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The Post  
Dog License Crackdown in Delaware County
  by: iradiotom - Philadelphia, PA
started: 06/29/11 4:48 pm | updated: 06/29/11 4:48 pm
Dog owners in Delaware County are being watched. Get caught without the $6 dog license and you could get fined $300.

State dog wardens are walking neighborhood streets, visiting parks and trails, peering over backyard fences and generally searching out canine companions without a current license.

Officials estimate there are 141,000 dogs living in Delaware County, yet less than 6,000 are licensed.

In 2007, after state wardens went through dog parks ticketing unlicensed dogs, the number of licensed dogs increased to 29,000.

The private Delaware County SPCA announced last year they will discontinue municipal animal-control contracts in July. With no coordinated place to take stray pets, the 49 municipalities will make their own plans for housing stray dogs for the required 48 hours. After that time, the animals can be adopted out or euthanized.

The lack of a state license drastically lowers the chances of a quick reunion between a lost pup and its family.

County officials are currently meeting with the shelter to see if an extension can be worked out. The county has announced plans to construct a facility in Sharon Hill and hopes to lease it out to a private shelter group. They estimate it will take an additional six months to get a shelter up and running.

There are an estimated 3.2 million pet dogs in Pennsylvania, yet only about 20 percent have the required state license. The same percentage holds in New Jersey, where the canine population is about 1.3 million.

Under Pennsylvania law, every dog older than three months must be licensed. The fees range from $6 for a pup that has been neutered or spayed to $50 for a lifetime license for a dog that has been microchipped or tattooed. All dogs and house cats are required to have a current rabies vaccine.

For more information on where to purchase a dog license contact the Delaware County Treasurer's office at 610-891-4276 or visit

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