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Politics & Government

37 Illegal Pennsylvania Dog Kennels Targeted in 2012, Thousands of Citations Issued

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The Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office took action against 37 kennels operating without a license in 2012. Any person who keeps or sells 26 or more dogs in a calendar year is considered a kennel and therefore must be properly licensed under state law.

“We aggressively pursue kennel owners who are not in compliance with the state’s dog law, and we caught these kennels through routine inspections and information received by the public,” said Samantha Krepps, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The public is asked to keep an eye out for any red flags when looking to buy dogs.

“If a person is going to a commercial kennel, they should confirm that the establishment has a current license with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Inspect the facility for cleanliness, take a look around, make sure the dogs appear healthy. If you think there’s a problem, you can contact our tip line,” said Krepps.

Krepps added, none of the 37 problem kennels were in southwestern Pennsylvania. The state’s dog wardens are the ones responsible for cracking down on illegal kennels, they also enforce licensing and control of dogs, investigate dog bites, and enforce the state’s Rabies Law, among other things.

“In 2012, dog wardens conducted nearly 4,500 inspections of the state’s 2,100 licensed kennels, they issued more than 3,000 summary citations and 55 misdemeanor complaints against dog owners in Pennsylvania,” said Krepps.

Aggressive enforcement of the state’s Dog Law will continue into 2013, in an effort to ensure no animals are being mistreated. The enforcement office will also implement some new measures including collaborative training of dog wardens with the State Police, heightened enforcement of dangerous dog laws by citing owner who fail to register dogs deemed dangerous, and easier access to information via the web.

Krepps reminds all dog owners that they are required to license their pet every year. More information can be found at www.licenseyourpetPA.com. The tip line for problem kennel facilities is: 717-787-3063.