To:  Executive Director, PA Senate Agriculture Committee

From:  Darin Cox, President, PA Federation Of Dog Clubs

Re:  S1289, Dog Law Modernization Act


The PA Federation of Dog Clubs is generally pleased with the changes proposed in S1289.  Among the positive changes we see:

·         Removal of the price difference between altered and unaltered dogs.

·         Maintaining the licensing threshold at 4 months but adding language requiring immediate licensing upon change of ownership.

·         Creation of an online method for obtaining a dog license.

·         Requiring the creation of a statewide dog license database.

·         Eliminating non-profit kennels and clearly defining humane society or SPCA kennels.

·         Increase in all license fees to return the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement to solvency.

We do have a few questions or requests for clarification:

·         In the Dangerous Dog Law, can an owner or keeper of a dog be found criminal guilty of harboring a dangerous dog on the first attack?  If there is no known history of a dog committing an unprovoked attack, how can an owner or keeper be accused of harboring a dangerous dog?  We can understand finding the dog to be dangerous on the first incident.

·         Regarding the $25 fee for a Rescue Network Home license.  If a home owner has a dog on the premises for less than 24 hours as part of a transport relay into and out of the Commonwealth, would such a home be required to obtain the Rescue Network Home license.

The PA Federation of Dog Clubs looks forward to working with the Legislature on these changes and would like to be included in any discussions about potential amendments that will undoubtedly be offered to S1289. 

SB907 was introduced by Senator Yaw to create an advisory board to review any and all animal legislation prior to being forwarded to the legislators for consideration. This advisory board would also be tasked with reviewing and recommending changes to current existing PA State animal laws.
The advisory board is comprised of representatives from a variety of organizations that have an interest in animal welfare as well as animal rights.
To be truthful and transparent, simply put, it will be the battleground for newly introduced legislation as well as advocating changes in existing legislation.

The entire legislative body is tired of animal bills and obviously believes that a group of animal representatives is the best option to sort them all out before they have to hear about them. Essentially, we will be doing their job for them, and relieving their staff of what they believe to be non essential legislation.
We encourage each and every animal owner/breeder/kennel to contact your representatives and ask them to support this advisory board creation.
If you want to see less legislative animal bills introduced and changes made to existing animal legislation, you need to be proactive and make the calls or send them an email.
For the first time in many years, because of the extensive work done by the PFDC Legislative Committee, our voices will be heard, loud and clear. The animal rights movement has had control of legislative issues for far too long.
Help us to help you...make those calls. If you are unsure of your representatives, kindly send us an email and we will assist you.
Linda Witouski