. Bitches in heat may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with sexually mature males, except for breeding. Bitches with litters may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with other adult dogs, and puppies under 12 weeks of age may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult dogs, other than the dam or foster dam. Dogs displaying vicious or aggressive behavior toward other dogs must be housed separately.

(4.1) The kennel in which the primary enclosure is located shall establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

(5) The kennel in which the primary enclosure is located shall establish a written program of veterinary care, which shall include a physical examination and vaccination schedule, a protocol for disease control and prevention, pest and parasite control, nutrition and euthanasia. A copy of the program shall be kept in the kennel records.

(6) Housing facilities for dogs must be sufficiently heated and cooled to protect the dogs from temperature or humidity extremes and to provide for their health and well-being. If dogs are present, the ambient temperature in the facility must not fall below 50 degrees F. The ambient temperature must not rise above 85 degrees F when dogs are present, unless the requirements of paragraph (7) are met.

(7) Housing facilities for dogs must be sufficiently ventilated at all times when dogs are present to provide for their health and well-being and to minimize odors, drafts, ammonia levels and to prevent moisture condensation. The Canine Health Board shall determine auxiliary ventilation to be provided if the ambient air temperature is 85 degrees F or higher. The relative humidity must be maintained at a level that ensures the health and well-being of the dogs housed therein. The appropriate ventilation, humidity and ammonia ranges shall be determined by the Canine Health Board.

(8) Housing facilities for dogs must be lighted well enough to permit routine inspection and cleaning of the facility and observation of the dogs. Animal areas must be provided a regular diurnal lighting cycle of either natural or artificial light. Lighting must be uniformly diffused throughout housing facilities and provide sufficient illumination to aid in maintaining good housekeeping practices, adequate cleaning and observation of animals at any time and for the well-being of the animals. Primary enclosures must be placed so as to protect the dogs from excessive light. The appropriate lighting ranges shall be determined by the Canine Health Board.

(9) The floors and walls of primary enclosures must be impervious to moisture. The ceilings of indoor housing facilities must be impervious to moisture or be replaceable.

(10) All dogs must be provided with adequate food that is clean and free from contaminants.

(11) All dogs must be removed from the primary enclosure when the primary enclosure is cleaned in accordance with paragraph (14)(iv).

(12) Primary enclosures may not be stacked more than two rows high, and the bottom of the uppermost primary enclosure may not be more than four and one-half feet off the housing facility floor. Where the primary enclosures are stacked, a tray or other department-approved device which will prevent urine, feces and other debris from passing into or being discharged into the underlying primary enclosure shall be placed under the upper primary enclosures. The tray or approved device must be impermeable to water and capable of being easily sanitized.

(13) All kennels shall be equipped with a smoke alarm and shall have a means of fire suppression, such as fire extinguishers or a sprinkler system on the premises.

(14) The following shall apply:

(i) Excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris and food waste must be removed from primary enclosures at least daily or more often if necessary to prevent an accumulation of excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris and food waste to prevent soiling of dogs contained in the primary enclosures and to reduce disease hazards, insects, pests and odors.

(ii) Used primary enclosures and food and water receptacles must be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with this section before they can be used to house, feed or water another dog or grouping of dogs.

(iii) Used primary enclosures and food and water receptacles for dogs must be sanitized at least once every two weeks using one of the methods under subparagraph (iv) and more often if necessary to prevent an accumulation of excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris, food waste and other disease hazards.

(iv) Hard surfaces of primary enclosures and food and water receptacles must be sanitized using one of the following methods:

(A) Live steam under pressure.

(B) Washing with water with a temperature of at least 180 degrees F and soap or detergent, as with a mechanical cage washer.

(C) Washing all soiled surfaces with appropriate detergent solutions and disinfectant or by using a combination detergent or disinfection product that accomplishes the same purpose with a thorough cleaning of the surfaces to remove excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris and food waste so as to remove all organic material and mineral buildup and to provide sanitization followed by a clean water rinse.

(v) Primary enclosures, exercise areas and housing facilities using material that cannot be sanitized using the methods under subparagraph (iv) must be made sanitary by removing the contaminated material as necessary to prevent odors, diseases, pests, insects and vermin infestation.

(vi) Premises where primary enclosures are located, including buildings and surrounding grounds, must be kept clean and in good repair to protect the animals from injury, to facilitate the husbandry practices required in this act and to reduce or eliminate breeding and living areas for rodents and other pests and vermin. Premises must be kept free of accumulations of trash, junk, waste products and discarded matter. Weeds, grasses and bushes must be controlled so as to facilitate cleaning of the premises and pest control and to protect the health and well-being of the animals.

(vii) An effective program for the control of insects, external parasites affecting dogs or pests must be established and maintained so as to promote the health and well-being of the dogs and reduce contamination by pests in housing facilities.

(15) For each dog in a kennel, a permanent record shall be kept and made readily available for inspection. The record shall contain all of the following information:

(i) The date of birth of the dog.

(ii) The date of the last rabies vaccination.

(iii) The date of the dog's last veterinarian check.

(16) All veterinarian records shall be kept for two years after the dog has left the care of the facility.

(17) Notwithstanding any law, a dog may not be euthanized except by a veterinarian.

(18) All laws and regulations pertaining to kennel conditions enforced prior to the effective date of this paragraph [FN5] shall remain in force until the effective date of the remainder of this subsection or of the period of time established by a waiver under subsection (j), whichever is longer. This paragraph shall not apply to paragraph (17).

<Text of subsec. (i) effective effective Oct. 9, 2009, except for subsec. (i)(6)(x)(B) which became effective Oct. 9, 2008.>

(i) Additional requirements for Kennel Class C license holders only.--The following shall apply only to dogs over 12 weeks of age in Kennel Class C kennels:

(1) A dog housed in a primary enclosure must be provided a minimum amount of floor space in the primary enclosure, calculated as provided under this subparagraph: Find the mathematical square of the sum of the length of the dog in inches, measured in a straight line from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, plus six inches, then divide the product by 144, then multiply by 2. The calculation is: (length of dog in inches + 6)(length of dog in inches + 6) = required floor space in square inches. Required floor space in inches/144 x 2 = required floor space in square feet. For the second dog placed in the primary enclosure the minimum floor space shall be doubled. The floor space shall be calculated using the longest dog. For each dog above two, the minimum floor space shall be multiplied by 1.5 per additional dog.

(2) Primary enclosures must be placed no higher than 30 inches above the floor of the housing facility and may not be placed over or stacked on top of another cage or primary enclosure.

(3)(i) The floor of the primary enclosure shall be strong enough so that the floor does not sag or bend between the structural supports, shall not be able to be destroyed through digging or chewing by the dogs housed in the primary enclosure, shall not permit the feet of any dog housed in the primary enclosure to pass through any opening, shall not be metal strand whether or not it is coated, shall allow for moderate drainage of fluids and shall not be sloped more than 0.25 inches per foot.

(ii) Except as set forth in subparagraph (iii), flooring constructed with slats meeting all of the following conditions shall be acceptable:

(A) Be flat.

(B) Have spaces between them that are no more than 0.5 inch in width.

(C) Have spaces between them that run the length or the width of the floor, but not both.

(D) Be no less than 3.5 inches in width.

(E) Be level with the slat next to it within a single primary enclosure.

(iii) Additional flooring options that meet the provisions of subparagraph (i) may be approved by the Canine Health Board.

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (5), each primary enclosure shall have an entryway that will allow the dog unfettered clearance out of the enclosure to an exercise area under paragraph (6) unless the enclosure is closed for active cleaning under subsection (h)(11) or by order of a veterinarian under paragraph (6)(xi).

(5) The Canine Health Board established in section 221 [FN6] may, upon a request from a kennel owner, provide on a case-by-case basis for an alternative means of allowing clearance from a primary enclosure to the exercise area or exercise that is required in paragraphs (4) and (6)(i) if the kennel owner presents the board with a plan that the board determines is verifiable, enforceable and provides for exercise equal to or greater than that which the dogs would receive under paragraphs (4) and (6)(i). The board shall meet within 60 days of a request submitted or sooner if necessary.

(6) Exercise requirements shall be as follows:

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (5), the exercise area must allow for unfettered clearance for dogs from their primary enclosure.

(ii) The exercise area must be at least twice the size of the primary enclosure under paragraph (1).

(iii) The exercise area must have adequate means to prevent dogs from escaping.

(iv) The exercise area fencing must be kept in good repair and be free of rust, jagged edges or other defects that could cause injury to the dogs.

(v) The exercise area shall be cleaned in accordance with the requirements under subsection (h)(14).

(vi) Dogs must not be placed in the area in a manner that would cause injury to the dogs.

(vii) Compatible dogs, as determined under subsection (h)(4), may be exercised together.

(viii) Nursing bitches and their puppies shall be exercised separately from other dogs.

(ix) The exercise area must be on ground level and the ground of the exercise area must be solid and maintainable.

Surfaces such as gravel, packed earth and grass which are solid and maintainable may be utilized.

(x)(A) Except as provided under clause (B), the exercise area must be outdoors.

(B) Any licensed kennel operating as of the effective date of this clause, [FN7] where local zoning or other ordinance requirements or a decision of the applicable zoning hearing board or other municipal body with jurisdiction prohibits further expansion of the kennel use to include the required outdoor exercise area, may apply to the department within 180 days after the effective date of this clause for approval to construct the required exercise area indoors. The department shall notify the applicant by certified mail of approval or disapproval within 30 days of receipt of the application. The department shall not require that the licensed kennel appeal the decision of a zoning hearing board or other municipal body with jurisdiction to interpret a local ordinance as a condition of application or approval. Denial by the department of an application for an indoor exercise area shall be appealable in the same manner and according to the same procedures set forth under section 211(c). While an appeal is pending and until final conclusion of the appeal, the kennel shall not be considered in violation of this act for failure to have the required exercise area. The required exercise area shall be constructed within 90 days of the final conclusion of an appeal under this clause or within one year of the effective date of this clause, whichever is later.

(xi) If, in the opinion of the veterinarian, it is inappropriate for a dog to exercise because of its health, condition or well-being, this paragraph shall not apply with respect to that dog. Such a determination must be documented by the veterinarian and, unless the basis for determination is a permanent condition, shall be reviewed at least every 30 days by the veterinarian and updated as necessary. Records of determinations shall be maintained by the kennel.

(xii) Forced exercise methods or devices such as swimming, treadmills or carousel-type devices shall not meet the exercise requirements of this paragraph.

(7) Rabies vaccinations may only be administered by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

(8) A dog shall be examined by a veterinarian at least once every six months. During the examination, the veterinarian shall use appropriate methods to prevent, control, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries.

(9) (Reserved).

(j) Waiver.--

(1) The secretary may waive the applicability of subsection (h)(1) through (16) and (i) if one of the following subparagraphs applies:

(i) The kennel owner:

(A) has not been convicted of, pled guilty to or pled no contest to a violation under this act within the three years preceding the effective date of this subsection; [FN8] and

(B) has made substantial structural improvements to the housing facility of the kennel within the three years prior to the effective date of this subsection.

(ii) The kennel owner:

(A) has not been convicted of, pled guilty to or pled no contest to a violation under this act within the three years preceding the effective date of this subsection;

(B) is making a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of this act but is not in compliance because of a circumstance beyond the kennel owner's control; and

(C) makes a showing of reasonable expectation that compliance can be achieved through the granting of an extension as determined by the secretary.

(2) A waiver under paragraph (1)(i) shall apply for the lesser of:

(i) the time set by the secretary; or

(ii) three years.

(3) A waiver under paragraph (1)(ii) shall apply for the time set by the secretary.

(4) A waiver may be only granted under paragraph (1)(i) or (ii), but not both.

(5) A kennel owner must make an application under this subsection to the department in a manner prescribed by the department within one year of the effective date of this subsection, except that the secretary may consider a request for an extension of a waiver previously granted under paragraph (1)(ii) after this time period.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-206.
[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-903.
[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-211.
[FN4] 3 P.S. §§ 459-202, 459-213.
[FN5] Subsec. (h)(18) added by 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 4, imd. effective.
[FN6] 3 P.S. § 459-221.
[FN7] Subsec. (i)(6)(x)(B) added by 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 4, imd. effective.
[FN8] Subsec. (j) added by 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 4, imd. effective.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 207, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 4.


 

§ 459-208. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-209. Dealer license; application; fee; prohibitions

(a) Out-of-state dealers.--All out-of-state dealers shall on or before January 1 of each year, apply to the secretary for an out-of-state dealer license. The fee for such license shall be $300, plus appropriate kennel license fees required under section 206. [FN1] All fees collected under this section shall be remitted to the State Treasury for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account. All licenses under this section shall expire upon December 31 of the year for which the license was issued. The forms for the application and license shall be approved by the secretary.

(a.1) In-state dealers.--

(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a dealer residing in this Commonwealth must, by January 1 of each year, obtain a license from the department. A dealer license shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it was issued. The license fee for a dealer license shall be the same as the license fee established for Kennel Classes C-I through C-VI as calculated based on the number of dogs sold, offered for sale or maintained by the applicant. It shall be unlawful for a person to sell or offer for sale a dog belonging to another for a fee or commission or maintain a dog at retail or wholesale for resale to another without obtaining a dealer license or a dealer kennel license from the department.

(2) This subsection shall not apply to a person that secures a dealer kennel license from the department under section 206.

(b) Unlawful acts.--It shall be unlawful for out-of-state dealers to sell, exchange, negotiate, barter, give away or solicit the sale, resale, exchange or transfer of a dog or transport a dog into or within the Commonwealth or to operate or maintain a dealer kennel or to deal in any manner with dogs without first obtaining an out-of-state dealer license from the department. It shall be unlawful for a kennel licensed under this act to knowingly accept, receive, buy, barter or exchange a dog with an unlicensed out-of-state dealer for resale. A conviction for a violation of this section shall result in a penalty as determined under section 903(c). [FN2] Each transaction for each dog shall constitute a separate violation.

(c) List of out-of-state dealers.--The department shall annually provide to licensed kennels a list of licensed out-of-state dealers. If a kennel wants to conduct business with an out-of-state dealer not listed on the list, the kennel must first obtain written approval from the department.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-206.
[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-903.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 209, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 5, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-210. Bills of sale

All owners or operators of kennels described in section 206, [FN1] and all out-of-state dealers shall be required to have in their possession a bill of sale for each dog purchased, except for dogs delivered to the kennel licensee for purposes of boarding or for dogs whelped at the kennel. Any bill of sale or record which is fraudulent or indicates the theft of any dog, shall be prima facie evidence for the immediate revocation of license and imposition of fines and penalties by the secretary. The bill of sale shall contain information required by the secretary through regulations. For each dog transferred by a manner other than sale by a kennel described in section 206 or an out-of-state dealer, a record of the transaction shall be kept. The bill of sale or record shall include the current and valid kennel license number of the kennel or out-of-state dealer that sold, exchanged, bartered, gave away or transferred the dog and any other information required by the secretary. The bill of sale or record shall be kept for two years.
[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-206.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 210, effective Jan. 1, 1982. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 6, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-211. Revocation or refusal of kennel licenses

(a) General powers of secretary.--The secretary shall revoke a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license if a licensee is convicted of a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals) or of substantially similar conduct pursuant to a cruelty law of another state. The secretary shall not issue a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license to a person that has been convicted of a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 within the last ten years. The secretary may revoke or refuse to issue a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license for any one or more of the following reasons:

(1) the person holding or applying for a license has made a material misstatement or misrepresentation in the license application;

(2) the person holding or applying for a license has made a material misstatement or misrepresentation to the department or its personnel regarding a matter relevant to the license;

(3) the person holding or applying for a license has failed to comply with this act;

(4) the person holding or applying for a license has failed to comply with any regulation promulgated under this act;

(5) the person holding or applying for a license has been convicted of any law relating to cruelty to animals and the conviction is more than ten years old, if there is evidence the person has not been rehabilitated and granting a license would jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of the dogs;

(6) the person holding or applying for a license has been convicted of a felony;

(7) the person holding or applying for a license has:

(i) within the last ten years, been found to have violated section 9.3 of the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L. 1224, No. 387), [FN1] known as the “Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,” or been required to cease and desist from operating a kennel or owning, selling or caring for dogs, or both; or

(ii) within the last ten years, entered into an agreement with the Office of Attorney General which requires the person to cease and desist from operating a kennel or owning, selling or caring for dogs, or both;

(8) the location of the kennel for which the license is sought is subject to a final, binding order, which is not subject to a pending legal challenge, declaring the kennel is not a permitted use under the applicable zoning ordinance;

(9) the person holding or applying for a license has acted or is acting in concert with a person who has violated the act of December 15, 1986 (P.L. 1610, No. 181), [FN2] known as the “Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act”;

(10) the person holding or applying has had a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license refused or revoked within the past ten years; or

(11) the person holding or applying for a license has a person who does or will play a role in the ownership of the kennel or caring for the dogs, and such other person would be refused a license if that person had been the applicant. A role shall include ownership of a financial interest in the kennel operation, caring for the dogs or participation in the management of the kennel.

(a.1) Factors to consider.--In determining whether to revoke or refuse a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license for a misstatement as set forth under subsection (a)(1) or (2), the secretary shall consider the gravity of the misstatement. In determining whether to revoke or refuse an existing kennel license, dealer license or an out-of-state dealer license for a failure to comply with a provision of the act or regulations promulgated under it as set forth under paragraph (3) or (4), the secretary shall consider the following factors:

(1) The gravity of the violation.
(2) The number of current or past violations.
(3) The potential effect of the violation on the health or welfare of a dog.
(4) Whether the kennel has been warned previously to correct the violation.
(5) Whether the violation resulted in a criminal conviction.
(6) The length of time that has elapsed between violations.

(b) Notice of action.--

(1) The secretary shall provide written notice of a kennel license, dealer license or an out-of-state dealer license revocation, suspension or refusal to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused. The notice shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action and shall advise the affected person that within ten days of receipt of the notice he may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure).

(2) Written notice of revocation, suspension or refusal shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person or to a responsible employee of such person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused. Revocation or refusal shall be effective upon the expiration of the ten-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the department.

(c) Administrative process.--

(1) If the secretary revokes or refuses a kennel license, dealer license or an out-of-state dealer license, a person whose license revocation or refusal has become effective shall comply with all of the following:

(i) Immediately cease and desist from operating a kennel, including boarding, buying, exchanging, selling, offering for sale, giving away or in any way transferring dogs.

(ii) Acquire no additional dogs nor increase the number of dogs in the kennel by any means, including breeding. This subparagraph does not apply to an acquisition or increase by birth of puppies from a mother which, at the time of revocation or refusal was:

(A) on the property;

(B) pregnant; and

(C) owned by the kennel or the kennel owner.

(iii) Notify the department prior to the euthanization of any dog. No dog may be euthanized unless it is determined by a veterinarian that the euthanasia will prevent the dog from suffering caused by a medical condition. If a veterinarian determines a dog should be euthanized, a copy of the veterinarian's findings, signed by the veterinarian, must be provided to the department. The provisions of this subparagraph do not apply to an emergency situation if it is deemed by the veterinarian that immediate euthanasia is necessary to relieve the suffering of the dog. Following euthanasia in an emergency situation, a copy of the veterinarian's findings must be signed by the veterinarian and provided to the department.

(iv) Permit State dog wardens to inspect the kennel without a warrant in order to determine compliance with the department's order, any relevant court order and any provision of this act.

(v) Divest of all dogs over 25, unless directed otherwise by the department or court order, within a reasonable time period as determined by the department, but not to exceed ten days. The department's notice of revocation or refusal shall set forth the manner by which the kennel owner may divest of the dogs. If there are more dogs on the premises than permitted in the department or court order after the expiration of the time period set forth in the order, the kennel may select the dogs to be kept, up to the number allowed under this subparagraph. The dogs not selected shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the department or court order or to an entity approved by the department without compensation to the owner.

(2) The following apply to appeals:

(i) This paragraph applies to a person whose license is refused or revoked and who:

(A) has timely filed a request for an administrative appeal; and

(B) would continue to require a kennel license under this act, pending the exhaustion of all administrative appeals.

(ii) A person subject to subparagraph (i) shall:

(A) be considered to be operating under suspension;

(B) receive notice from the department of the license being suspended; and

(C) during the duration of all administrative appeals, and thereafter if the department's action is upheld, be subject to the requirements set forth in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv).

(iii) Within ten days after the exhaustion of an administrative appeal under subparagraph (i)(A) in which the department's action is upheld, the kennel shall reduce the number of dogs under paragraph (1)(v).

(3) Failure to take action or to meet the conditions imposed under this subsection, in addition to any other penalties allowed under this act, may result in imposition by the department of an administrative penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per day for each violation. Each dog in excess of the number of dogs permitted under subparagraph (1)(v) or (2)(iii) shall count as one violation.

(4) Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(d) Seizure of dogs.--

(1) After service of an order under subsection (b) or section 207(a.3) [FN3] or during the duration of an administrative appeal under subsection (c)(2) or section 207(a.3)(2), the department may order the seizure of any dog from that kennel if the department determines, based on the conditions found at that kennel, there are reasonable grounds to believe the dog's health, safety or welfare is endangered because of neglect of duty of care, deprivation of necessary sustenance, water, shelter or veterinary care or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal's body heat and keep it dry or other conditions which a veterinarian determines pose a serious health risk to the dog. The seizure may occur immediately upon notice, whether personal or otherwise, and shall be followed by service of the order.

(2) The order of seizure shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action taken and shall advise the kennel owner that, within ten days of receipt, the kennel owner may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing subject to bonding requirements of this section. The order shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the kennel owner affected or to a responsible employee of such kennel owner. The department order shall become final upon the expiration of the ten-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the secretary.

(3) The written request for a hearing must be filed by the affected kennel owner with the secretary within ten days of receipt of the order of seizure or such order shall become final. The request for a hearing shall set forth the factual and legal grounds upon which the request is based. A hearing on the matter shall be held in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure). The issue on appeal shall be limited to whether the department order was justified under paragraph (1).

(4) If the department's order has become final or after the exhaustion of any administrative appeals, in cases where the department's action is upheld, the dogs seized under the order shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the department's order or to an entity approved by the department without compensation to the owner.

(e) Bonding requirements.--The following shall apply to bonding requirements:

(1) If dogs are seized from a kennel under this act and an administrative appeal is filed, within ten days of filing the appeal, the owner of the licensed or unlicensed kennel shall either:

(i) post a surety bond in the amount determined by the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2); or

(ii) deposit a sum of money not to exceed 10% of the amount of the surety bond determined by the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

(2) The amount of the surety bond shall be based on the number of dogs seized and shall be equal to the estimated cost of transportation, care and feeding, pursuant to removal and impoundment, for a period of 31 days.

(2.1) Any surety bond posted pursuant to paragraph (1)(i) shall be payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. The department shall remit such funds to the entity holding the dogs.

(2.2) Any deposit pursuant to paragraph (1)(ii) shall be held by the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, until after the appeal. If, after the appeal, the dogs are not placed under the care of the owner from which they were seized, the department shall be entitled to keep the deposit and collect from the owner the remainder of the amount determined by the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

(3) If, after appeal, the dogs are placed under the care of the owner from which they were seized, the department shall reimburse the owner for the deposit or the reasonable costs of the bond incurred under this subsection.

(4) The department shall guarantee payment of any difference in the amount paid to the holding entity and the amount owed under paragraph (2). The department may refer the matter to the Attorney General who may initiate an action in the appropriate court to recover the amount paid under this paragraph.

(f) Prohibitions.--No dog removed under this section may be:

(1) sold or given freely for the purpose of vivisection, auction or research;

(2) conveyed in any manner for purposes of vivisection, auction or research;

(3) conveyed to a dealer;

(4) sold to pay the costs of their transportation, care and feeding under this section before the issuance of a final order and the exhaustion of all appeals; or

(5) spayed or neutered before the issuance of a final order and the exhaustion of all appeals.

[FN1] 73 P.S. § 201-9.3.
[FN2] 3 P.S. § 455.1 et seq.
[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-207.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 211, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 7, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-212. Dogs temporarily in the Commonwealth

Any person may bring, or cause to be brought into the State, for a period of 30 days, one or more dogs for show, trial, or breeding purposes or as a household pet without securing a Pennsylvania license, and any person holding a Pennsylvania nonresident hunting license may, without securing a license or licenses therefor, bring or cause to be brought into the State one or more dogs for the purpose of hunting game during any hunting season when hunting with dogs is permitted by law, if a similar exemption from the necessity of securing dog licenses is afforded for hunting purposes to residents of Pennsylvania by the State of such person's residence; but each dog shall be equipped with a collar bearing a name plate giving the name and address of the owner.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 212, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-213. Transportation of dogs

It shall be unlawful for any dog required to be licensed as hereinbefore provided, to be transported for any purpose without a current license tag firmly attached to a collar or harness securely fastened to the dog except when a dog is being transported for law enforcement , to receive veterinary care pursuant to an order of the secretary for humane purposes or by the owner to or from a hunt, show, performance event, field trial or commonly accepted training practice involving hunting dogs and dogs that participate in such events. All vehicles being used to transport dogs are subject to inspection and must meet requirements for such transportation through regulations as promulgated by the secretary.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 213, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 8, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-214. Health certificates for importation

It shall be a violation of this act to transport any dog into this Commonwealth except under the provisions in section 212 without [FN1] a certificate of health prepared by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, which certificate, or copy of such, shall accompany the dog while in this Commonwealth. The certificate shall state that the dog is at least eight weeks of age and shows no signs or symptoms of infectious or communicable disease; did not originate within an area under quarantine for rabies; and, as ascertained by reasonable investigation, has not been exposed to rabies within 100 days of importation. All dogs must have been vaccinated for rabies in accordance with the act of December 15, 1986 (P.L. 1610, No. 181), [FN2] known as the “Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act.” The name of the vaccine manufacturer, the date of administration, and the rabies tag number must appear on health certificates prepared by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-212.
[FN2] 3 P.S. § 455.1 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 214, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 9, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§§ 459-215, 459-216. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-217. Service dogs and dogs used by municipal or State Police departments

(a) Fee exemptions.--The provisions of this act relating to the payment of fees and other charges shall not apply to any person who uses a service dog for aid or any municipal or State Police department or agency using a dog in the performance of the functions or duties of such department or agency. License tags for service dogs and dogs used by any municipal or State agency in the performance of the functions or duties of such department or agency shall be issued without charge.

(b) Licensing exemption for puppies being trained to be service dogs.-- Notwithstanding the provisions of section 201 [FN1] or any other provisions of this act, puppies that are brought into this Commonwealth for a period of less than 18 months as part of a formalized training to be service dogs shall be exempt from the licensing requirements of this act.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-201.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 217, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1990, May 31, P.L. 211, No. 45, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 6, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-218. Inspections

(a) Premises and dogs.--State dog wardens and other employees of the department are hereby authorized to inspect all licensed kennels , all dogs within the Commonwealth and all unlicensed establishments which are operating as a kennel as defined by section 206. [FN1] For purposes of inspection, a State dog warden and other full-time employees of the department shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this act and regulations promulgated by the department under this act. State dog wardens and employees of the department shall inspect all licensed kennels within the Commonwealth at least twice per calendar year to enforce the provisions of this act and regulations promulgated by the department under this act. State dog wardens and only regular, full-time employees of the department shall be authorized to enter upon the premises of approved medical, dental or veterinary schools, hospitals, clinics or other medical or scientific institutions, organizations or persons where research is being conducted or where pharmaceuticals, drugs or biologicals are being produced. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse admittance to such State dog wardens and employees of the department for the purpose of making inspections and enforcing the provisions of this act.

(b) Records.--State dog wardens and other employees of the department shall be authorized to inspect the records required under this act of all licensed and unlicensed kennels.

(c) Search warrant.--State dog wardens and other employees of the department may apply for a search warrant to any court of competent jurisdiction authorized to issue a search warrant for the purposes of inspecting or examining any kennel or for the purpose of removing any dog under section 207 or 211. [FN2] The warrant shall be issued upon probable cause. It shall be sufficient probable cause to show any of the following:

(1) That, in cases involving kennels other than private kennels, the State dog warden or an employee of the department has been refused entry as defined under section 220(a) [FN3] for an inspection or examination of the kennel.

(2) The State dog warden or employee of the department has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of this act or the regulations promulgated under the authority of this act has occurred.

(d) Results of inspection.--Only employees of the department who have received the training required under section 901

(b) [FN4] may issue reports of the inspection.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-206.
[FN2] 3 P.S. §§ 459-207, 459-211.
[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-220.
[FN4] 3 P.S. § 459-901.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. II, § 218, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 7, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 9, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

 

§ 459-219. Additional duties of the department

(a) Enforcement of licensure requirement; development of plan.--By no later than June 30, 1997, the department shall develop and begin to implement a written plan to increase the number of dog licenses issued in this Commonwealth. Such plan shall be developed in consultation with the several counties and municipalities which enforce the provisions of this act and in consultation with the Dog Law Advisory Board and shall at least include methodology for increasing the number of dog licenses issued and assuring the annual renewal of such licenses. The methodology may include the periodic use of public service advertisements, newspaper advertisements, school and special events-based educational programs conducted in conjunction with counties and organizations concerned with the humane care and treatment of dogs, and literature designed to increase awareness of this act which may be provided to purchasers of dogs at the point of sale.

(b) Analysis of plan; report.--By no later than June 30, 1998, and annually thereafter, the department shall submit to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives a report analyzing the activities adopted by the department to implement the plan and the results of such activities.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 219, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 8, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 9, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

 


§ 459-220. Refusal of entry

(a) Violation.--It shall be a violation of this act if a kennel refuses entry to an agent of the Commonwealth acting to enforce this act. The term “refusal of entry” shall include any of the following:

(1) Preventing an agent from entering the establishment.

(2) Preventing an agent from inspecting a dog.

(3) Hiding a dog from an agent.

(4) An act or omission that prevents an agent from gaining entry to the establishment.

(b) Order of inspection.--When a State dog warden or employee of the department attempts a kennel inspection in a building and no person is present to grant him access, a State dog warden or employee of the department may post an order on an entrance to the building demanding access to the building within 36 hours. Failure to permit an inspection within the 36-hour time period indicated in the order that was posted shall be a violation of this act and shall constitute a refusal of entry for purposes of subsection (a), unless there are no dogs at the kennel or the kennel owner and the dog warden or employee of the department who posted the order agrees within the 36-hour time period indicated in the order that was posted to permit an inspection at a time agreed to by both parties.

(c) Affirmative defense.--It shall be an affirmative defense to subsection (b) that there were no dogs in the kennel at the time the order was posted.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 220, added 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 10, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


§ 459-221. Canine Health Board

(a) Establishment.--The Canine Health Board is established.

(b) Membership.--The board shall be comprised of veterinarians with expertise in small animal medicine and in the caring for and treating of canines. The board shall be appointed as follows:

(1) Three members appointed by the Governor.

(2) One member appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate.

(3) One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate.

(4) One member appointed by the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

(5) One member appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

(6) One member appointed by the President of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association.

(7) One member appointed by the Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine.

(c) Chairman.--The chairman of the board shall be selected by the Governor.

(d) Term.--Members shall be appointed to four-year terms, except that the initial terms for legislative appointees shall be for two years.

(e) Quorum.--A quorum shall consist of at least five members of the board who must be present to make decisions. Decisions shall be made by majority vote of a quorum of members. There shall be no proxy voting.

(f) Purpose.--The board shall determine the standards based on animal husbandry practices to provide for the welfare of dogs under section 207(h)(7) and (8) and (i)(3). [FN1]

(g) Temporary guidelines and regulations.--The board shall issue temporary guidelines under this section within 45 days of their first meeting, which shall take place within 30 days of the effective date of this section. The temporary guidelines shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The department shall promulgate the temporary guidelines as a regulation concurrently with publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

(h) Administrative support.--Administrative support shall be provided by the department.

(i) Compensation.--Members of the board shall not be compensated for their service as board members but shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-207.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 221, added 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 10, imd. effective.


 

§ 459-301. Quarantines

A quarantine may be established by any State dog warden, licensed doctor of veterinary medicine having the approval of a State dog warden or any licensed doctor of veterinary medicine employed by the department or State or county health department. Any State dog warden, licensed doctor of veterinary medicine having the approval of a State dog warden or any licensed doctor of veterinary medicine employed by the department or State or county health department may enforce a quarantine whenever it is deemed necessary or advisable by the department to examine, test, treat, control or destroy any dog, or examine, disinfect or regulate the use of any premises, materials or products for the purpose of preventing or controlling the spread of any disease. Until a quarantine is officially revoked by the secretary or his employee, it shall be unlawful for any owner or person, without a special permit in writing from the department to sell, exchange, lease, lend, give away, allow to stray, remove or allow to be removed any dog or dogs, or any products, goods, materials, containers, vehicles or other articles or property named or described in the notice of quarantine. When a general rabies quarantine is established, at least ten notices thereof shall be posted throughout the area affected thereby and notice thereof shall also be published in at least one issue of a newspaper of general circulation throughout such city, borough, town or township. Any dog suspected of being rabid shall be detained in isolation by the owner, if known, and if such facilities are approved by the department or by an employee of the department. If such detention has incurred costs not collectible by the employee of the department, then the employee of the department shall approve and reimburse the actual cost of such detention to the person providing facilities for such detention. Any police officer or State dog warden may humanely kill any dog running at large in a rabies quarantined area without any liability for damages for such killing.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. III, § 301, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 9, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-302. Seizure and detention of dogs; costs; destruction of dogs

(a) General rule.--It shall be the duty of every police officer, State dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer to seize and detain any dog which is found running at large, either upon the public streets or highways of the Commonwealth, or upon the property of a person other than the owner of the dog, and unaccompanied by the owner or keeper. Every police officer, State dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer may humanely kill any dog which is found running at large and is deemed after due consideration by the police officer, State dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer to constitute a threat to the public health and welfare.

(b) Licensed dogs.--The State dog warden or employee of the department, the animal control officer, or the chief of police or his agents of any city, borough, town or township, the constable of any borough and the constable of any incorporated town or township shall cause any dog bearing a proper license tag or permanent identification and so seized and detained to be properly kept and fed at any licensed kennel approved by the secretary for those purposes and shall cause immediate notice, by personal service or registered or certified mail with return receipt requested, to the last known address, which shall be set forth in the license application record, of the person in whose name the license was procured, or his agent, to claim the dog within five days after receipt thereof. The owner or claimant of a dog so detained shall pay a penalty of $50 to the political subdivision whose police officers make the seizures and detention and all reasonable expenses incurred by reason of its detention to the detaining parties before the dog is returned. If five days after obtaining the postal return receipt, the dog has not been claimed, such chief of police, or his agent, or a constable, or State dog warden or employee of the department shall dispense the dog by sale or by giving it to a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals. No dog so caught and detained shall be sold for the purpose of vivisection, or research, or be conveyed in any manner for these purposes. All moneys derived from the sale of the dog, after deducting the expenses of its detention, shall be paid through the Department of Agriculture to the State Treasurer for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account.

(c) Unlicensed dogs.--Except as otherwise provided by section 305, [FN1] any police officer, State dog warden, employee of the department or animal control officer shall cause any unlicensed dog to be seized, detained, kept and fed for a period of 48 hours at any licensed kennel approved by the secretary for those purposes, except any dog seriously ill or injured or forfeited with the owner's permission. The 48-hour period shall not include days the approved kennel is not open to the general public. Any person may view the detained dogs during normal business hours. Any unlicensed dog remaining unclaimed after 48 hours may be humanely killed or given to a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals. No dog so caught and detained shall be sold for the purpose of vivisection, or research, or be conveyed in any manner for these purposes.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. III, § 302, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 9, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 12, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-305.

 

§ 459-303. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 9, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-304. Dogs in heat, confinement thereof

It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any female dog to permit such female dog to go beyond the premises of such owner or keeper at any time she is in heat, unless such female dog is properly confined or under control.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. III, § 304, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-305. Confinement and housing of dogs not part of a kennel

(a) Confinement and control.--It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog to fail to keep at all times the dog in any of the following manners:

(1) confined within the premises of the owner;

(2) firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; or

(3) under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, performance events or field training.

(b) Housing.--It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of a dog to house the dog for any period of time in a drum, barrel, refrigerator or freezer regardless of the material of which the drum, barrel, refrigerator or freezer is constructed.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. III, § 305, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 13, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

 

§ 459-401. Interference with police officer or State dog warden; duties of State dog warden; failure to produce license certificate

(a) Police officers to perform duties.--It shall be unlawful for any police officer to fail or refuse to perform his duties under the provisions of this act and to refuse to assist in the enforcement of this law upon request of the secretary.

(b) State dog wardens and department employees to be considered police officers.--State dog wardens and employees of the department are considered to be police officers when enforcing any of the provisions of this act or regulations pursuant to this act.

(c) Illegal to interfere.--It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with any officer or employee of the department in the enforcement of this law.

(d) Illegal to cut leash.--It shall be unlawful for any person to forcibly cut the leash or take a dog away from such officer having it in his possession when found running at large unaccompanied by the owner or keeper.

(e) Illegal to fail to produce license.--It shall be unlawful for any person to whom a license certificate has been issued to fail or refuse to produce the license certificate for such dog upon demand of any police officer or employee of the department.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. IV, § 401, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-402. Notice requiring examination of dog

(a) Authority.--A State dog warden may issue a written notice requiring that a dog be examined by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine within a maximum of 72 hours if:

(1) the State dog warden personally observes the condition of the dog in the course of an inspection of a kennel or other facility at which a dog is kept; and

(2) the dog exhibits signs of illness, injury or neglect.

(b) Contents of notice.--The written notice requiring that a dog be examined by a veterinarian within 72 hours shall set forth:

(1) information sufficient to identify the person or persons to whom the notice is directed;

(2) information sufficient to identify the dog which must be examined;

(3) the specific signs of illness or injury exhibited by the dog and observed by the State dog warden;

(4) the date and time by which a veterinary examination of the dog must be conducted;

(5) the manner and time in which a report of the results of the veterinary examination shall be delivered to the State dog warden;

(6) a requirement that the report of the results of the veterinary examination address the specific signs of illness or injury observed by the State dog warden; and

(7) a reference to the authority pursuant to which the written notice is issued.

(c) Issuance and service of notice.--The written notice requiring that a dog be examined by a veterinarian within 72 hours shall be issued upon the kennel licensee or the owner of the facility at which the dog is kept. Service of the notice may be accomplished by the State dog warden's leaving a copy of the notice with an employee or other responsible person at the kennel or facility.

(d) Illegal to fail to respond to notice.--It shall be unlawful for a kennel licensee or the owner of a facility at which the dogs are kept to fail to comply with a written notice issued under authority of this section.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 402, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 10, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-501. Killing dogs; dogs as nuisances

(a) Legal to kill certain dogs.--Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal, wounding or killing other dogs, cats or household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings, whether or not such a dog bears the license tag required by the provisions of this act. There shall be no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.

(b) Private nuisance.--Any dog that enters any field or enclosure where domestic animals are confined, provided that the enclosure is adequate for the purpose intended, shall constitute a private nuisance, and the owner or tenant of such field, or their agent or servant, may detain such dog and turn it over to the local police authority or State dog warden or employee of the department. While so detained, the dog shall be treated in a humane manner.

(c) Licensed dogs not included.--Licensed dogs, when accompanied by their owner or handler, shall not be included under the provisions of this section unless caught in the act of pursuing, wounding or killing any domestic animal, wounding or killing any dogs, cats or household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings.

(d) Repealed. 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, effective in 60 days.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V, § 501, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 11, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-502. Dog bites; detention and isolation of dogs

 
(a) Confinement.--Any dog which bites or attacks a human being shall be confined in quarters approved by a designated employee of the Department of Health, a State dog warden or employee of the Department of Agriculture, an animal control officer or a police officer. The dog may be detained and isolated in an approved kennel or at the dog owner's property or at another [FN1] location approved by the investigating officer. Where the dog is detained is at the discretion of the investigating officer. All dogs so detained must be isolated for a minimum of ten days. Any costs incurred in the detaining and isolation of the dog shall be paid by the offending dog's owner or keeper or both. If the dog's owner or keeper is not known, the Commonwealth is responsible for all reasonable costs for holding and detaining the dog.

(b) Bite victims.--The following shall apply:

(1) The investigating officer shall be responsible for notifying the bite victim of the medical results of the offending dog's confinement. Any cost to the victim for medical treatment resulting from an attacking or biting dog must be paid fully by the owner or keeper of the dog. The Commonwealth shall not be liable for medical treatment costs to the victim.

(2)(i) For the purpose of this subsection, the term “medical results of the offending dog's confinement” shall mean, except as provided in subparagraph (ii), information as to whether the quarantined dog is still alive and whether it is exhibiting any signs of being infected with the rabies virus.

(ii) If a nonlethal test for rabies is developed, the term shall mean the results of the test and not the meaning given in subparagraph (i).

(c) Exception.--When a dog that bites or attacks a human being is a service dog or a police work dog in the performance of duties, the dog need not be confined if it is under the active supervision of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V, § 502, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 12, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 14, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] “or to another” in enrolled bill.


 

§ 459-501-A. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-502-A. Court proceedings, certificate of registration and disposition

(a) Summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog.--Any person who has been attacked by one or more dogs, or anyone on behalf of the person, a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation, the State dog warden or the local police officer may file a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owner or keeper of the a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be guilty of the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog if the magisterial district judge finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the following elements of the offense have been proven:

(1) The dog has done any of the following:

(i) Inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property.

(ii) Killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal, dog or cat without provocation while off the owner's property.

(iii) Attacked a human being without provocation.

(iv) Been used in the commission of a crime.

(2) The dog has either or both of the following:

(i) A history of attacking human beings and/or domestic animals, dogs or cats without provocation.

(ii) A propensity to attack human beings and/or domestic animals, dogs or cats without provocation. A propensity to attack may be proven by a single incident of the conduct described in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv).

(3) The defendant is the owner or keeper of the dog.

(a.1) Effect of conviction.--A finding by a magisterial district judge that a person is guilty under subsection (a) of harboring a dangerous dog shall constitute a determination that the dog is a dangerous dog for purposes of this act.

(b) Report of conviction.--The magisterial district judge shall make a report of a conviction under subsection (a) to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, identifying the convicted party, identifying and describing the dog or dogs and providing other information as the bureau might reasonably require.

(c) Certificate of registration required.--It is unlawful for an owner or keeper to have a dangerous dog without a certificate of registration issued under this article. This article shall not apply to dogs used by law enforcement officials for police work, certified guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf nor aid dogs for the handicapped.

(d) Disposition of dog during court proceedings.--An owner or keeper of any dog who has been charged with harboring a dangerous dog shall keep the dog or dogs confined in a proper enclosure or, when off the property of the owner or keeper for purposes of veterinary care, muzzled and on a leash until the time a report is made under subsection (b). If an appeal of a decision under subsection (b) is filed, the dog or dogs shall remain so confined until the proceedings are completed. It shall be unlawful for an owner or keeper of a dog who has been charged with harboring a dangerous dog to dispense, move, sell, offer to sell, give away or transfer the dog in any manner except to have it humanely killed or move the dog to a licensed kennel if approved by the investigating officer. A violation of this subsection shall constitute a summary offense accompanied by a fine of not less than $500.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 502-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 14, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


§ 459-503-A. Requirements

(a) Certificate of registration requirements.--The owner or keeper of a dog who has been convicted of harboring a dangerous dog shall keep the dog properly confined and shall register the dog with the department. Within 30 days of receiving written notification from the department that the dog has been determined to be dangerous, the owner or keeper of the dog shall comply with all the provisions of this section. The department shall issue, upon sufficient evidence of compliance with the requirements of this section and payment of all fees under subsection (b), a certificate of registration to the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog.

(a.1) Compliance requirements.--The owner or keeper of a dog who has been convicted of harboring a dangerous dog shall do all of the following:

(1) Present sufficient evidence of a proper enclosure to confine a dangerous dog and the posting of a premises with a clearly visible warning sign that there is a dangerous dog on the property. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a warning symbol that informs children of the presence of a dangerous dog.

(2) Pay court-ordered restitution to a victim of a dangerous dog.

(3) Permanently identify the dangerous dog by having a microchip implanted in the dangerous dog. The microchip shall be implanted by a properly licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, and the costs shall be borne by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dangerous dog and the veterinarian implanting the microchip shall sign a form, developed by the department, verifying the dangerous dog has had a microchip implanted and setting forth the microchip number.

(4) Have the dangerous dog spayed or neutered. The spaying or neutering shall be done by a properly licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, and the costs shall be borne by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dangerous dog and the veterinarian performing the spaying or neutering shall sign a form, developed by the department, verifying the dangerous dog has been spayed or neutered.

(5) Obtain:

(i) a surety bond in the amount of $50,000 issued by an insurer authorized to do business within this Commonwealth, payable to any person injured by the dangerous dog; or

(ii) a policy of liability insurance, such as homeowner's insurance, issued by an insurer authorized to do business within this Commonwealth in the amount of at least $50,000, insuring the owner for any personal injuries inflicted by the dangerous dog. The policy shall contain a provision requiring the secretary to be named as additional insured for the sole purpose of being notified by the insurance company of cancellation, termination or expiration of the liability insurance policy.

(b) Registration fee.--The registration fee for a dangerous dog certificate shall be $500 per calendar year for the life of the dog plus an additional amount set by the department as may be necessary to cover the costs of issuing this registration and enforcing this section. This registration fee shall be in addition to any other fees collectable under this act and shall be credited to the Dog Law Restricted Account for the purpose of administering and enforcing this act.

(c) Uniform identifiable symbol.--The department shall have the authority to establish a uniform identifiable symbol for visual recognition of dangerous dogs.

(d) Other requirements.--The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog shall :

(1) The owner shall maintain and not voluntarily cancel the liability insurance required by this section during the period for which licensing is sought unless the owner ceases to own the dangerous dog prior to expiration of the license.

(2) The owner or keeper shall notify the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, the State dog warden and the local police department within 24 hours if a dangerous dog is on the loose, is unconfined, has attacked another animal, has attacked a human being, has died or has been sold or donated. If the dangerous dog has been sold or donated, the owner shall also provide the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement and the State dog warden with the name, address and telephone number of the new owner or new address of the dangerous dog.

(3) The new owner or keeper of the dangerous dog shall be required to comply with all of the provisions of this act and regulations pertaining to a dangerous dog.


CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 503-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 15, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-504-A. Control of dangerous dogs

It is unlawful for an owner or keeper of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside the proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and under physical restraint of a responsible person. The muzzle shall be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration but shall prevent it from biting any person or animal or from destroying property with its teeth.
 
CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 504-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 15, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].
 
 
§ 459-505-A. Public safety and penalties

(a) Failure to register and restrain.--The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog who violates any of the following provisions on the first occurrence commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if:
 
(1) The dangerous dog is not validly registered under this act.
 
(2) The owner or keeper of the dangerous dog fails to comply with the provisions of section 503-A or 504-A. [FN1]
 
(3) The dangerous dog is not maintained in the proper enclosure.
 
(4) The dangerous dog is outside of the dwelling of the owner or keeper or outside of the proper enclosure and not under physical restraint of the responsible person.
 
(5) The dog is outside the dwelling of the owner without a muzzle, regardless of whether the dog is physically restrained by a leash.
 
(6) The dog is outside the dwelling of the owner or a proper enclosure without a muzzle and unsupervised, regardless of whether the dog is physically restrained by a leash.
 
(a.1) Subsequent violations.--The owner or keeper of a dangerous dog who commits a subsequent violation under subsection (a) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and, upon conviction, shall pay a fine not to exceed $5,000, plus the costs of quarantine, kennel charges and destruction of the dangerous dog. The dangerous dog shall be forfeited immediately by the owner or keeper to a dog warden or police officer and shall be placed in a kennel or, if necessary, quarantined for a length of time to be determined by the department. After a period of ten days, if no appeal has been filed and the necessary quarantine period has elapsed, the dangerous dog shall be destroyed humanely in an expeditious manner. If an appeal is filed, the dangerous dog shall remain confined at the owner's or keeper's expense until the proceedings are completed.
 
(a.2) Utilization of fines.--All fines collected under this section shall be deposited into the Dog Law Restricted Account and may be utilized to pay the expenses of the department in administering its duties under this act.
 
(a.3) Collection.--In cases of inability to collect the fine assessed or failure of any person to pay all or a portion of the fine, the secretary may refer the matter to the Office of Attorney General, which shall institute an action in the appropriate court to recover the fine.
 
(b) Attacks by dangerous dog.--If a dangerous dog, through the intentional, reckless or negligent conduct of the dog's owner or keeper, attacks a person or a domestic animal, dog or cat, the dog's owner or keeper shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. In addition, the dangerous dog shall be immediately seized by a dog warden or police officer and placed in quarantine for a length of time to be determined by the department. After a period of ten days, if no appeal has been filed by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog, and after the quarantine period has expired, the dangerous dog shall be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper. If an appeal is filed, the dangerous dog shall remain confined at the owner's or keeper's expense until the proceedings are completed and, if found guilty of the cited offense, the dangerous dog shall thereafter be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper.
 
(c) Attacks causing severe injury or death.--The owner or keeper of any dog that, through the intentional, reckless or negligent conduct of the dog's owner or keeper, aggressively attacks and causes severe injury or death of any human shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. In addition, the dog shall be immediately confiscated by a State dog warden or a police officer and placed in quarantine for a length of time to be determined by the department. After a period of ten days, if no appeal has been filed by the owner or keeper of the dangerous dog, and after the quarantine period has expired, the dangerous dog shall be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper. If an appeal is filed, the dangerous dog shall remain confined at the owner's or keeper's expense until the proceedings are completed and, if found guilty of the cited offense, the dangerous dog shall be humanely destroyed in an expeditious manner, with costs of kenneling, quarantine and destruction to be borne by the dog's owner or keeper.
 
(d) Dog owned by a minor.--If the owner of the dangerous dog is a minor, the parent or guardian of the minor shall be liable for injuries and property damages caused by an unprovoked attack by the dangerous dog under section 4 of the former act of July 27, 1967 (P.L. 186, No. 58), [FN2] entitled “An act imposing liability upon parents for personal injury, or theft, destruction, or loss of property caused by the willful, tortious acts of children under eighteen years of age, setting forth limitations, and providing procedure for recovery.”
 
(e) Mandatory reporting.--
 
(1) All known incidents of dog attacks shall be reported to the State dog warden, who shall investigate each incident and notify the department if a dog has been determined to be dangerous.

(2) A State dog warden or police officer who has knowledge of a dog which has attacked a person shall file a written report summarizing the circumstances of the attack with the police in the municipality where the owner of the dog resides or if the attack occurred outside the owner's municipality of residence, with the police having jurisdiction in the municipality where the attack occurred. The report shall be available for public inspection.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 505-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 13, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].
[FN1] 3 P.S. §§ 459-503-A, 459-504-A.

[FN2] 11 P.S. § 2004 (repealed); see now, 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5505.

 

§ 459-506-A. State registry

The department shall promulgate regulations for the establishment of a State registry for dangerous dogs.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 506-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-507-A. Construction of article

(a) Enforcement.--This article shall be enforced by all municipalities except counties.

(b) Abusive or unlawful conduct of victim.--This article shall not apply if the threat, injury or damage was sustained by a person who, at the time, was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon the premises occupied by the owner of the dog, or was tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or has, in the past, been observed or reported to have tormented, abused or assaulted the dog, or was committing or attempting to commit a crime.

(c) Local ordinances.--Those provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. A local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.

(d) Insurance coverage discrimination.--No liability policy or surety bond issued pursuant to this act or any other act may prohibit coverage from any specific breed of dog.

(e) Farm dogs.--No farmer who owns a dog kept on the farm shall be guilty of keeping a dangerous dog if:

(1) the dog does not leave the farm property to attack; and

(2) the farm is conspicuously posted alerting visitors to the presence of a watch or guard dog at all points of ingress and egress.

(f) Procedure in certain cities.--In cities of the first class, second class and second class A, the following procedure shall apply:

(1) A person who has been attacked by a dog, or anyone on behalf of such person, or a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation while the attacking dog was off the owner's property or a police officer or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city may make a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owner or keeper of such a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The magisterial district judge shall make a report of the determination under section 502-A(a) [FN1] to the police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city and to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement shall give notice of this determination to the respective city treasurer.

(2) All fees and fines shall be paid to and retained by the city treasurers, who shall issue the certificate of registration.

(3) Enforcement of this article in these cities will be under the jurisdiction of the local police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city with notification requirements in section 503-A(d)(2) to be made to the licensing authority and the local police or an animal control officer employed by or under contract with the city.

(4) Copies of all dangerous dog determinations, certificates and reports on the status of the dangerous dog shall be sent to the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.

(5) All known incidents of dog attacks shall be reported to the department for the purpose of keeping bite statistic records and possible rabies exposure.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 507-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.1, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-502-A.

 


 § 459-601. Theft; poison; abandonment of animals by owner

(a) Dogs to be personal property.--All dogs are hereby declared to be personal property and subjects of theft.

(b) Placement of poison illegal.--It shall be unlawful for a person to place any poison or harmful substance of any description in any place, on his own premises or elsewhere, where it may be easily found and eaten by dogs. Anyone convicted of violating this subsection commits a summary offense.

(b.1) Intentional poisoning of dogs illegal.--It shall be unlawful for any person to place any poison or harmful substance of any description in any place, on his own premises or elsewhere with the intent that the poison or substance be eaten by dogs. Anyone convicted of violating this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for not more than two years, or both. A subsequent conviction under this subsection shall constitute a felony of the third degree.

(c) Abandonment of animals by owner.--

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon or attempt to abandon any dog within the Commonwealth. Anyone convicted of abandoning or attempting to abandon any dog within the Commonwealth shall pay a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1,000, plus costs.

(2) Any animal placed in the custody of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine for treatment, boarding or other care, or placed in the custody of a licensed boarding kennel for board or other care, which shall be abandoned by its owner or his representative for a period of more than ten days after written notice by personal service or registered mail, return receipt requested, is given to the owner or his representative at his last known address and return receipt is received by the doctor or the licensed boarding kennel, may be turned over to the custody of the nearest humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals or dog pound in the area. After 48 hours of receipt, such custodian may humanely kill such animal or place it for adoption. During such 48-hour period, the animal may be released only to the owner or his representative. If the owner claims the animal, he shall be liable for room and board charges for the animal during the abandonment period.

(3) The giving of notice to the owner, or the representative of the owner, of such animal by the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or licensed boarding kennel as provided in paragraph (2) and receipt of return receipt by the doctor or licensed boarding kennel, which shall be retained for 12 days, shall relieve the doctor of veterinary medicine, licensed boarding kennel and any custodian to whom such animal may be given of any further liability for disposal. It is further provided that such procedure by the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or licensed boarding kennel shall not constitute grounds for disciplinary procedure under this act.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VI, § 601, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 14, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-602. Dogs used for law enforcement

(a) Illegal to taunt law enforcement dogs.--It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and maliciously taunt, torment, tease, beat, kick or strike any dog, including any search and rescue or detection dogs, used by any municipal, county or State police or sheriff's department or agency, fire department or agency or handler under the supervision of such department or agency, in the performance of the functions or duties of such department or agency or to commit any of the stated acts in the course of interfering with any such dog used by the department or agency or any member or supervised handler thereof in the performance of the functions or duties of the department or agency or of such officer or member or supervised handler. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this subsection commits a felony of the third degree.

(b) Illegal to torture certain dogs.--It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or maliciously torture, mutilate, injure, disable, poison or kill any dog, including any search and rescue or detection dog, used by any municipal, county or State police or sheriff's department or agency, fire department or agency or handler under the supervision of such department or agency, in the performance of the functions or duties of the department or agency or to commit any of the stated acts in the course of interfering with any such dog used by the department or agency or any member or supervised handler thereof in the performance of any of the functions or duties of the department or agency or of such officer or member or supervised handler. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this subsection commits a felony of the third degree.

(c) Illegal to deny facilities or service due to dog use.--It shall be unlawful for the proprietor, manager or employee of a theater, hotel, motel, restaurant or other place of entertainment, amusement or accommodation to refuse, withhold from or deny to any person, due to the use of a working police dog, detection dog or search and rescue dog used by any State or county or municipal police or sheriff's department or agency, fire department, search and rescue unit or agency or handler under the supervision of those departments, either directly or indirectly, any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges of the theater, hotel, motel, restaurant or other place of public entertainment, amusement or accommodation. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(d) Quarantine of certain dogs not required.--Quarantine of dogs as required by law shall not apply to dogs owned by any municipal or State police department or agency when such dogs are under the direct supervision and care of a police officer and subject to routine veterinary care.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VI, § 602, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1990, May 31, P.L. 211, No. 45, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 15, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

 

§ 459-603. Selling, bartering or trading dogs

(a) Illegal transfers.--It shall be unlawful to offer a dog as an inducement to purchase a product, commodity or service. The sale of a dog by a licensed kennel shall not be considered to be an inducement.

(b) Illegal to transfer ownership of certain puppies.--It shall be unlawful to barter, trade, raffle, sell, auction or in any way transfer ownership of a dog under eight weeks of age, unless the dog has been orphaned and it becomes necessary to transfer ownership of the orphaned dog to a nonprofit kennel, or from a nonprofit kennel with approval by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine.

(c) Illegal for certain persons to transfer dogs.--It shall be unlawful for any person to buy, sell, offer to sell, transfer, barter, trade, raffle, auction or rent a dog at any public place in this Commonwealth other than a kennel licensed pursuant to this act, or a dog show, performance event or field trial sponsored by a recognized breed or kennel association or transfer by a rescue network kennel within its own network or to another rescue network kennel. If a purchase, sale, transfer, barter, trade, raffle, auction or rental of a dog occurs at or on the premises of a kennel, the transaction shall be unlawful unless one of the parties to the transaction is an employee, volunteer or other person acting as an authorized representative of the kennel.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 603, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 16, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-701. Reimbursement for damages; complaints

(a) Reimbursement.--A person may make application to the department for reimbursement for damage to a domestic animal by a dog, whether or not the domestic animal is directly damaged by the dog or is necessarily destroyed due to damage caused by the dog, if the [FN1] all of the following apply:

(1) The damage occurs when the domestic animal is confined in a field or other enclosure adequate for confinement of such animal.

(2) The damage was not caused by a dog owned or harbored by the owner of such damaged domestic animal.

(3) The owner of the offending dog is unknown.

(b) Complaint.--To receive reimbursement under subsection (a), a person must file a written, signed complaint with the department. The complaint must state all of the following:

(1) The time, place and manner of the damage.

(2) The number and type of domestic animals damaged.

(3) The amount of the damage. The amount under this paragraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal.

(c) Limitation.--A written complaint under subsection (b) must be filed within five business days of discovery of the damage.

(d) Investigation.--Within 48 hours of receipt of a complaint under subsection (b), a State dog warden shall investigate the complaint by examining the site of the occurrence. The State dog warden may examine witnesses under oath or affirmation.

(e) Determination.--

(1) Within ten business days after the initiation of the investigation under subsection (d), the State dog warden shall issue one of the following determinations:

(i) A dismissal of the complaint.

(ii) A damage award. The amount under this subparagraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal and in no instance shall the award exceed 90% of the appraised value of the domestic animal.

(2) Failure to act within the time period under paragraph (1) shall be deemed a damage award in the amount claimed in the complaint under subsection (b)(3).

(f) Arbitration.--

(1) If the complainant does not agree to the damage award under subsection (e)(1)(ii), the complainant and the State dog warden shall appoint a disinterested, qualified citizen to act as arbitrator.

(2) The arbitrator shall determine the damage award. The amount under this paragraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal and shall not exceed 90% of the appraised value of the animal.

(3) The arbitrator shall receive appropriate compensation, paid by the complainant.

(g) Administrative appeal.--

(1) A complainant may appeal to the department a determination under subsection (e)(1)(i) or (f)(2).

(2) The appeal must be filed within 30 days of issuance of the determination.

(3) Within 30 days of filing under paragraph (2), the department must issue one of the following adjudications:

(i) Affirming the original determination.

(ii) Modifying the original determination.

(4) Failure to act within the time period under paragraph (3) shall be deemed a modification of the original determination to grant an award in the amount claimed in the complaint under subsection (b)(3).

(5) This subsection is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies).

(h) Judicial review.--A complainant may appeal to Commonwealth Court an adjudication under subsection (g)(3). This subsection is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

(i) Payment of claims.--All damage claims shall be paid from the Dog Law Restricted Account. No payment shall be made for any claim which has already been paid by the claimant's insurance carrier. The claimant must certify to the department that he has not received payment for any damages under this section by any person.

(j) Rules and regulations.--The secretary may promulgate any rules and regulations deemed necessary to enforce the provisions of this section.

[FN1] So in enrolled bill.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VII, § 701, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1986, May 16, P.L. 194, No. 59, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 17, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-701.1. Reimbursement for rabies

(a) Reimbursement.--

(1) Any person may make application to the department for loss of a domestic animal from rabies, if the rabies is the result of the animal being attacked by a dog, if all of the following apply:

(i) The damage occurs when the damaged animal is confined in a field or other enclosure adequate for confinement of such animal.

(ii) The damage was not caused by a dog owned or harbored by the owner of such damaged domestic animal.

(iii) The owner of the offending dog is unknown.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a domestic animal is presumed to have been attacked by a dog where the owner provides to the department a certificate from a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine and a report from any laboratory approved by the department to the effect that the domestic animal was affected with rabies.

(b) Complaint.--To claim reimbursement from the department for loss of a domestic animal due to rabies, a person must file a written, signed complaint with the department. The complaint must state all of the following:

(1) The time, place and manner of the damage.

(2) The number and type of domestic animal damaged.

(3) The amount of the damage. The amount under this paragraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal.

(c) Limitation.--A written complaint under subsection (b) must be filed within five business days of discovery of the damage.

(d) Investigation.--Within 48 hours of receipt of a complaint under subsection (b), a State dog warden shall investigate the complaint by examining the site of the occurrence. The State dog warden may examine witnesses under oath or affirmation.

(e) Determination.--

(1) Within ten business days after the initiation of the investigation under subsection (d), the State dog warden shall issue one of the following determinations:

(i) A dismissal of the complaint.

(ii) A damage award. In the case of the Commonwealth paying the award for damage, the amount under this subparagraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal and in no instance shall the award exceed 90% of the appraised value of the domestic animal.

(2) Failure to act within the time period under paragraph (1) shall be deemed a damage award in the amount claimed in the complaint under subsection (b)(3), to be paid by the department from the Dog Law Restricted Account.

(f) Arbitration.--

(1) If the complainant does not agree to the damage award under subsection (e)(1)(ii), the State dog warden and the complainant shall appoint a disinterested, qualified citizen to act as arbitrator.

(2) The arbitrator shall determine the damage award.

(3) The arbitrator shall receive appropriate compensation, paid by the complainant.

(g) Administrative appeal.--

(1) A person may appeal to the department a determination under subsection (e)(1)(i) or (f)(2).

(2) The appeal must be filed within 30 days of issuance of the determination.

(3) Within 30 days of filing under paragraph (2), the department must issue one of the following adjudications:

(i) Affirming the original determination.

(ii) Modifying the original determination.

(4) Failure to act within the time period under paragraph (3) shall be deemed a modification of the original determination to grant an award in the amount claimed in the complaint under subsection (b)(3), to be paid by the department from the Dog Law Restricted Account.

(5) This subsection is subject to 2 Pa.C.S Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies).

(h) Judicial review.--A person may appeal to Commonwealth Court an adjudication under subsection (g)(3). This subsection is subject to 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

(i) Payment of claims.--All damage claims shall be paid from the Dog Law Restricted Account. No payment shall be made for any claim which has already been paid by the claimant's insurance carrier. The claimant must certify to the department that he has not received payment for any damages under this section by any person.

(j) Rules and regulations.--The secretary may promulgate any rules and regulations deemed necessary to enforce the provisions of this section.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 701.1, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 18, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-702. Quarantines due to damages

When the inhabitants of any city, borough, town or township, or any part thereof, have suffered an excessive amount of damage by dogs to domestic animals, a petition may be presented to the secretary, signed by 20 or more of such residents who are owners of domestic animals, alleging such excessive damage and requesting that a quarantine be placed on all dogs within the limits of such city, borough, town or township, or such part thereof. Upon receipt of such petition, the secretary may, through his State dog wardens, have an investigation made of the facts alleged therein and, if convinced that conditions in such city, borough, town or township, or such designated area, demand such stringent measures, he may establish a dog control quarantine therein. When such quarantine is established, at least ten notices thereof shall be posted through the area affected thereby and notice thereof shall also be published in at least one issue of a newspaper of general circulation throughout such city, borough, town or township. It shall be unlawful for any person, residing in the area affected by such quarantine, to permit a dog, owned or harbored by him to run at large in such quarantined area, or to leave the premises where it is kept, unless accompanied by and under the control of himself or a handler. Any police officer or State dog warden may kill any dog running at large in a quarantined area, in violation of such quarantine, without any liability for damages for such killing.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VII, § 702, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 19, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-703. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 20, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-704. Killing of dogs causing damages

If the identity of the owner of the dog or dogs has been established under section 701 or 701.1, [FN1] the secretary may notify the owner or keeper of such dog or dogs to immediately kill it or them. It shall be unlawful and a violation of this act for the owner or keeper, after notification by the secretary, to allow to leave or to remove such dog or dogs from the premises, while they are alive, except to a State dog warden or to a veterinarian or animal shelter for euthanasia purposes. The killing of such dog or dogs does not remove the liability of the owner for damages caused by the dog or dogs. Upon failure, however, of such owner to comply with such order within a period of ten days, the secretary may authorize the killing of such dog or dogs wherever found. In addition, upon failure of such owner or keeper to comply with such order within a period of ten days, the owner or keeper shall, upon summary conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-701 or § 459-701.1.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VII, § 704, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1986, May 16, P.L. 194, No. 59, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 20, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-705. Harboring unlicensed dogs; forfeiture of rights of reimbursement

Any person who owns or harbors an unlicensed dog required to be licensed under this act shall forfeit any right to be reimbursed by the department for any damages to his domestic animal by dogs or coyotes.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VII, § 705, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1988, May 13, P.L. 396, No. 63, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 21, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-706. Damages caused by coyotes; complaints; liability

(a) Reimbursement.--A person may make application to the department for reimbursement for damage to a domestic animal by a coyote, whether or not the domestic animal is directly damaged by the coyote or is necessarily destroyed due to damage caused by the coyote, if the damage occurs when the domestic animal is confined in a field or other enclosure adequate for confinement of such animal.
 
(b) Complaint.--To receive reimbursement under subsection (a), a person must file a written, signed complaint with the department. The complaint must state all of the following:

(1) The time, place and manner of the damage.

(2) The number and type of domestic animal damaged.

(3) The amount of the damage. The amount under this paragraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal.

(c) Limitation.--A written complaint under subsection (b) must be filed within five business days of discovery of the damage.

(d) Investigation.--Within 48 hours of receipt of a complaint under subsection (b), a State dog warden shall investigate the complaint by examining the site of the occurrence. The State dog warden may examine witnesses under oath or affirmation.

(e) Determination.--

(1) Within ten business days after the initiation of the investigation under subsection (d), the State dog warden shall issue one of the following determinations:

(i) A dismissal of the complaint.

(ii) A damage award. The amount under this subparagraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal, and the award shall not exceed 90% of the appraised value of the domestic animal.

(2) Failure to act within the time period under paragraph (1) shall be deemed a damage award in the amount claimed in the complaint under subsection (b)(3).

(f) Arbitration.--

(1) If the complainant does not agree to the damage award under subsection (e)(1)(ii), the complainant and the State dog warden shall appoint a disinterested, qualified citizen to act as arbitrator.

(2) The arbitrator shall determine the damage award. The amount under this paragraph is limited to $10,000 for each domestic animal.

(3) The arbitrator shall receive appropriate compensation paid by the complainant.

(g) Administrative appeal.--

(1) A complainant may appeal to the department a determination under subsection (e)(1)(i).

(2) The appeal must be filed within 30 days of issuance of the determination.

(3) Within 30 days of filing under paragraph (2), the department must issue one of the following adjudications:

(i) Affirming the original determination.

(ii) Modifying the original determination.

(4) Failure to act within the time period under paragraph (3) shall be deemed a modification of the original determination to grant an award in the amount claimed in the complaint under subsection (b)(3).

(5) This subsection is subject to 2 Pa.C.S Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies).

(h) Judicial review.--A complainant may appeal to Commonwealth Court an adjudication under subsection (g)(3). This subsection is subject to 2 Pa. C.S. Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

(i) Payment of claims.--

(1) All damage claims shall be paid from the Dog Law Restricted Account. No payment shall be made for any claim which has already been paid by the claimant's insurance carrier. The claimant shall certify to the department that he has not received payment for any damages under this section by any person. Claims paid under this section shall not exceed $75,000 annually.

(2) If, in any given year, damage claims exceed the allocation for this subsection, those claims left unpaid at the end of the fiscal year shall be paid from the account first during the following year.

(j) Rules and regulations.--The secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations to enforce the provisions of this section.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VII, § 706, added 1988, May 13, P.L. 396, No. 63, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 21, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-801. False statements

It is unlawful for any person knowingly to make any false statement or to conceal any fact required to be disclosed under any of the provisions of this act.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VIII, § 801, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-802. Burdens of proof

(a) Licensing.--In any proceeding under this act, the burden of proof of the fact that a dog has been licensed, or has been imported for breeding, trial, hunting, performance event or show purposes, or that a dog is under the required licensed age of three months as hereinbefore provided, shall be on the owner of such dog. Any dog not bearing a license tag shall prima facie be deemed to be unlicensed except as provided under this act. It is unlawful for any person dealing in and with dogs, to use a false or fictitious name unless such name is registered with the Commonwealth.

(b) Age and name.--In a proceeding under this act, the burden of proof of the age of a dog shall be on the owner of the dog. It shall be unlawful for a person dealing in and with dogs to use a false or fictitious name unless the name is registered with the Commonwealth.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. VIII, § 802, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 22, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


§ 459-901. Enforcement of this act by the secretary; provisions for inspections

(a) General rule.--The secretary, through State dog wardens, employees of the department and police officers, shall be charged with the general enforcement of this law. The secretary may employ all proper means for the enforcement of this act , including issuing notices and orders, filing violations for criminal prosecution, seeking injunctive relief, imposing civil penalties and entering into consent agreements. The secretary may enter into agreements pursuant to section 1002, [FN1] which shall be filed with the department, for the purpose of dog control. State dog wardens and employees of the department are hereby authorized to enter upon the premises of any person for the purpose of investigation. A dog warden or employee of the department may enter into a home or other building only with the permission of the occupant or with a duly issued search warrant.

(b) Training for dog wardens.--The secretary shall establish training requirements for dog wardens and other employees of the department charged with the enforcement of this act which shall include dog handling , cruelty, humane capture, preliminary recognition of dog pathology, knowledge of proper dog sanitation, kennel inspection procedures and shelter and dog law enforcement.

(b.1) Training requirements.--The department shall establish a program for initial training of dog wardens and employees of the department which must include, at a minimum, a total of 64 hours of instruction, in accordance with this subsection. The following shall apply:

(1) The program for initial training of dog wardens must include at least 32 hours of instruction in the following group of instructional areas:

(i) Dog laws and applicable rules and regulations.

(ii) Care and treatment of dogs, including breed and use variability.

(iii) Pennsylvania criminal law and criminal procedure.

(2) At least 32 hours of instruction in the initial training program must be provided in the following group of instructional areas:

(i) Dog handling and humane capture.

(ii) Preliminary recognition of dog pathology.

(iii) Proper dog sanitation and shelter.

(iv) Kennel inspection procedures.

(v) Biosecurity risks, techniques and protocol.

(3) The initial training program must also require an individual, as a prerequisite to successful completion of the training program, to take and pass a final examination that sufficiently measures the individual's knowledge and understanding of the instructional material.

(4) Training shall be conducted in accordance with 22 Pa.C.S. Ch. 37 (relating to humane society police officers).

(b.2) Limitation on the possession of firearms.--No dog warden or employee of the department shall carry, possess or use a firearm in the performance of duties.

(b.3) Application of section to prior dog wardens.--

(1) Any dog warden or employee of the department who, prior to the effective date of this act, has successfully completed a training program similar to that required under subsection (b.1) shall, after review by the secretary, be certified as having met the training requirements of this act. Any dog warden or employee of the department who, prior to the effective date of this act, has not successfully completed a training program similar to that required under subsection (b.1) may continue to perform the duties of a dog warden until the person has successfully completed the required training program, but not longer than two years from the effective date of this act.

(2) (Reserved).

(b.4) Refusal, suspension or revocation authorized.--The department may refuse to employ a person to act as a dog warden or may suspend or revoke the employment of a person who is acting as a dog warden if the department determines that the person has:

(1) Failed to satisfy the training requirements of subsection (b.1).

(2) Had a criminal history record which would disqualify the applicant from becoming a law enforcement officer.

(3) Been convicted of violating 18 Pa.C.S. § 5301 (relating to official oppression).

(b.5) Additional grounds.--The department may refuse to employ a person to act as a dog warden or other employee charged with the enforcement of this act or may suspend or revoke the employment of a person who is acting as a dog warden or is charged with the enforcement of this act if the department determines that the person has:

(1) Made a false or misleading statement in the application for employment.

(2) Carried or possessed a firearm in the performance of his or her duties without certification pursuant to subsection (b.2).

(3) Engaged in conduct which constitutes a prima facie violation of 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 5301 and 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals).

(4) Knowingly failed to enforce any of the provisions of this act.

(5) Violated any of the provisions of this act.

(b.6) Training available to others.--The department may provide training under subsections (b.1) and (b.2) to any person not employed by the department and may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs incurred for providing this service. Training for any person not employed by the department need not include instruction in kennel inspection procedures.

(c) Advisory board.--The secretary shall appoint a Dog Law Advisory Board to advise the secretary in the administration of this act. The board shall consist of the following, who shall either be a resident of this Commonwealth or an organization of this Commonwealth:

(1) The secretary or his designee, who shall act as chairman.

(2) A representative of animal research establishments.

(3) A representative of a Statewide veterinary medical association.

(4) Two representatives of animal welfare organizations.

(5) Three representatives of farm organizations, with one from each Statewide general farm organization.

(6) A representative of dog clubs.

(7) A representative of commercial kennels.

(8) A representative of pet store kennels.

(9) A representative of sportsmen.

(10) A representative of a national purebred canine pedigree registry.

(11) A representative of lamb and wool growers.

(12) A county treasurer.

(13) A representative of hunting-sporting dog organizations.

(14) A representative of the police.

(15) A representative of boarding kennels.

(16) Seven members representing the general public who are recommended by the Governor.

(d) Terms.--The length of the initial term of each appointment to the board shall be set by the secretary and shall be staggered so that the terms of approximately one-third of the appointments expire each year.

(e) Absences.--Three consecutive unexcused absences from regular board meetings or failure to attend at least 50% of the regularly scheduled board meetings in any calendar year shall be considered cause for termination of appointment unless the secretary, upon written request of the member, finds that the member should be excused from attending a meeting because of illness or death of a family member or for a similar emergency.

(f) Vacancies.--Vacancies in the membership of the board shall be filled for the balance of an unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.

(g) Recommendations.--The board may make nonbinding recommendations to the secretary on all matters related to the provisions of this act.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. IX, § 901, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 3, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 23, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-1002. 


 

§ 459-903. Enforcement and penalties

(a) Civil penalty.--
 
(1) Where the department finds that the first violation of a provision of this act or a rule or regulation adopted under this act by a kennel owner or operator has occurred, it will, for the violations found during that inspection, issue a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the kennel owner or operator in lieu of assessing a civil penalty. [FN1] Where the kennel owner or operator takes action in the time period provided in the NOV to correct the violation set forth in the NOV and come into compliance, no civil penalty shall be issued for a violation which is corrected. The time period to come into compliance shall be based on the time reasonably necessary to correct the violation.

(2)(i) The department may assess a civil penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 per day for each offense where the kennel owner or operator:

(A) has not taken the remedial measures required by and necessary to comply with the NOV issued under paragraph (1); or

(B) where the kennel owner or operator has already been issued one NOV in any calendar year and the department finds a subsequent violation of this act or a rule or regulation adopted under this act.

(ii) In determining the amount of the penalty, the department shall set forth in writing the basis for the amount of the penalty, detailing its evaluation of the impact of the following factors:

(A) The gravity of the violation.

(B) The potential harm to the public.

(C) The potential effect on the dog or dogs.

(D) The willfulness of the violation.

(E) Previous violations.

(F) The economic benefit to the person for failing to comply with this act or rules or regulations adopted under this act.

(iii) The department shall provide written notice of the penalty amount as well as the general factual and legal basis for the penalty and shall advise the affected person that, within 20 days of receipt of the notice, he may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing. Unless a timely request has been filed, the written notice shall become final. Each person assessed a penalty shall be given notice and opportunity for a hearing on the penalty assessment in accordance with the provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).

(3) In cases of inability to collect the civil penalty or failure of any person to pay all or a portion of the penalty, the department may refer the matter to the Office of General Counsel or the Office of Attorney General, which shall institute an action in the appropriate court to recover the penalty.

(b) Criminal penalties.--Unless otherwise provided under this act, a person who violates a provision of Articles II through VII or a rule or regulation adopted or order issued under this act commits the following:

(1) For the first offense, a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced for each offense to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or to imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.

(2) For a subsequent offense that occurs within one year of sentencing for the prior violation, a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced for each offense to pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution or to imprisonment of not more than one year, or both.

(3) Upon conviction for an offense, as set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2), and solely for the purpose of determining the amount of the fine to be imposed for each offense or the term of imprisonment, or both, the court shall consider the following factors:

(i) The gravity of the offense.

(ii) The potential effect of the offense on the dog or dogs.

(iii) The number of dogs affected or endangered by the offense.

(iv) The person's criminal history, including past violations of this act.

(v) The economic benefit to the person for failing to comply with this act or a rule or regulation adopted thereunder.

(c) Representation.--Upon prior authorization and approval of the district attorney for the county in which the proceeding is held, a State dog warden may be represented in any proceeding under this section by an attorney employed by the Office of General Counsel.

(d) Civil remedies.--In addition to any other remedies set forth under this act, a violation of this act or the regulations promulgated under this act shall be abatable in the manner provided by law or equity.

(e) Equitable relief.--In cases where the circumstances require it, a mandatory preliminary injunction, special injunction or temporary restraining order may be issued upon the terms prescribed by the court, provided such notice of the application has been given to the respondent in accordance with the rules of equity practice. In any such proceeding, the court shall issue a prohibitory or mandatory injunction if it finds that the respondent is engaging in unlawful conduct as defined under this act or is engaging in conduct which is causing immediate and irreparable harm to the public. In addition to the injunction, the court, in such equity proceeding, may assess civil penalties in accordance with this section.

(f) Penalties collected.--All civil penalties collected under this act shall be remitted to the Dog Law Restricted Account.

(g) Limitation on penalty.--A violation of this act cannot result in the issuance of both a civil penalty under subsection (a)(2) and the pursuit of a criminal penalty under subsection (b).

(h) Violation.--Each day there is a violation may count as a separate violation of the act.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. IX, § 903, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 4, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 23, effective in 60 days; 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.2, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

[FN1]  See 38 Pa.B. 6174 for Department of Agriculture Guidance Document, clarifying implementation of the Act 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119 amendments to this section.

§ 459-904. Permanent identification altered

It shall be unlawful to change or alter any form of permanent identification of a dog. Any person convicted of defacing or altering any form of permanent identification of a dog shall be guilty of a summary offense and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to pay a fine of $300 or to imprisonment for not less than 90 days, or both. A bill of sale shall accompany all permanently identified dogs when sold.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. IX, § 904, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 24, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-905. Disposition of fines and penalties

If a prosecution pursuant to this act is initiated by a State dog warden, employee of the department or State Police officer, all fines forfeited, recognizances and other forfeitures imposed, lost or forfeited under this act shall be payable through the Department of Agriculture into the State Treasury for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account. If a prosecution pursuant to this act is initiated by a local police officer or animal control officer, all fines forfeited, recognizances and other forfeitures imposed, lost or forfeited under this act shall be payable to the political subdivision which employs such local police officer or animal control officer.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. IX, § 905, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-906. Reports to General Assembly

On or before March 1, 1997, and on or before March 1 of each subsequent year, the secretary shall provide a report to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives which shall describe all relevant activities of the department for the preceding calendar year under this act.

The report shall contain, at a minimum, the following:

(1) The number of State dog wardens by county.

(2) The number of dog licenses issued by county.

(3) The number of kennel licenses issued in each kennel class by county.

(4) The number of out-of-state dealer licenses issued by the department.

(5) The total moneys collected from license fees.

(6) The number of kennel inspections performed, which shall include the number of kennels inspected by kennel class, the number of dogs kept at each inspected kennel and the county of location.

(7) The number of kennel licenses and out-of-state dealer licenses refused, revoked or suspended and the reasons for such refusals, revocations or suspensions.

(8) The number of citations issued by county and the disposition of each citation.

(9) The number of dogs seized and impounded and the total reimbursements made by the department for the transportation, care and feeding of such dogs.

(10) The total payments made by the department from the Dog Law Restricted Account and the reasons for such payments.

(11) Recommendations to improve the administration and enforcement of this act, if applicable.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 906, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 25, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-907. State dog wardens; plan for appointment

(a) Development of plan.--On or before March 1, 1997, the department, in consultation with the Dog Law Advisory Board, shall develop a plan to provide for the appointment of an adequate number of State dog wardens to serve in each of the department's Dog Law enforcement regions. The plan shall provide for the appointment of State dog wardens to each Dog Law enforcement region as specified in the plan no later than January 1, 1998. Upon completion, the plan shall be forwarded to the chairman and minority chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate and the chairman and minority chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.

(b) Restriction on use of surplus funds.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this act to the contrary, the department shall not make any payments of surplus funds pursuant to section 1002(b) [FN1] to counties, municipalities, humane societies or associations for the prevention of cruelty to animals unless and until it has developed and implemented a plan to appoint an adequate number of State dog wardens to serve in each of its Dog Law enforcement regions in accordance with subsection (a). Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a county or municipality, as the case may be, from appointing county dog wardens to perform the duties and functions of Dog Law enforcement alone or in conjunction with a State dog warden in any Dog Law enforcement region.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-1002(b).

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 907, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 25, effective in 60 days.

 

§ 459-908. Exemption

Research kennels in this Commonwealth that are currently registered with and inspected by the Federal Government under the Animal Welfare Act (Public Law 89-544, 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) shall be exempt from this act and regulations promulgated under this act if they can provide documentation to the department demonstrating that the research kennel has undergone at least one Federal inspection in the last 12 months and the research kennel still maintains a valid Federal registration. Submission of such evidence of Federal inspection and registration by documentation to the department may be established by regulation.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 908, added 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 17, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].


 

§ 459-901-A. Definitions

The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
 
“Adopt” or “adoption.” The transfer of ownership of a dog or cat from a releasing agency to a new owner.
 
“Licensed doctor of veterinary medicine.” A person licensed to practice veterinary medicine under the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), [FN1] known as the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, or licensed under similar laws and qualifications in other states.
 
“Neuter.” A procedure to render a male dog or cat unable to reproduce.
 
“New owner.” A person who enters into a binding agreement pursuant to section 902-A [FN2] and who adopts a dog or cat from a releasing agency.
 
“Releasing agency.” A public or private pound, animal shelter, humane society, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, rescue network kennel or other similar entity that releases a dog or cat for adoption.
 
“Spay.” A procedure to render a female dog or cat unable to reproduce.
 
“Sterilize” or “sterilization.” The spaying or neutering of a dog or cat.
 
CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 901-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 18, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].
[FN1] 63 P.S. § 485.1 et seq.

[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-902-A.

 


§ 459-902-A. Spaying or neutering as condition for release of certain animals

No dog or cat may be adopted by a new owner from a releasing agency unless the animal has been sterilized by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or unless the new owner signs an agreement to have the animal sterilized by or under the supervision of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine and deposits funds with the releasing agency to ensure that the adopted animal will be sterilized. The amount of the deposit required shall be determined by each releasing agency. In no event shall the required deposit be less than $30 for a dog or $20 for a cat.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 902-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-903-A. Refund of deposit upon proof of sterilization

The funds deposited with the releasing agency shall be refunded to the new owner upon the presentation of a written statement signed by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine that the subject animal has been sterilized. However, no refunds shall be made unless the animal was sterilized within 60 days of acquisition in the case of a mature animal or, in the case of an immature animal, within 30 days of the date the animal attained the age of six months.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 903-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-904-A. Rules and sterilization agreement

Releasing agencies may establish any additional rules to implement this article, provided that such rules are not in conflict with the provisions or purpose of this article to require the sterilization of all dogs and cats adopted from releasing agencies. The sterilization agreement to be used by releasing agencies shall be in substantially the following form:

                             STERILIZATION AGREEMENT

 This agreement is made and entered into this _____ day of _______________,

   19___, by and between:

 (Releasing Agency)                        (New Owner)

 Name                                      Name

 Address                                   Address

 City                Telephone             City               Telephone

In consideration of the adoption of this animal and in further consideration of mutual obligations herein, the releasing agency authorizes the adoption of the following animal to the new owner:

(describe animal)

1. The releasing agency agrees to release the above-listed animal into the care of the new owner and refund the new owner's sterilization deposit provided that:

(1) The animal is sterilized by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine by (give date).

(2) A written statement signed by the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine performing the sterilization that the animal has been sterilized by the stated date is given to the releasing agency.

2. The new owner accepts the above-listed animal and agrees:

(1) To have the animal sterilized by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine by (give date).

(2) To provide written evidence to the releasing agency from the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine performing the sterilization that the animal has been sterilized by the above date listed. This agreement shall be binding upon the assigns, heirs, executors and administrators of the respective parties. The parties hereto have hereunto set their hands the day and year first above written.

Amount of deposit

                                      ___________________________________

                                      Releasing Agency

                                      ___________________________________

                                      (signature of agent)

                                      ___________________________________

                                     New Owner

                                      ___________________________________

                                      (signature of)

           WRITTEN STATEMENT OF LICENSED DOCTOR OF VETERINARY MEDICINE

   I hereby certify that the above-described animal has been sterilized on

   _______________ (give date).

                                      __________________________________________

                                      (Signature of

                                      __________________________________________

                                      Licensed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine)

                                      __________________________________________

                                      Address

                                      __________________________________________

                                      City           State          Zip

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 904-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-905-A. Extension of time to sterilize

Upon presentation of a written report from a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine stating that the life or health of an adopted animal may be jeopardized by sterilization, the releasing agency shall grant a 30-day extension of the period within which sterilization would otherwise be required. Further extensions shall be granted upon additional veterinary reports stating their necessity.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 905-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-906-A. Exemption from sterilization; refund of deposited funds

Upon presentation of a written report from a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine stating that the adopted animal has already been sterilized or can never be sterilized due to old age or a health condition that would likely result in the death of the animal, the sterilization deposit shall be refunded.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 906-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-907-A. Death of adopted animal

Upon request, the releasing agency shall refund deposited funds to the new owner upon reasonable proof being presented to the releasing agency by the new owner that the adopted animal died before the expiration of the period during which the sterilization was required to be completed.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 907-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-908-A. Forfeiture of deposited funds and adopted dog or cat

Failure of a new owner to comply with provisions of this article shall result in the forfeiture of the deposited funds to the releasing agency. The releasing agency may reclaim the dog or cat from the new owner.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 908-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-909-A. Disposition of forfeited funds; record of accounts

Funds which have been forfeited by new owners shall be placed in an interest- bearing account belonging to the releasing agency. The releasing agency may allocate the unused funds from such account to programs which directly promote, subsidize or otherwise reduce the cost of sterilization of animals of the releasing agency. Funds may also be used to provide for the health and welfare of animals being cared for by the releasing agency. The releasing agency shall maintain an accurate accounting of these forfeited funds.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 909-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-910-A. Construction of article

The provisions of this article shall not be construed to require the sterilization of dogs and cats which are being held in releasing agencies which might be claimed by their rightful owners. Further, this article shall not be construed to interfere with municipal ordinances or the policies and programs of releasing agencies that meet or exceed the sterilization requirements set forth in this article.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 910-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-911-A. Penalty

Failure to comply with the provisions of this article relating to the sterilization of animals constitutes a summary offense.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, § 911-A, added 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 26, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-1001. Dog Law Restricted Account; disposition and appropriation of funds accruing under the provisions of this act

(a) Dog Law Restricted Account created.--All moneys paid into the State Treasury under the provisions of this act shall be paid into a restricted account hereby created and to be known as the Dog Law Restricted Account. Any interest accrued on the account shall be credited to the account for the purposes of meeting the requirements of this act.

(b) Appropriation.--As much as may be necessary of such moneys and interest in the Dog Law Restricted Account are hereby appropriated to pay:

(1) all salaries of the employees of the department in administering their duties under this act;

(2) all expenses of the secretary and the department in administering their duties under this act;

(3) all payments of all allowable damage claims pursuant to sections 701, 701.1 and 706, [FN1] and the maintenance of a $50,000 indemnity fund;

(4) all payments to counties pursuant to section 1002(a) [FN2] and (a.1)(3);

(5) all payments from surplus moneys declared to be available by the secretary pursuant to section 1002(b);

(6) all payments for promotion and educational activities; and

(7) all training required under section 901. [FN3]

(c) Subsidized services.--No funds credited to the restricted account created by this section shall be used for government subsidized veterinary services.

[FN1] 3 P.S. §§ 459-701, 459-701.1 and 459-706.

[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-1002(a) and (a.1)(3).

[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-901.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. X, § 1001, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 27, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-1002. County dog law programs

(a) Dog control facilities.--Any county except counties of the first class, two or more counties which form a joint dog control agency or any humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals may submit requests for funding to establish and maintain dog control facilities or other functions of dog control within the county to complement the Commonwealth dog law enforcement program. Any county or humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals which receives funding under this section shall appoint one or more animal control officers who shall be subject to the training requirements under section 901(b.1) and (b.2). [FN1] If a joint dog control agency is created, one of the counties shall act as a lead agency for the purposes of meeting the requirements of the program, including, but not limited to, recordkeeping, supervision of employees and other administrative duties as required by this act.

(a.1) County dog law enforcement.--

(1) A county may request the secretary to be authorized to perform any or all of the duties and functions of dog law enforcement under Article I; Article II, except sections 206, 207, 209, 211 and 218, [FN2] as it pertains to kennel inspections; Article III, except section 301; [FN3] Articles V through IX; this article; Article XI and Article XII.

(2) The secretary may also authorize a municipality within a county, except counties of the first class, which has been designated by the county to act as its representative, to perform any or all of the duties and functions of dog law enforcement as outlined in this subsection, provided that the municipality agrees to accept all obligations imposed upon the county by the guidelines and conditions of the department and the applicable regulations.

(3) A county which the secretary authorizes to perform the duties and functions of dog law enforcement under this subsection shall appoint one or more officers to be known as county animal wardens who shall have the power to enforce the portions of the dog law enumerated in paragraph (1) in the county.

(4) County animal wardens shall be subject to the training requirements under section 901. [FN4]

(5) No dealer nor any humane society police officer shall be appointed as a county animal warden in any county.

(6) Nothing in this act shall be construed as authorizing a county to delegate or assign any powers or duties conferred upon counties or municipalities under this subsection to any private corporation, association or organization or any other nongovernmental entity.

(7) The secretary and a county shall agree upon the amount of funds available to a county for the purpose of this subsection, except that no agreement shall authorize the county to receive an annual amount greater than the total annual contributions to the Dog Law Restricted Account for the previous year resulting from the issuance of individual dog licenses within the county.

(8) Any agreement between the secretary and a county under this subsection shall be set forth within a memorandum of understanding which shall be reviewed annually.

(9) The secretary may recall the county program authorization at any time, when such county shall subsequently revert to State jurisdiction.

(b) Surplus funds.--The secretary may declare that there is a surplus of money in the Dog Law Restricted Account. The secretary may authorize additional payments to the counties, except to counties of the first class, municipalities and to humane societies or associations for the prevention of cruelty to animals from any amount declared to be surplus. Such payments shall be based on the secretary's evaluation pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated under this act.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-901(b.1) and (b.2).

[FN2] 3 P.S. §§ 459-206, 459-207, 459-209, 459-211 and 459- 218.

[FN3] 3 P.S. § 459-301.

[FN4] 3 P.S. § 459-901.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. X, § 1002, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1986, May 12, P.L. 194, No. 59, § 1, effective in 60 days; 1988, May 13, P.L. 396, No. 63, § 3, effective in 60 days; 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 28, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-1101. Liability of the State

Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the owner of a licensed dog from recovering by action at law the value of any dog which has been illegally killed by any person, provided the Commonwealth shall be liable to the owner of any legally licensed dog, for the value thereof, if illegally killed by any police officer or employee of the Commonwealth and the Commonwealth may thereupon recover the amount so paid to such owner from the police officer or employee of the Commonwealth doing the illegal killing, by an action at law. Whenever the Commonwealth shall be liable for any killing, the value of said dog shall be ascertained in the same manner as provided in section 701, [FN1] for assessing the damage done to domestic animals by dogs.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-701.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. XI, § 1101, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 29, effective in 60 days.


 

§ 459-1201. Applicability to cities of the first class, second class, second class A and third class

(a) Cities of the first class, second class and second class A.--Insofar as this act provides for the individual licensing of dogs and the payment of damages for domestic animals injured by dogs or for licensed dogs illegally killed, it shall not apply to cities of the first class, second class and second class A. Such individual dog licensing and payment of damages in cities of the first class, second class and second class A shall continue to be carried on under the provisions of existing laws.

(b) Cities of the third class.--Insofar as this act provides for the individual licensing of dogs by the department, the payment of damages by the department for domestic animals injured by dogs or for licensed dogs illegally killed and for the performance of duties and functions of dog law enforcement by the department under Articles I and II, except sections 206, 207, 209, 211 and 218 [FN1] as it pertains to kennel inspections; Article III, except section 301; [FN2] Articles V through IX; this Article; Articles XI and XII, the foregoing responsibilities shall not apply to the department within a city of the third class that does both of the following:

(1) Adopts its own dog licensing ordinance establishing individual dog licensure on a calendar year basis or on another basis consistent with that in use by the department.

(2) Notifies the secretary, in writing, of its intention to assume responsibility for enforcement of its dog licensing ordinance under authority of this section for a period commencing January 1 of a particular year and not ending prior to December 31 of the year in which the city of the third class terminates its responsibility for enforcement. If the department changes dog licensure from a calendar year basis to some other basis by regulation promulgated under authority of section 201, it may modify the requirement set forth in this paragraph to provide for the efficient and equitable transfer of dog law enforcement responsibility and appropriate dog license fees from the city of the third class to the department.

[FN1] 3 P.S. §§ 459-206, 459-207, 459-209, 459-211 and 459- 218.

[FN2] 3 P.S. § 459-301.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. XII, § 1201, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 29, effective in 60 days.

 

§ 459-1202. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 29, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-1203. Severability

The provisions of this act shall be severable, and, if any of its provisions shall be held to be unconstitutional, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions of this act. It is hereby declared as a legislative intent that this act would not have been adopted had such unconstitutional provisions been included therein.

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. XII, § 1203, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-1204. Acts not affected

This act does not repeal or in any way affect any of the provisions of the following acts:

(1) The act of July 22, 1913 (P.L. 928, No. 441), entitled "An act relating to domestic animals; defining domestic animals so as to include poultry; providing methods of improving the quality thereof, and of preventing, controlling, and eradicating diseases thereof; imposing certain duties upon practitioners of veterinary medicine in Pennsylvania; regulating the manufacture, use and sale of tuberculin, mallein and other biological products for use with domestic animals; defining the powers and duties of the State Livestock Sanitary Board, and the officers and employees thereof; fixing the compensation of the Deputy State Veterinarian; and providing penalties for the violation of this act." [FN1]

(2) The act of June 3, 1937 (P.L. 1225, No. 316), known as "The Game Law." [FN2]

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 331 et seq.

[FN2] 34 P.S. § 1311.1 et seq. (repealed).

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. XII, § 1204, effective Jan. 1, 1983.


 

§ 459-1205. Repealer

(a) The act of December 22, 1965 (P.L. 1124, No. 437), [FN1] known as the "Dog Law of 1965," is repealed.

(b) Section 34, act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), [FN2] known as the "Veterinary Medicine Practice Act," is repealed.

(c) The act of July 11, 1917 (P.L. 818, No. 317), [FN3] known as the "Dog Law of One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventeen," is repealed.

[FN1] 3 P.S. §§ 460-101 to 460-1207 (repealed).

[FN2] 63 P.S. § 485.34 (repealed).

[FN3] 53 P.S. §§ 3891 to 3932 (repealed).

CREDIT(S)

1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. XII, § 1205, effective Jan. 1, 1983. Amended 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 29, effective in 60 days.

 

Dog Law of 1921

§ 501. Loss of livestock from rabies caused by bite of dog

Whenever, heretofore, any person has sustained any loss of any livestock because of rabies, or any livestock of any person has been necessarily destroyed because of rabies, and such fact has been established to the satisfaction of a duly authorized agent of the Department of Agriculture, in the manner prescribed in the act, approved the eleventh day of May, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one (Pamphlet Laws, five hundred twenty-two), known as the “Dog Law of one thousand nine hundred and twenty-one” and its amendments, [FN1] the amount of the loss so sustained, as determined by such agent of the Department of Agriculture, upon the approval of the report of such agent by the Secretary of Agriculture, shall be paid by the Commonwealth, notwithstanding the fact, that it has not been proven in such cases, that the bite of a dog caused the rabies, and the Secretary of Agriculture shall immediately draw a requisition in favor of the claimant for the amount of the loss such claimant has sustained, according to the report of such agent, together with necessary and proper costs incurred. Such amount shall be paid from any appropriation to the Department of Agriculture available for the purpose of paying claims for loss or damage to livestock, or poultry, by dogs.

CREDIT(S)

1935, May 22, P.L. 227, No. 96, § 1.

[FN1] 3 P.S. §§ 461 to 500 (repealed); see 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.

 

Chapter 8. Dogs and Cats. Dogs Worrying Sheep

§ 531. Dogs worrying or accustomed to worry sheep

It shall be lawful for any person or persons to shoot or kill any dog or dogs found or known to be chasing or worrying sheep, or accustomed so to do within this commonwealth, without liability on the part of such person or persons to pay any damages therefor.

CREDIT(S)

1851, April 14, P.L. (1852) 710, § 7.

 

§ 532. How damages recovered

The owner or owners of any dog or dogs shall be liable for all damages done or caused to be done by any and every such dog or dogs, in an action of trespass vi et armis, in the name of the person or persons injured, to be sued for and recovered before any court or justice of the peace having jurisdiction of the amount so claimed.

CREDIT(S)

1851, April 14, P.L. (1852) 710, § 8.

 

Noise Pollution

§ 550. General immunity from noise

All owners and operators of dog training and special retriever training areas licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission shall be exempt and immune from any civil action or criminal prosecution in any manner relating to noise or noise pollution resulting from the normal and accepted training activities of the licensed training area, provided that the owners or operators of the training areas were and remain in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances at the time the permit for establishment of the training area was authorized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

CREDIT(S)

1992, July 2, P.L. 381, No. 79, § 1, imd. effective.

 

§ 551. Nuisances and injunction

The owners or operators of the licensed training areas shall not be subject to any action for nuisance, and no court in this Commonwealth shall enjoin the use or operation of training areas on the basis of noise or noise pollution, provided that the owners or operators of the training areas were and remain in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances at the time the permit for establishment of the training areas was authorized by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

CREDIT(S)

1992, July 2, P.L. 381, No. 79, § 2, imd. effective.

 

Title 34 Pa.C.S.A. Game. Chapter 23. Hunting and Furtaking. Subchapter E. Dogs Pursuing Game or Wildlife.

§ 2381. Dogs pursuing, injuring or killing game or wildlife

Except as otherwise provided in this title or by commission regulation, it is unlawful for any person controlling or harboring a dog to permit the dog to chase, pursue, follow upon the track of, injure or kill any game or wildlife at any time.

CREDIT(S)

1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.

 

§ 2382. Training dogs on small game

(a) General rule.-- Unless otherwise provided by commission regulation, it is lawful to train a dog or dogs during any time of the calendar year. Persons who are solely training dogs and who comply with the provisions of this section shall not be required to have a hunting or furtaking license. The commission may, by regulation, prohibit or further restrict or relax the training period for specific breeds of dogs on game or wildlife.

(b) Restrictions.--
(1) Any dog being trained pursuant to subsection (a) shall be accompanied by and under the control of the owner or a handler.
(2) The owner or handler or any other person shall not carry a bow and arrow or a firearm fired from the shoulder while training a dog.
(3) No dog shall be permitted to kill or inflict any injury upon the pursued game or wildlife.

(c) Sunday limitation.--It is unlawful to train dogs on privately owned property on Sunday. This limitation shall not apply to:

(1) National or State forest land.
(2) State game lands.
(3) Privately owned property when the consent of the person in charge of the land is first obtained.

CREDIT(S)
1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987. Amended 1996, Dec. 19, P.L. 1442, No. 184, § 8, effective in 60 days.

 

§ 2383. Dogs pursuing, injuring or killing big game

(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), it is unlawful for any person to make use of a dog in any manner to hunt for or to take big game or to permit a dog owned, controlled or harbored by that person to pursue, harass, chase, scatter, injure or make use of a dog to kill any big game.

(b) Exception.--It shall be lawful to make use of a dog to pursue, chase, scatter and track wild turkeys during the fall wild turkey season.

CREDIT(S)
1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987. Amended 2007, June 30, P.L. 62, No. 18, § 1, imd. effective.

 

§ 2384. Declaring dogs public nuisances

Any dog pursuing or following upon the track of any big game animal in such close pursuit as to endanger the big game animal or to be in the act of attacking the big game animal at any time is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be destroyed as provided in this title.

CREDIT(S)
1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.

 

§ 2385. Destruction of dogs declared public nuisances

(a) General rule.--A dog declared a public nuisance pursuant to section 2384 (relating to declaring dogs public nuisances) may be killed by any commission officer at any time or by any person when the dog is found to be in the act of attacking a big game animal.

(b) Reports after killing dog.--Any person who kills a licensed dog pursuant to subsection (a) and section 2384 shall notify the owner or a commission officer within 48 hours after the dog was killed. The person who killed the dog or the commission officer who receives the report shall disclose to the owner of the dog the time, place, circumstances relating to the death of the dog and the location of the dog's remains. All equipment found on the dog, including collar, name tag, license tag or any other personal property, shall be returned to the owner of the dog within ten days after conclusion of any prosecution or immediately if no prosecution is contemplated.

(c) Inapplicability of certain laws.--

(1) The provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals) shall not apply to any person killing any dog pursuant to subsection (a).
(2) The provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 85 (relating to matters affecting government units) shall not apply to any agency, commission or department or any officers charged by law with enforcing the provisions of this title.

CREDIT(S)
1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.

 

§ 2386. Penalties

(a) General penalty.--Except as provided in subsection (b), a violation of this subchapter is a summary offense of the fifth degree.

(b) Specific penalties.--

(1) A violation of section 2382(b)(3) (relating to training dogs on small game) is a summary offense of the fourth degree. In addition to the imposition of a penalty, the violator shall also be liable for the replacement costs of the game or wildlife killed or injured as determined by commission regulations.

(2) A violation of section 2383 (relating to dogs pursuing, injuring or killing big game) is a summary offense of the third degree. In addition to the imposition of a penalty, the violator shall also be liable for the replacement costs of the game or wildlife killed or injured as determined by commission regulation.

(c) Second or subsequent conviction.--Any conviction for a second or subsequent offense shall result in a fine that is double the amount for the first offense.

CREDIT(S)
1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987. 

 

Title 34 Pa.C.S.A. Game. Chapter 29. Special Licenses and Permits. Subchapter C. Permits Relating to Hunting Dogs

§ 2941. Dog training areas

(a) Establishment.--Upon the application of 20 or more citizens of this Commonwealth, the commission may issue a permit to the applicants authorizing the establishment and maintenance, on land owned by them or over which they have legal control, of a special dog training area where dogs may be trained at any time during the entire year and field trials may be conducted without the necessity of securing a field trial permit. No such dog training area shall be less than 100 acres nor more than 250 acres. Permits shall not be issued for more than ten special dog training areas in any one county. Persons training dogs in established dog training areas shall not be required to have a hunting or furtaking license.

(b) Training periods.--At any time during the year, permittees or guests may train their dogs or the dogs of other persons on the designated dog training area.

(c) Hunting and furtaking restrictions.--Neither the permittees nor any other person shall at any time hunt or take furbearers within the confines of the dog training area. The permittees, or any person authorized by them, may hunt or trap unprotected game or wildlife for the purpose of population control. A permit must be secured from the director permitting the removal of any protected game or wildlife.

(d) Big game hunting may be permitted.--Hunting of big game may be permitted on dog training areas during seasons fixed by the commission. Action of the permittees to permit big game hunting shall be conspicuously posted in the vicinity of the area at least two weeks prior to any such season.

(e) Marking boundary.--The boundary line of a special dog training area shall be plainly and conspicuously posted prior to October 1 of each year with legible notices at least 10 by 12 inches in size, placed in such a manner that any intruder is warned of the purpose of the area and bearing such information as the commission may require.

(f) Unlawful acts.--It is unlawful to:

(1) Permit, or through negligence permit, dogs to disturb game or wildlife on a dog training area contrary to the provisions of this section.

(2) Trap for any game or wildlife on a dog training area without a permit.

(3) Willfully, negligently or maliciously cut, remove, cover up, deface or otherwise mutilate, injure or destroy any special dog training area boundary fence or wire or poster placed in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(4) Violate any other provision of this section.

(g) Penalty.--A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fifth degree.

CREDIT(S)

1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.

 

§ 2942. Special retriever training areas

(a) Establishment.--Upon application of any club or organization having 20 or more members or upon the application of 20 or more citizens of this Commonwealth, the commission may issue a permit to the applicants authorizing the establishment and maintenance, on land owned by them or over which they have legal control, of a special retriever dog training area where dogs may be trained at any time during the entire year. No dog training area shall be of less than ten acres nor more than 50 acres. No retriever dog training area shall be established within the boundary of a regulated hunting ground.

(b) Releasing tagged birds.--The permittee may release domestically produced and properly marked ringneck pheasants, bobwhite quail or mallard ducks which may be shot and retrieved with retriever dogs. The released birds shall be individually tagged prior to release with metal tags supplied by the commission, at a reasonable fee, and bearing such information as the commission shall prescribe.

(c) Shooting untagged birds.--Any untagged birds which are shot or injured shall immediately be delivered to an officer of the commission for disposition along with the sum of $50 for each untagged bird killed. This money shall be deposited in the Game Fund.

(d) Fees and charges.--The permittee shall not impose or accept a fee or charge for the use of the area. The fee for any birds furnished to members or guests shall not be greater than the actual cost for acquiring or raising the bird.

(e) Hunter's license not required.--Every person participating in dog training or shooting birds under this section shall not be required to possess a resident or nonresident hunter's license.

(f) Training periods.--The permittee may at any time during the entire year train his own dog or the dogs of other persons on the training area or permit others to do so under such conditions as shall be mutually agreed upon.

(g) Hunting and furtaking restrictions.--Neither the permittee nor any other person shall at any time hunt or take furbearers within the confines of the training area. This limitation shall not apply while training dogs. The permittees or any person authorized by them may hunt or trap unprotected game or wildlife at any time and furbearers in season for the purpose of controlling the game or wildlife on the area and may permit the public to hunt bear and deer on the area during seasons fixed by the commission.

(h) Marking boundary.--The boundary line of a special retriever dog training area shall be plainly and conspicuously posted prior to October 1 of each year with legible notices as prescribed by the commission.

(i) Unlawful acts.--It is unlawful to violate any of the provisions of this section.

(j) Penalty.--A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fifth degree.

CREDIT(S)

1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.


§ 2943. Field dog trials

(a) Authorization.--Permits to hold dog trials on specified wild birds and animals may be issued by the director. A separate permit to hold a field trial shall not be required for any group holding a permit for a dog training area under section 2941(a) (relating to dog training areas). Participants in these trials shall not be required to have a hunting license.

(b) Trials for small game.--It is lawful to hold field trials or meets where dogs are permitted to work on liberated or native small game:

(1) During the period of the year when dog training is permitted by this title.

(2) At any time of the year on a licensed special dog training area or regulated hunting grounds if the trial or meet is sponsored by the holder of the special dog training area permit or the holder of the regulated hunting grounds permit.

(3) During the period of the year when dog training is prohibited by this title if a proper field trial permit is obtained.

(c) Trials for raccoons.--It is lawful to hold trials or meets where dogs may work on drags or live raccoons at any hour, if permission is obtained to use privately owned land when the meet or trial is to be held on Sunday:

(1) During the period of the year when dog training is permitted by this title.

(2) During the period of the year when dog training is prohibited by this title if a raccoon dog field trial permit is obtained.

(d) Unlawful acts.--It is unlawful to:

(1) Aid, abet, assist or participate in any trial or meet for dogs without a permit as required in this section.

(2) Aid, abet, assist or participate in any field trial in violation of any other provisions of this section.

(3) Release any live raccoons for any purpose under subsection (c).

(e) Penalty.--A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fifth degree.

CREDIT(S)

1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.

 

§ 2944. Field dog trials for retrievers

(a) Authorization.--It is lawful to hold field meets or trials for retrieving dogs, where the skill of the dogs is demonstrated by retrieving dead, wounded or trussed game birds, which have been propagated or otherwise legally acquired and released on the day of the trials, on premises owned or controlled by the club or individual conducting them at any time of the year after having secured a permit required under this section.

(b) Permit.--Permits shall be required for all retriever trials where game birds are shot and killed and for all other trials held during the closed period for training dogs.

(c) Permission to kill birds.--The permits shall authorize the holders to kill all of the birds released by the permittee on the day of the trials or from the hand while the trials are in progress.

(d) Official gun.--The person or persons designated by the committee in charge to do the shooting for the trials shall be known as the official gun or guns. No other person shall be permitted to kill, or attempt to kill, any of the birds released for the trials. Birds so released may be killed during the closed period without regard to sex or numbers.

(e) Tagging of game birds.--Before any game birds are released or killed under this section or consumed on the premises or removed therefrom, a tag shall be attached to each bird. The tags shall be numbered consecutively and supplied by the commission at reasonable cost and shall contain such information as the commission may require. The tags shall remain attached to the individual birds until prepared for consumption and shall not be used more than once.

(f) Shooting untagged birds.--Any untagged birds which are shot or injured shall immediately be delivered to an officer of the commission for disposition along with the sum of $50 for each untagged bird killed. This money shall be deposited in the Game Fund.

(g) Unlawful acts.--It is unlawful to:

(1) Aid, abet, assist or participate in any trial for dogs without a permit as required in this section.

(2) Aid, abet, assist or participate in any retriever field trial in violation of any other provisions of this section.

(h) Penalty.--A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fifth degree.

CREDIT(S)

1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.


§ 2945. Fox chasing

(a) Authorization.--It is lawful during any period designated by the commission for any fox hunting club, fox hunting organization or individual owning and using an organized pack of five or more foxhounds to chase foxes for sport by riding after the hounds on horses or ponies after securing a permit from the commission.

(b) Permit.--The director may issue a permit to allow fox chasing by the use of hounds, horses and hole dogs during any period of time that dogs may be trained on foxes within the county in which the chase is held. Persons participating in any chase authorized by this permit shall not be required to have a furtaking license pursuant to Chapter 27 (relating to hunting and furtaking licenses).

(c) Unlawful acts.--It is unlawful to:

(1) Chase fox by the method described in this section without first obtaining a permit.

(2) Kill or attempt to kill any fox being chased by hounds under authority of a fox chasing permit with any gun or device other than the dogs legally being used in the chase.

(3) Violate any other provisions of this section.

(d) Penalty.--A violation of this section is a summary offense of the third degree.

CREDIT(S)

1986, July 8, P.L. 442, No. 93, § 1, effective July 1, 1987.


 



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