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. 

PFDC Opposes Pet Limits as Missing the Point

Many communities like Waynesboro PA try to deal with issues of animal cruelty and irresponsible pet ownership by limiting the number of pets its citizens may keep. The PA Federation of Dog Clubs agrees with a handful of court decisions across the country that conclude such laws miss the mark.

Pet Limit Ordinances punish responsible, law-abiding citizens in an effort to deal with the irresponsible and lawless. In general, the courts have seen no evidence provided by the government leaders in these cases that an arbitrary numeric limit solves the issue intended. In fact, the plaintiffs in these cases have shown data from the communities own animal control officers that many who are repeatedly cited for animal cruelty, allowing their animals to roam at large, and harboring dangerous dogs, have fewer than the limit would allow. They have also shown that those in dog and cat clubs in the community, who have more than the designated limit, are not on record for these violations. Further, those that participate in civic minded kennel and cat clubs are often the ones who step forward to help with the animal control issues in their communities. For these reason, and many more, the PA Federation of Dog Clubs asks those currently considering pet limit laws, to listen to the counterproposals being offered. The kennel and cat clubs in your communities have the knowledgeable and caring people who can make a difference, and make it a better place to live for all.