Dec. 17, 2018

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)

Did you know that every dog in Pennsylvania must be licensed? All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed on an annual basis in the Commonwealth. Owners who fail to license their dogs by Jan. 1 of each year could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed animal.

An annual dog license costs $8.50 and a lifetime license is $51.50. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.50, and the lifetime license is $31.50. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.

Dog license applications can be acquired by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website at

The application and appropriate fee should then be mailed to: Ms. Laura Beers, Luzerne County Licensing Office, Luzerne County Courthouse, 20 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18711. The office phone number is (570) 825-1780.

Pennsylvania has a Dog Law Enforcement Office, which is responsible for ensuring the welfare of dogs, regulating dangerous dogs and overseeing annual licensing and rabies vaccinations. Your annual license fee supports the office and helps keep shelters running across the state.

Owning a dog can be a wonderful experience for you and your family. However, dog ownership also comes with a certain level of responsibility. I encourage you to learn more about those responsibilities by visiting the Dog Law Enforcement Office page on the Department of Agriculture’s website, which was listed above.

If you have a question regarding any state government-related matter, please email them to me at You may see the answer in a future column.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717.260.6136 /