Footnotes and credits have been removed for brevity.  If you need them, please refer to https://www.animallaw.info/statute/pa-dog-law-chapter-8-dogs-consolidated-dog-laws

 

§ 459-101. Short title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Dog Law.”

 

§ 459-102. Definitions

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

“Abandon.” To forsake entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for the care and support of an animal by its owner or his agent.

“Abandonment.” Relinquishment of all rights and claims to an animal by its owner.

“Agent.” A person defined in section 200 who is authorized by this act to process applications for dog license certificates and issue dog license certificates and tags.

“Animal control officer.” Any person appointed to carry out the duties of dog control.

“Attack.” The deliberate action of a dog, whether or not in response to a command by its owner, to bite, to seize with its teeth or to pursue any human , domestic animal, dog or cat.

“Boarding kennel.” Any establishment available to the general public where a dog or dogs are housed for compensation by the day, week or a specified or unspecified time. The term shall not include a kennel where the practice of veterinary medicine is performed if the kennel is covered by the provisions of the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), [FN1] known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” The term shall include any boarding facility operated by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine whether or not this facility is on the same premises as a building or structure subject to the provisions of the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” The term shall include any establishment available to the general public that, for consideration, takes control of a dog from the owner for a portion of a day for the purposes of exercise, day care or entertainment of the dog. For the purpose of this term, each time a dog enters the kennel it shall be counted as one dog. This term does not include an establishment engaged only in dog grooming or dog training.

“Cat.” The genus and species known as Felis catus.

“Commercial kennel.” A kennel that breeds or whelps dogs and:

(1) sells or transfers any dog to a dealer or pet shop kennel; or

(2) sells or transfers more than 60 dogs per calendar year.

“Confiscate.” To appropriate property to the use of the government or to adjudge property to be forfeited to the public, without compensation to the owner of the property.

“County animal warden.” Any person employed or appointed under section 1002(a.1). [FN2]

“County treasurer.” The elected officer for any county or any county employee assigned to the office of the county treasurer charged with the receipt, custody and disbursements of its moneys or funds. The term county treasurer shall include those officials in home rule charter counties responsible for county treasurer’s duties.

“Coyote.” The genus and species known as Canis latrans.

“Dangerous dog.” A dog determined to be a dangerous dog under section 502-A. [FN3]

“Dealer.” A person who:

(1) publicly or privately sells or offers for sale any dog belonging to another person for consideration, a fee or a commission or percentage of the sale price;

(2) transfers dogs at wholesale for resale to another; or

(3) offers or maintains dogs at wholesale for resale to another.

“Dealer kennel.” A kennel operating within the Commonwealth which:

(1) publicly or privately sells or offers for sale any dog as an owner, agent or assignee for a fee, commission or percentage of the sale price;

(2) transfers dogs at wholesale for resale to another; or

(3) offers or maintains dogs at wholesale for resale to another. The term does not include a pound, shelter or common carrier or a kennel defined elsewhere in this section.

“Department.” The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“Detection dog.” A dog which is trained and used for accelerant detection, bomb or explosives detection, narcotics detection or other scent detection.

“Dog.” The genus and species known as Canis familiaris.

“Dog control.” The apprehending, holding and disposing of stray or unwanted dogs. Dog control may be performed by humane society police officers, police officers, State dog wardens or animal control officers.

“Domestic animal.” Any equine animal or bovine animal, sheep, goat, pig, poultry, bird, fowl, confined hares, rabbits and mink, or any wild or semiwild animal maintained in captivity.

“Establishment.”

(1) The premises on, in or through which a dog is kept, bred, harbored, boarded, sheltered, maintained, sold, given away, exchanged or in any way transferred.

(2) The term shall encompass all of the following on, in or through which any of the activities under paragraph (1) take place:

(i) The home, homestead, place of business or operation of a person, including a dealer, which includes all of the land, property, housing facilities or any combination of land, property or housing facilities of the individual or person.

(ii) All of the persons residing in or on the establishment.

(iii) A person, organization, business or operation which utilizes offsite or rescue network kennel homes to keep, maintain, breed, train, harbor, board, shelter, sell, give away, adopt, exchange or in any way transfer dogs.

(3) The term shall not include a gathering of dog owners where dogs remain in the custody and care of their owners, such as a hotel or campground, a place for grooming or training or an event such as a field trial, performance event, hunting event or dog show.

“Housing facility.” A structure that provides animals with shelter, protection from the elements and protection from temperature extremes.

“Humanely killed.” A method of destruction in accordance with the act of December 22, 1983 (P.L. 303, No. 83), [FN4] referred to as the Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law.

“Humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals.” A nonprofit society or association duly incorporated pursuant to 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 53 Subch. A (relating to incorporation generally) for the purpose of the prevention of cruelty to animals.

“Humane society police officer.” Any person duly appointed pursuant to 22 Pa.C.S. § 501 (relating to appointment by nonprofit corporations) to act as a police officer for a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals. The term shall include any person who is an agent of a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals as agent is used in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals).

“Kennel.” Any establishment in or through which at least 26 dogs are kept or transferred in a calendar year, or a boarding kennel as defined in this act.

“Licensed doctor of veterinary medicine” or “veterinarian.” A person who is currently licensed pursuant to the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.”

“Muzzle.” A device, in any arrangement of straps or wires, placed over an animal’s mouth to prevent the animal from biting or eating.

“Nonprofit kennel.” A kennel registered under the laws of this Commonwealth as a nonprofit entity or a nonprofit animal control kennel under sections 901 and 1002. [FN5] The term shall include kennels operated by approved medical and veterinary schools and nonprofit institutions conducting medical and scientific research, which shall be required to register, but shall not be required to pay any of the license fees set by this act, and which may use their own identification tags for dogs within their kennels without being required to attach tags hereinafter prescribed while dogs are within such kennels, if approved by the secretary.

“Out-of-state dealer.” A person who does not reside in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and who:

(1) sells or offers for sale a dog in this Commonwealth belonging to another person, for any type of consideration, fee, commission or percentage of the sales price; or

(2) transfers a dog in this Commonwealth for resale to another for any type of consideration, fee, commission or percentage of the sales price.

“Owner.” When applied to the proprietorship of a dog, includes every person having a right of property in such dog, and every person who keeps or harbors such dog or has it in his care, and every person who permits such dog to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.

“Permanent identification” or “permanently identified.” Any long-lasting identification designed to be nonremovable, such as a tattoo or microchip, determined by the Department of Agriculture through regulation. Any dog permanently identified shall be required to bear a license tag in accordance with the provisions of this act.

“Person with a disability.” A person who receives disability insurance or supplemental security income for the aged, blind or disabled under the Social Security Act (49 Stat. 620, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq. ) ; who receives a rent or property tax rebate under the act of March 11, 1971 (P.L. 104, No. 3), [FN6] known as the “Senior Citizens Rebate and Assistance Act,” on account of disability; who has a disability certificate issued by the United States Veterans’ Administration; or who has a special registration plate under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1338 (relating to person with disability plate and placard).

“Persons.” Includes State and local officers, or employees, individuals, corporations, copartnerships and associations. Singular words shall include the plural. Masculine words shall include the feminine and neuter.

“Pet shop-kennel.” Any kennel or person that acquires and sells dogs for the purpose of resale, whether as owner, agent or consignee, and sells or offers to sell such dogs on a retail basis.

“Police officer.” Any person employed or elected by this Commonwealth, or by any municipality and whose duty it is to preserve peace or to make arrests or to enforce the law. The term includes constables and dog, game, fish and forest wardens.

“Primary enclosure.” The primary structure that restricts a dog’s ability to move in a limited amount of space, such as a room, cage or compartment. The term does not include any run described in section 207(i)(6). [FN7]

“Private kennel.” A kennel not meeting the definition of “commercial kennel” where dogs are kept or bred by their owner, for the purpose of hunting, tracking and exhibiting in dog shows, performance events or field and obedience trials.

“Proper enclosure of a dangerous dog.” The secure confinement of a dangerous dog either indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure, suitable to prevent the entry of young children and domestic animals and designed to prevent the dangerous dog from escaping. The pen or structure shall have secure sides and a secure top and shall also provide protection from the elements for the dog. If the pen or structure has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be embedded at least two feet into the ground.

“Public place.” A place in this Commonwealth to which the general public has a right to resort. A public place need not be a place devoted solely to use by the public, but may be a place which is visited by many persons on a regular basis and is usually accessible to the neighboring public. A public place shall also include television and radio media.

“Rescue network kennel.” A kennel that utilizes rescue network kennel homes with the goal of ultimately transferring the dog to a permanent owner or keeper through any means of transfer.

“Rescue network kennel home.” An establishment to which a rescue network kennel assigns a dog until the dog is ultimately transferred to a permanent home.

“Research.” Investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts or procedures, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws as related to the advancement of medical science and technological treatment of disease or surgical operations, medical procedures, transplants, functions and any form of medical or pharmacological actions on dogs when applied and personally supervised by a qualified scientist with degrees approved by the secretary.

“Research kennel.” Any Federal research kennel or other research kennel duly registered with and inspected by the Federal Government under the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act (Public Law 89-544, 7 U.S.C. § 2131 et seq.) and its attendant regulations.

“Search and rescue dog.” A dog which is trained to locate lost or missing persons, victims of natural or manmade disasters and human bodies.

“Secretary.” The Secretary of Agriculture or any person to whom authority has been delegated by the Secretary of Agriculture.

“Seizure.” The act of taking possession of property for a violation of law or the taking or removal from the possession of another. The term shall not include the taking of ownership of property.

“Service dog.” Any dog which has been or is in the process of being trained as a guide dog, signal dog or has been trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

“Severe injury.” Any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery.

“State dog warden.” An employee of the department whose primary duty is to enforce this act and the regulations pursuant thereto.

“Veterinarian-client-patient relationship.” As defined in section 3(15) of the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L. 995, No. 326), [FN8] known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.”

“Vivisection.” The cutting of or operation on a living animal for physical or pathological investigation or animal experimentation.

“Wild” or “semiwild animal.” A domestic animal which is now or historically has been found in the wild, including, but not limited to, bison, deer, elk, llamas or any species of foreign or domestic cattle, such as ankole, gayal and yak.

 

§ 459-200. Issuance of dog licenses; compensation; proof required; deposit of funds; records; license sales; rules and regulations; failure to comply; unlawful acts; penalty

(a) Issuance of dog licenses.–

(1) The county treasurer shall be an agent and shall process applications for dog license certificates and issue dog license certificates and tags.

(1.1) The county treasurer shall be permitted and may permit agents to issue vanity or collector tags that are approved by the department, in addition to the license.

(2) The county treasurer may authorize magisterial district judges to be agents and to process applications for dog license certificates and to issue dog license certificates and tags.

(3) The county treasurer may authorize other agents within the county to process dog license certificates and to issue dog license certificates and tags. At least half of the agents appointed in each county shall have hours of operation after 5 p.m. at least one weekday and shall be open at least one day of each weekend. Agents who have been appointed by their respective county treasurers under this paragraph shall meet bonding requirements as their respective county treasurers may require.

(4) The secretary shall have the authority, after a review of the agents appointed by a county treasurer, to appoint agents within each county to process dog license certificates and to issue dog license certificates and tags. Priority shall be given to licensed doctors of veterinary medicine and kennels licensed under this act. At least half of the agents appointed in each county shall have hours of operation after 5 p.m. at least one weekday and shall be open at least one day of each weekend. Agents appointed by the secretary under this paragraph shall be required to post a bond or other security instrument in a form satisfactory to the secretary in an amount he determines. The secretary may recall the appointment of any agent at any time.

(5) Agents who have been appointed by their respective county treasurers prior to the effective date of this section may continue to act as agents for the county treasurers under such bonding requirements as the county treasurer may require.

(b) Compensation.–For services rendered in collecting and paying over dog license fees, agents, for as long as they continue to act in that capacity, may collect and retain a sum equal to the cost of a postage stamp plus $1 for each dog license sold, which amount shall be full compensation for services rendered by them under this act. The compensation shall be retained by the respective agents and shall cover, among other things, the cost of processing and issuing dog licenses, postage, mailing, returns and bonding of the agents. A magisterial district judge authorized by the county treasurer to process applications for dog license certificates and issue dog license certificates is not authorized to collect compensation under this subsection. Agents under subsection (a)(3) and (5) shall collect an additional 50¢ which shall be remitted to the county treasurer, for the use of the county, in the same manner as records are forwarded under subsection (e).

(b.1) Mailings.–Advertisements, promotions, requests for donations, solicitations and other materials may not add to the cost of postage to be paid by the department and may not be directly attached to a dog license application, dog license renewal notice or other dog law document. Dog license mailings, renewals and other notices related to State dog licenses shall not contain any extraneous advertising, promotions, requests for donations, solicitations or other materials unless the advertisement, promotion, request for donation, solicitations or other materials have met one of the following conditions:

(1) They have been previously approved in writing by the department.

(2) They each contain a disclaimer stating that, “The solicitation or request for a donation herein is not for a program sponsored by, funded by or endorsed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (the Department). The Department takes no responsibility for this program. Participation in this program is voluntary, is not a condition of receiving a dog license and does not change the cost of obtaining a dog license. Any donation will be deposited into an account separate from the account for dog license revenues. ”

(c) Proof required.–Each agent shall secure positive proof of the owner’s identification, age and disability, if any, and the dog’s spay/neuter status, as may be appropriate, for each dog license sold.

(d) Deposit of funds.–All dog license fees paid to an agent under this act, less compensation if collected, shall be paid by those agents into the State Treasury for deposit in the Dog Law Restricted Account at least once a month, and they shall be applied to the purposes provided for in this act. An agent shall make a return to the department upon a form to be supplied by the department.

(e) Records.–Each agent shall keep on a printed form supplied by the department a correct and complete record of all dog licenses issued, funds that are received and uncollected funds that have been subtracted from the money forwarded to the secretary. The records shall be available at reasonable hours for inspection by any employee of the department charged with the enforcement of this act or any representative of the Department of Auditor General or Office of Attorney General. Within five days following the first day of each month, each agent shall forward to the secretary and to the county treasurer of the county in which the agent is situated, on forms supplied by the department, a complete report of dog licenses issued, in correct numerical sequence. All money collected from the sale of dog licenses, less compensation if collected, and any other information required by the secretary shall be forwarded to the secretary with the report.

(e.1) Electronic records.–Within the later of 180 days of the effective date of this section or 60 days after the county treasurer has the capability to submit an electronic file of license holders, the county treasurer shall submit to the secretary an electronic data file of license holders. The county treasurer shall monthly update the data file and submit the updated file monthly to reflect all new applicants.

(f) License sales.–Each agent shall process applications and issue dog license certificates on a year-round basis. Nothing in this act shall permit an agent while acting in that capacity to suspend license sales during any time. If checks are returned for delinquent funds or the proper dog license fee is not collected for any reason and if these funds have been subtracted from the money forwarded to the secretary, the agent shall report the delinquency to the department on a form supplied by the department.

(g) Rules and regulations.–The department may promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to control and supervise the issuance of dog licenses by agents.

(h) Failure to comply.–An agent who fails to comply with this act or regulations adopted under this act relating to the issuance, recording of data or remitting of costs for dog licenses issued shall not be entitled to retain the sum under subsection (b) for his services but shall pay the sum to the State Treasury for deposit into the Dog Law Restricted Account. Delinquent agents are subject to a penalty of 10% per month on any outstanding balance of dog license money due the department, which penalty shall be compounded on a monthly basis. Any money not paid may be recovered by the Commonwealth by suit in the same manner as like amounts are recoverable by law. Delinquent agents shall be recalled after a delinquency period of 60 days.

(i) Unlawful acts concerning agents.–It is unlawful for an agent or his representative to knowingly:

(1) Issue a dog license at a fee greater than the fee prescribed in this act.

(2) Issue a dog license without first securing the proofs required under subsection (c).

(3) Falsify the date of a license certificate.

(4) Violate any other provision of this section.

(j) Penalty.–Any agent who violates this section or the rules or regulations promulgated under it commits a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500 and, in addition, may have his agency recalled at the discretion of the secretary. Each day of violation or each illegal act constitutes a separate offense.

 

§ 459-201. Applications for dog licenses; fees; penalties

(a) General rule.–Except as provided in subsection (b), on or before January 1 of each year, the owner of any dog, three months of age or older, except as hereinafter provided, shall apply to the county treasurer of his respective county or an agent under section 200(a), on a form prescribed by the department, for the appropriate license for the dog. The application and license certificate shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of the dog, the name, address and telephone number of the owner and the year of licensure. The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate license fee as follows:

(1) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the license fee shall be $5.

(2) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $7.

(3) For Pennsylvania residents 65 years of age or older and persons with disabilities:

(i) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the license fee shall be $3.

(ii) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $5.

(4) Compensation, if collected under section 200(b), [FN2] shall also be paid by all applicants, regardless of age or disability.

(5) All additional costs of a vanity or collector tag issued under this subsection shall be in addition to the required license fee under this section. The additional cost shall be distributed equally between the county treasurer that issued the license and the Dog Law Restricted Account. A vanity or collector tag shall not be issued without approval of the department.

(b) Lifetime license.–The owner of any dog three months of age or older which has been permanently identified may apply to the county treasurer of his respective county or an agent under section 200(a), on a form prescribed by the department for a lifetime license for such a dog. Except as otherwise provided in this act, a dog which has been issued a lifetime license shall be required to wear a license tag. The application and license certificate shall state the breed, sex, age, color and markings of such dog, the type and number of permanent identification and the name, address and telephone number of the owner. The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate license fee as follows:

(1) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the lifetime license fee shall be $30.

(2) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $50.

(3) For Pennsylvania residents 65 years of age or older and persons with disabilities:

(i) For each neutered male dog and for each spayed female dog for which the certificate of a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine or the affidavit of the owner is produced, the license fee shall be $20.

(ii) For all other male and female dogs, the license fee shall be $30.

(4) Compensation, if collected under section 200(b), shall also be paid by all applicants, regardless of age or disability. A dog which has been issued a lifetime license prior to the effective date of this act shall not be subject to fees under this subsection.

(5) All additional costs of a vanity or collector tag issued under this subsection shall be charged in addition to the fees under this section. The additional cost shall be distributed equally between the county treasurer that issued the tag and the Dog Law Restricted Account. A vanity or collector tag shall not be issued without approval of the department.

(c) Penalty.–A person who violates this section commits a summary offense and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300 for each unlicensed dog. Fraudulent statements, including those related to the breed of the dog, failure to pay the appropriate fee or failure to update records, including address and contact information, within 120 days of moving constitute a violation. The burden of proof shall be the same as under section 802.

 

§ 459-202. License certificates; tag removal; exclusion for some dogs

(a) General rule.–Each dog license certificate shall be dated and numbered, and shall bear the name of the county where such license is issued and any other information required pursuant to regulations promulgated by the department. All dog licenses except lifetime licenses as provided in section 201(b) [FN1] shall expire upon December 31 of the year for which the license was issued. A tag bearing the same number issued with the license certificate shall be affixed to a substantial collar or harness. The collar or harness shall be furnished by the owner, and, with the tag attached, shall at all times be kept on the dog for which the license is issued, except as otherwise provided in this act. It shall be unlawful for any person, except the owner or his authorized agent, or a State dog warden, to remove any license tag from a dog’s collar or harness or to remove any collar or harness with a license tag attached thereto from any dog, except as provided in 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game), and except as herein or otherwise provided.

(b) Exception.–The following need not wear a license tag on a collar or a harness:

(1) Dogs when confined.

(1.1) Dogs when restricted to the property of a kennel licensed under this act.

(2) Dogs when being transported for law enforcement.

(3) Dogs when being transported to or from a veterinary office pursuant to an order of the secretary for humane purposes.

(4) Dogs which are confined to the property of the owner or when training for or engaging in dog shows, performance events or hunting activities and dogs while being transported by or on behalf of their owner or keeper to or from the location at which they train or engage in dog shows, performance events or hunting activities, as long as a copy of the kennel license or individual dog license or tag is in possession of the owner or keeper accompanying each dog.

 

§ 459-203. Tags furnished to county treasurers and other agents; lost tags

The department shall furnish to the county treasurers and to other agents under section 200(a) tags to be given to applicants for dog licenses. The department shall furnish to the county treasurers tags to be distributed to agents under section 200(a)(3) and (5). Such tags shall bear the name of the county where such dog license is issued and a serial number corresponding to the number on the issued dog license certificate. Such tags shall not contain more than one square inch of area between the ears or the fastening device and have impressed thereon the calendar year for which the tag is valid. If any tag is lost, it shall be replaced by the county treasurer upon production of the dog license certificate. The cost for the issuance of a tag due to loss shall be $1 paid to the county treasurer for the use of the county.

 

§ 459-204. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 4, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-205. Transfer of dog licenses or tags; other licensing requirements

(a) Transfer of dog license.–It is unlawful to transfer a dog license or dog license tag issued for one dog to another dog, except as otherwise provided in this act. Whenever the ownership or possession of any dog is permanently transferred from one person to another within the same county, the license of such dog may be likewise transferred, upon application to an agent under section 200(a). [FN1] Such application shall be accompanied by a bill of sale or an affidavit from the owner that ownership of the dog is to be transferred. A new dog license, or the transfer of a dog license already secured, is not required when the possession of a dog is temporarily transferred for the purpose of hunting game, or for breeding, boarding and training, trial or show, in this Commonwealth. The issuing agent shall charge and retain $1 for such transfer application.

(b) Dog moved to another county.–Whenever any dog licensed in one county is permanently moved to another county, an issuing agent of the county where the dog license was issued shall, upon the application of the owner or keeper of such dog, certify such dog license to an agent of the county to which the dog is moved. Such agent shall thereupon, and upon the payment of a fee of $1 for the use of the agent, issue a dog license and tag for such dog in the county to which it is moved.

(c) Owners of unlicensed dogs.–Any person other than as exempt in section 206, [FN2] becoming the owner of any dog three months old or older, which has not already been licensed shall forthwith apply for and secure a license for such dog under the provisions of this act.

 

§ 459-206. Kennels

(a) Applications, kennel license classifications and fees.–Any person who keeps or operates a kennel shall, on or before January 1 of each year, apply to the department for a kennel license. Kennels shall be classified by type, and the fee for the license shall be determined by the kennel type, the number of dogs housed, kept, harbored, boarded, sheltered, sold, given away or transferred in or by the kennel. The application forms and kennel licenses shall be as designated by the secretary. A separate license shall be required for each type of kennel and every location at which a kennel is kept or operated. A kennel license is required to keep or operate any kennel. All kennel licenses shall expire on December 31. When two or more licensed kennels are operated by the same person at the same location, each kennel shall be inspected and licensed as required by law.

Kennel Class I.–To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 50 dogs or less of any age during a calendar year–$75 per year.

Kennel Class II.–To keep or operate a private kennel, pet-shop kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 51 to 100 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$200 per year.

Kennel Class III.–To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 101 to 150 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$300 per year.

Kennel Class IV.–To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 151 to 250 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$400 per year.

Kennel Class V.–To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop-kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, dealer kennel or kennel for a total of 251 to 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$500 per year.

Kennel Class VI.–To keep or operate a private kennel, pet shop kennel, research kennel, rescue network kennel, kennel or dealer kennel for a total of more than 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$750 per year.

Boarding Kennel Class I.–To keep or operate a boarding kennel having the capacity to accommodate a total of 1 to 10 dogs at any time during a calendar year–$100 per year.

Boarding Kennel Class II. –To keep or operate a boarding kennel having the capacity to accommodate a total of 11 to 25 dogs at any time during a calendar year–$150 per year.

Boarding Kennel Class III.–To keep or operate a boarding kennel having the capacity to accommodate 26 or more dogs at any time during a calendar year–$250 per year.

Nonprofit Kennel.–To keep or operate a nonprofit kennel–$25 per year.

Kennel Class C-I.–To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 50 dogs or less of any age during a calendar year–$75 per year.

Kennel Class C-II.–To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 51 to 100 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$200 per year.

Kennel Class C-III.–To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 101 to 150 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$300 per year.

Kennel Class C-IV.–To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 151 to 250 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$400 per year.

Kennel Class C-V.–To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of 251 to 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$500 per year.

Kennel Class C-VI.–To keep or operate a commercial kennel for a total of more than 500 dogs of any age during a calendar year–$750 per year.

(b) Nonprofit kennels.–A nonprofit kennel shall apply for a nonprofit kennel license. Such kennel may use its own identification tags for dogs confined therein. The secretary may approve, upon application, the removal of tags from licensed dogs confined therein. A rescue network kennel may be a nonprofit kennel if it meets the definition of nonprofit kennel.

(c) Deleted by 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days.

(d) Issuance of tags.–The department shall issue the number of tags equal to the number of dogs three months of age or older, or a lesser number as determined by the kennel owner’s needs, approved by the secretary to be kept in a kennel described under this section. All tags shall bear the name of the county where they are issued, the kennel license number and any other information required by the secretary through regulations. The tags shall be utilized and displayed as set forth in section 207(d). [FN1]

(e) Kennel closing, changing name or moving to another location.–If a person that keeps or operates a kennel closes, changes its name or moves to another location, the person shall file an application with the secretary notifying the secretary of the move, closure, transfer or change of name. Upon approval by the secretary, which shall require an inspection and approval of the new facility, the kennel license may be allowed to remain in effect until the end of the calendar year at which time it shall be renewed in accordance with this act. If a kennel is closing, the secretary shall conduct a postclosure inspection.

(f) Adequacy of fees.–On or before July 1 of each year, the department shall submit a report to the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the Senate and the chairperson and minority chairperson of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives comparing the expenses incurred by the department for enforcing this act with regard to kennels and the revenues received by the department in accordance with this section.

 

§ 459-207. Requirements for kennels

(a) Deleted by 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days.

(a.1) Prohibition to operate; injunction; fines.–

(1) It shall be unlawful for kennels described under section 206 [FN1] to operate without first obtaining a kennel license from the department.

(2) The secretary shall not approve any kennel license application unless such kennel has been inspected and approved by a State dog warden or employee of the department.

(3) The secretary may file a suit in equity in the Commonwealth Court to enjoin the operation of any kennel that violates any of the provisions of this act.

(4) It shall be no defense to any civil penalty or criminal prosecution under this act that a person operating a kennel failed to properly obtain the appropriate license.

(5) A kennel operator that is applying for a different license because of an increase in the total number of dogs or due to birth of additional dogs in the kennel during a calendar year shall not be in violation, provided the application is filed  within seven days of the increase.

(a.2) Civil penalties and remedies.–The following shall apply to civil penalties and remedies for unlicensed kennels:

(1) In addition to proceeding under any other remedy available at law or in equity for a violation of a provision of this act or a rule or regulation adopted or order issued under this act, the secretary may assess a civil penalty, in addition to any penalty under section 903(c), [FN2] against an unlicensed kennel of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each day it operates in violation of this act. The penalty shall be premised on the gravity and willfulness of the violation, the potential harm to the health and safety of the animals and the public, previous violations and the economic benefit to the violator for failing to comply with this act.

(2) In cases of inability to collect the civil penalty or failure of a person to pay all or a portion of the penalty, the secretary may refer the matter to the Office of Attorney General, which shall institute an action in the appropriate court to recover the penalty.

(a.3) Cease and desist order.–

(1) The secretary may provide a written order to cease and desist operating to an owner who is operating a kennel without a license. The order shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action and shall advise the affected person that within ten days of receipt of the order, he may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing.

(2) The written order to cease and desist operating shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person operating the unlicensed kennel or a responsible employee of such a person. The order to cease and desist shall become a final order of the department upon expiration of the ten-day period for requesting an administrative hearing unless a timely request has been filed with the department.

(3) A person receiving a written cease and desist order shall, upon the order becoming final, comply with all of the following:

(i) Immediately cease and desist from operating a kennel, including boarding, buying, exchanging, selling, offering for sale, giving away or in any way transferring dogs.

(ii) Acquire no additional dogs nor increase the number of dogs in the kennel by any means, including breeding. This subparagraph does not apply to an acquisition or increase by birth of puppies from a mother which, at the time of the order, was:

(A) on the property;

(B) pregnant; and

(C) owned by the kennel or the kennel owner.

(iii) Notify the department prior to the euthanization of any dog. No dog may be euthanized unless it is determined by a veterinarian that the euthanasia will prevent the dog from suffering caused by a medical condition. If a veterinarian determines a dog should be euthanized, a copy of the veterinarian’s findings, signed by the veterinarian, must be provided to the department. The provisions of this subparagraph do not apply to an emergency situation if it is deemed by the veterinarian that immediate euthanasia is necessary to relieve the suffering of the dog. Following euthanasia in an emergency situation, a copy of the veterinarian’s findings must be signed by the veterinarian and provided to the department.

(iv) Permit State dog wardens to inspect the kennel without a warrant in order to determine compliance with the department’s order, any relevant court order and any provision of this act.

(v) Divest of all dogs numbering over 25, unless directed otherwise by the department order, within a reasonable time period as determined by the department, but not to exceed ten days. The department’s order shall set forth the manner by which the kennel owner may divest of the dogs. If there are more dogs on the premises than permitted in the department order after the expiration of the time period set forth in the order, the kennel may select the dogs to be kept, up to the number allowed under this subparagraph. The dogs not selected shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the department order or to an entity approved by the department without compensation to the owner.

(4) The following applies to appeals:

(i) This paragraph applies to a person who has received a written cease and desist order and who:

(A) has timely filed a request for an administrative appeal; and

(B) would require a kennel license under this act, pending the exhaustion of all administrative appeals.

(ii) A person subject to subparagraph (i) shall, during the duration of all administrative appeals and thereafter if the department’s action is upheld, be subject to the requirements set forth in paragraph (3)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv).

(iii) Within ten days after the exhaustion of an administrative appeal under subparagraph (i)(A) in which the department’s action is upheld, the kennel shall reduce the number of dogs under paragraph (3)(v).

(iv) Removal of dogs may occur under section 211(d), (e) and (f). [FN3]

(5) Failure to take action or to meet the conditions imposed under this subsection, in addition to any other penalties allowed under this act, may result in imposition by the department of an administrative penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per day for each violation. Each dog in excess of the number of dogs permitted under paragraph (3)(v) or (4)(iii) shall count as one violation.

(6) Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(b) Maintenance of kennels.–All kennels shall be maintained in a sanitary and humane condition in accordance with standards and sanitary codes promulgated by the secretary through regulations.

(c) Records to be maintained.–Every keeper of a kennel shall keep, for two years, a record of each dog at any time kept in the kennel. Such record shall show:

(1) The breed, color, markings, sex and age of each dog.

(2) The date on which each dog entered the kennel.

(3) The full name and physical address at the time the dogs were received of the previous owner or kennel from whom the dog was received. This paragraph shall not apply to a boarding kennel.

(4) The full name and physical address of the person or kennel to whom the dog belongs.

(5) For what purpose each dog is kept in the kennel.

(6) The date on which each dog leaves the kennel.

(7) How the dog is dispensed. If the dog was transferred to another person or kennel, the record must state the full name and physical address of the person or kennel to whom the dog was dispensed.

(8) The name, address and telephone number of the licensed doctor of veterinary medicine used by the kennel. Such record shall be legible and shall be open to inspection and may be copied by any employee of the department, State dog warden or police officer as defined by this act.

(c.1) Nonprofit kennels.–All nonprofit kennels shall be required to keep all records required to be kept under this section, except that, in the case of a dog running at large, it shall not be a violation of subsection (c)(3) or (4) for the nonprofit kennel to list only the location from which a dog was retrieved if the information required to be maintained under subsection (c)(3) and (4) is unknown and not available to the nonprofit kennel.

(d) Tags.–Every holder of a kennel license shall attach one tag to a collar or harness of each dog three months old or older kept by that person, whenever the dog is not within the kennel except as provided for in sections 202 and 213. [FN4] Dogs housed in rescue kennel network homes shall have and display the dealer’s tag or rescue kennel network home’s tag or individual dog license as provided in this section.

(e) Display of kennel license.–The following shall apply:

(1) A person operating a kennel required to be licensed under this act shall display, in a place conspicuous to persons authorized to enter, a current and valid kennel license certificate issued by the department. The kennel license certificate shall show all of the following:

(i) The year for which it was issued.

(ii) The kennel class and type.

(iii) The number of dogs allowed to be housed in that class of kennel per calendar year.

(2) Rescue network kennel homes associated with a dealer or rescue kennel network shall display a copy of the dealer’s or the rescue kennel network’s kennel license.

(3) If the secretary revokes or denies a kennel license, the department shall issue a notice of revocation or denial. The notice shall be posted in a place conspicuous to persons authorized to enter and approved by the department for a period of time as provided in this subsection. In the case of a revocation or denial of a kennel license, the kennel shall display the notice of revocation or denial until such time as the kennel has ceased to operate or as the department determines and sets forth in the order. In the case of an appeal of revocation or denial, the notice of revocation or denial shall remain posted until the final disposition of appeal or the department has reissued a valid kennel license.

(4) If the secretary finds a kennel operating without a license, the kennel, upon notice of violation or order, shall display a notice of violation issued by the department. The notice shall be posted in a place conspicuous to persons authorized to enter and approved by the department until the time as the kennel has ceased to operate or as the department determines and sets forth in the order or until such time as the kennel has come into compliance and the secretary has issued a valid kennel license.

(5) Failure to display a current and valid kennel license certificate or a notice of revocation, suspension or denial as provided in this subsection constitutes a violation of this act.

(f) (Reserved).

(g) Additional requirements for boarding kennels, nonprofit kennels and Kennel Class I through VI license holders.–The following shall apply to boarding kennels, nonprofit kennels and Kennel Class I through VI license holders:

(1) Kennels under this subsection must develop and follow an appropriate plan to provide dogs with the opportunity for exercise. The plan shall be approved by a veterinarian.

(2) All kennels for dogs shall be equipped with smoke alarms or fire extinguishers. Housing facilities shall be equipped with fire extinguishers on the premises. An indoor housing facility may have a sprinkler system.

(h) Additional requirements for Kennel Class C license holders only.–The following shall apply only to primary enclosures for all dogs in Kennel Class C kennels:

(1) Primary enclosures must be designed and constructed so that they are structurally sound and must be kept in good repair.

(2) Primary enclosures must meet the following requirements:

(i) Have no sharp points or edges that could injure the dogs.

(ii) Be maintained in a manner to protect the dogs from injury.

(iii) The height of a primary enclosure that is not fully enclosed on the top shall be sufficient to prevent the dog from climbing over the walls.

(iv) Keep animals other than dogs from entering the enclosure.

(v) Enable the dogs to remain dry and clean.

(vi) Provide shelter and protection from temperatures and weather conditions that may be uncomfortable or hazardous to any dog.

(vii) Provide sufficient space to shelter all the dogs housed in the primary enclosure at one time.

(viii) Provide potable water at all times, unless otherwise directed by a veterinarian in a writing that shall be kept in the kennel records.

(ix) Enable all surfaces in contact with the dogs to be readily cleaned and sanitized in accordance with paragraph (14) or be replaceable when worn or soiled.

(x) Have floors that are constructed in a manner that protects the dogs’ feet and legs from injury. The floor shall not permit the feet of a dog housed in the primary enclosure to pass through any opening.

(xi) Provide space to allow each dog to turn about freely and to stand, sit and lie in a normal position. The dog must be able to lie down while fully extended without the dog’s head, tail, legs, face or feet touching any side of the enclosure.

(xii) The interior height of a primary enclosure shall be at least six inches higher than the head of the tallest dog in the enclosure when it is in a normal standing position.

(3) Each bitch with nursing puppies shall be provided with an additional amount of floor space based on her breed and behavioral characteristics and in accordance with generally accepted husbandry practices as determined by the attending veterinarian. If the additional amount of floor space for each nursing puppy is less than 5% of the minimum requirement for the bitch, the amount of floor space must be approved in writing by the attending veterinarian and shall be kept in the kennel records.

(4) All dogs housed in the same primary enclosure must be compatible, as determined by observation. Not more than six adult dogs may be housed in the same primary enclosure. Bitches in heat may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with sexually mature males, except for breeding. Bitches with litters may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with other adult dogs, and puppies under 12 weeks of age may not be housed in the same primary enclosure with adult dogs, other than the dam or foster dam. Dogs displaying vicious or aggressive behavior toward other dogs must be housed separately.

(4.1) The kennel in which the primary enclosure is located shall establish a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

(5) The kennel in which the primary enclosure is located shall establish a written program of veterinary care, which shall include a physical examination and vaccination schedule, a protocol for disease control and prevention, pest and parasite control, nutrition and euthanasia. A copy of the program shall be kept in the kennel records.

(6) Housing facilities for dogs must be sufficiently heated and cooled to protect the dogs from temperature or humidity extremes and to provide for their health and well-being. If dogs are present, the ambient temperature in the facility must not fall below 50 degrees F. The ambient temperature must not rise above 85 degrees F when dogs are present, unless  the requirements of paragraph (7) are met.

(7) Housing facilities for dogs must be sufficiently ventilated at all times when dogs are present to provide for their health and well-being and to minimize odors, drafts, ammonia levels and to prevent moisture condensation. The Canine Health Board shall determine auxiliary ventilation to be provided if the ambient air temperature is 85 degrees F or higher. The relative humidity must be maintained at a level that ensures the health and well-being of the dogs housed therein. The appropriate ventilation, humidity and ammonia ranges shall be determined by the Canine Health Board.

(8) Housing facilities for dogs must be lighted well enough to permit routine inspection and cleaning of the facility and observation of the dogs. Animal areas must be provided a regular diurnal lighting cycle of either natural or artificial light. Lighting must be uniformly diffused throughout housing facilities and provide sufficient illumination to aid in maintaining good housekeeping practices, adequate cleaning and observation of animals at any time and for the well-being of the animals. Primary enclosures must be placed so as to protect the dogs from excessive light. The appropriate lighting ranges shall be determined by the Canine Health Board.

(9) The floors and walls of primary enclosures must be impervious to moisture. The ceilings of indoor housing facilities must be impervious to moisture or be replaceable.

(10) All dogs must be provided with adequate food that is clean and free from contaminants.

(11) All dogs must be removed from the primary enclosure when the primary enclosure is cleaned in accordance with paragraph (14)(iv).

(12) Primary enclosures may not be stacked more than two rows high, and the bottom of the uppermost primary enclosure may not be more than four and one-half feet off the housing facility floor. Where the primary enclosures are stacked, a tray or other department-approved device which will prevent urine, feces and other debris from passing into or being discharged into the underlying primary enclosure shall be placed under the upper primary enclosures. The tray or approved device must be impermeable to water and capable of being easily sanitized.

(13) All kennels shall be equipped with a smoke alarm and shall have a means of fire suppression, such as fire extinguishers or a sprinkler system on the premises.

(14) The following shall apply:

(i) Excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris and food waste must be removed from primary enclosures at least daily or more often if necessary to prevent an accumulation of excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris and food waste to prevent soiling of dogs contained in the primary enclosures and to reduce disease hazards, insects, pests and odors.

(ii) Used primary enclosures and food and water receptacles must be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with this section before they can be used to house, feed or water another dog or grouping of dogs.

(iii) Used primary enclosures and food and water receptacles for dogs must be sanitized at least once every two weeks using one of the methods under subparagraph (iv) and more often if necessary to prevent an accumulation of excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris, food waste and other disease hazards.

(iv) Hard surfaces of primary enclosures and food and water receptacles must be sanitized using one of the following methods:

(A) Live steam under pressure.

(B) Washing with water with a temperature of at least 180 degrees F and soap or detergent, as with a mechanical cage washer.

(C) Washing all soiled surfaces with appropriate detergent solutions and disinfectant or by using a combination detergent or disinfection product that accomplishes the same purpose with a thorough cleaning of the surfaces to remove excreta, feces, hair, dirt, debris and food waste so as to remove all organic material and mineral buildup and to provide sanitization followed by a clean water rinse.

(v) Primary enclosures, exercise areas and housing facilities using material that cannot be sanitized using the methods under subparagraph (iv) must be made sanitary by removing the contaminated material as necessary to prevent odors, diseases, pests, insects and vermin infestation.

(vi) Premises where primary enclosures are located, including buildings and surrounding grounds, must be kept clean and in good repair to protect the animals from injury, to facilitate the husbandry practices required in this act and to reduce or eliminate breeding and living areas for rodents and other pests and vermin. Premises must be kept free of accumulations of trash, junk, waste products and discarded matter. Weeds, grasses and bushes must be controlled so as to facilitate cleaning of the premises and pest control and to protect the health and well-being of the animals.

(vii) An effective program for the control of insects, external parasites affecting dogs or pests must be established and maintained so as to promote the health and well-being of the dogs and reduce contamination by pests in housing facilities.

(15) For each dog in a kennel, a permanent record shall be kept and made readily available for inspection. The record shall contain all of the following information:

(i) The date of birth of the dog.

(ii) The date of the last rabies vaccination.

(iii) The date of the dog’s last veterinarian check.

(16) All veterinarian records shall be kept for two years after the dog has left the care of the facility.

(17) Notwithstanding any law, a dog may not be euthanized except by a veterinarian.

(18) All laws and regulations pertaining to kennel conditions enforced prior to the effective date of this paragraph [FN5] shall remain in force until the effective date of the remainder of this subsection or of the period of time established by a waiver under subsection (j), whichever is longer. This paragraph shall not apply to paragraph (17).

(i) Additional requirements for Kennel Class C license holders only.–The following shall apply only to dogs over 12 weeks of age in Kennel Class C kennels:

(1) A dog housed in a primary enclosure must be provided a minimum amount of floor space in the primary enclosure, calculated as provided under this subparagraph: Find the mathematical square of the sum of the length of the dog in inches, measured in a straight line from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, plus six inches, then divide the product by 144, then multiply by 2. The calculation is: (length of dog in inches + 6)(length of dog in inches + 6) = required floor space in square inches. Required floor space in inches/144 x 2 = required floor space in square feet. For the second dog placed in the primary enclosure the minimum floor space shall be doubled. The floor space shall be calculated using the longest dog. For each dog above two, the minimum floor space shall be multiplied by 1.5 per additional dog.

(2) Primary enclosures must be placed no higher than 30 inches above the floor of the housing facility and may not be placed over or stacked on top of another cage or primary enclosure.

(3)(i) The floor of the primary enclosure shall be strong enough so that the floor does not sag or bend between the structural supports, shall not be able to be destroyed through digging or chewing by the dogs housed in the primary enclosure, shall not permit the feet of any dog housed in the primary enclosure to pass through any opening, shall not be metal strand whether or not it is coated, shall allow for moderate drainage of fluids and shall not be sloped more than 0.25 inches per foot.

(ii) Except as set forth in subparagraph (iii), flooring constructed with slats meeting all of the following conditions shall be acceptable:

(A) Be flat.

(B) Have spaces between them that are no more than 0.5 inch in width.

(C) Have spaces between them that run the length or the width of the floor, but not both.

(D) Be no less than 3.5 inches in width.

(E) Be level with the slat next to it within a single primary enclosure.

(iii) Additional flooring options that meet the provisions of subparagraph (i) may be approved by the Canine Health Board.

(4) Except as provided in paragraph (5), each primary enclosure shall have an entryway that will allow the dog unfettered clearance out of the enclosure to an exercise area under paragraph (6) unless the enclosure is closed for active cleaning under subsection (h)(11) or by order of a veterinarian under paragraph (6)(xi).

(5) The Canine Health Board established in section 221 [FN6] may, upon a request from a kennel owner, provide on a case-by-case basis for an alternative means of allowing clearance from a primary enclosure to the exercise area or exercise that is required in paragraphs (4) and (6)(i) if the kennel owner presents the board with a plan that the board determines is verifiable, enforceable and provides for exercise equal to or greater than that which the dogs would receive under paragraphs (4) and (6)(i). The board shall meet within 60 days of a request submitted or sooner if necessary.

(6) Exercise requirements shall be as follows:

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (5), the exercise area must allow for unfettered clearance for dogs from their primary enclosure.

(ii) The exercise area must be at least twice the size of the primary enclosure under paragraph (1).

(iii) The exercise area must have adequate means to prevent dogs from escaping.

(iv) The exercise area fencing must be kept in good repair and be free of rust, jagged edges or other defects that could cause injury to the dogs.

(v) The exercise area shall be cleaned in accordance with the requirements under subsection (h)(14).

(vi) Dogs must not be placed in the area in a manner that would cause injury to the dogs.

(vii) Compatible dogs, as determined under subsection (h)(4), may be exercised together.

(viii) Nursing bitches and their puppies shall be exercised separately from other dogs.

(ix) The exercise area must be on ground level and the ground of the exercise area must be solid and maintainable. Surfaces such as gravel, packed earth and grass which are solid and maintainable may be utilized.

(x)(A) Except as provided under clause (B), the exercise area must be outdoors.

(B) Any licensed kennel operating as of the effective date of this clause, [FN7] where local zoning or other ordinance requirements or a decision of the applicable zoning hearing board or other municipal body with jurisdiction prohibits further expansion of the kennel use to include the required outdoor exercise area, may apply to the department within 180 days after the effective date of this clause for approval to construct the required exercise area indoors. The department shall notify the applicant by certified mail of approval or disapproval within 30 days of receipt of the application. The department shall not require that the licensed kennel appeal the decision of a zoning hearing board or other municipal body with jurisdiction to interpret a local ordinance as a condition of application or approval. Denial by the department of an application for an indoor exercise area shall be appealable in the same manner and according to the same procedures set forth under section 211(c). While an appeal is pending and until final conclusion of the appeal, the kennel shall not be considered in violation of this act for failure to have the required exercise area. The required exercise area shall be constructed within 90 days of the final conclusion of an appeal under this clause or within one year of the effective date of this clause, whichever is later.

(xi) If, in the opinion of the veterinarian, it is inappropriate for a dog to exercise because of its health, condition or well-being, this paragraph shall not apply with respect to that dog. Such a determination must be documented by the veterinarian and, unless the basis for determination is a permanent condition, shall be reviewed at least every 30 days by the veterinarian and updated as necessary. Records of determinations shall be maintained by the kennel.

(xii) Forced exercise methods or devices such as swimming, treadmills or carousel-type devices shall not meet the exercise requirements of this paragraph.

(7) Rabies vaccinations may only be administered by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

(8) A dog shall be examined by a veterinarian at least once every six months. During the examination, the veterinarian shall use appropriate methods to prevent, control, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries.

(9) (Reserved).

(j) Waiver.–

(1) The secretary may waive the applicability of subsection (h)(1) through (16) and (i) if one of the following subparagraphs applies:

(i) The kennel owner:

(A) has not been convicted of, pled guilty to or pled no contest to a violation under this act within the three years preceding the effective date of this subsection; [FN8] and

(B) has made substantial structural improvements to the housing facility of the kennel within the three years prior to the effective date of this subsection.

(ii) The kennel owner:

(A) has not been convicted of, pled guilty to or pled no contest to a violation under this act within the three years preceding the effective date of this subsection;

(B) is making a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of this act but is not in compliance because of a circumstance beyond the kennel owner’s control; and

(C) makes a showing of reasonable expectation that compliance can be achieved through the granting of an extension as determined by the secretary.

(2) A waiver under paragraph (1)(i) shall apply for the lesser of:

(i) the time set by the secretary; or

(ii) three years.

(3) A waiver under paragraph (1)(ii) shall apply for the time set by the secretary.

(4) A waiver may be only granted under paragraph (1)(i) or (ii), but not both.

(5) A kennel owner must make an application under this subsection to the department in a manner prescribed by the department within one year of the effective date of this subsection, except that the secretary may consider a request for an extension of a waiver previously granted under paragraph (1)(ii) after this time period.

 

§ 459-208. Deleted. 1996, Dec. 11, P.L. 943, No. 151, § 5, effective in 60 days

 

§ 459-209. Dealer license; application; fee; prohibitions

(a) Out-of-state dealers.–All out-of-state dealers shall on or before January 1 of each year, apply to the secretary for an out-of-state dealer license. The fee for such license shall be $300, plus appropriate kennel license fees required under section 206. [FN1] All fees collected under this section shall be remitted to the State Treasury for credit to the Dog Law Restricted Account. All licenses under this section shall expire upon December 31 of the year for which the license was issued. The forms for the application and license shall be approved by the secretary.

(a.1) In-state dealers.–

(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), a dealer residing in this Commonwealth must, by January 1 of each year, obtain a license from the department. A dealer license shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it was issued. The license fee for a dealer license shall be the same as the license fee established for Kennel Classes C-I through C-VI as calculated based on the number of dogs sold, offered for sale or maintained by the applicant. It shall be unlawful for a person to sell or offer for sale a dog belonging to another for a fee or commission or maintain a dog at retail or wholesale for resale to another without obtaining a dealer license or a dealer kennel license from the department.

(2) This subsection shall not apply to a person that secures a dealer kennel license from the department under section 206.

(b) Unlawful acts.–It shall be unlawful for out-of-state dealers to sell, exchange, negotiate, barter, give away or solicit the sale, resale, exchange or transfer of a dog or transport a dog into or within the Commonwealth or to operate or maintain a dealer kennel or to deal in any manner with dogs without first obtaining an out-of-state dealer license from the department. It shall be unlawful for a kennel licensed under this act to knowingly accept, receive, buy, barter or exchange a dog with an unlicensed out-of-state dealer for resale. A conviction for a violation of this section shall result in a penalty as determined under section 903(c). [FN2] Each transaction for each dog shall constitute a separate violation.

(c) List of out-of-state dealers.–The department shall annually provide to licensed kennels a list of licensed out-of-state dealers. If a kennel wants to conduct business with an out-of-state dealer not listed on the list, the kennel must first obtain written approval from the department.

 

§ 459-210. Bills of sale

All owners or operators of kennels described in section 206, [FN1] and all out-of-state dealers shall be required to have in their possession a bill of sale for each dog purchased, except for dogs delivered to the kennel licensee for purposes of boarding or for dogs whelped at the kennel. Any bill of sale or record which is fraudulent or indicates the theft of any dog, shall be prima facie evidence for the immediate revocation of license and imposition of fines and penalties by the secretary. The bill of sale shall contain information required by the secretary through regulations. For each dog transferred by a manner other than sale by a kennel described in section 206 or an out-of-state dealer, a record of the transaction shall be kept. The bill of sale or record shall include the current and valid kennel license number of the kennel or out-of-state dealer that sold, exchanged, bartered, gave away or transferred the dog and any other information required by the secretary. The bill of sale or record shall be kept for two years.

§ 459-211. Revocation or refusal of kennel licenses

(a) General powers of secretary.–The secretary shall revoke a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license if a licensee is convicted of a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals) or of substantially similar conduct pursuant to a cruelty law of another state. The secretary shall not issue a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license to a person that has been convicted of a violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 5511 within the last ten years. The secretary may revoke or refuse to issue a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license for any one or more of the following reasons:

(1) the person holding or applying for a license has made a material misstatement or misrepresentation in the license application;

(2) the person holding or applying for a license has made a material misstatement or misrepresentation to the department or its personnel regarding a matter relevant to the license;

(3) the person holding or applying for a license has failed to comply with this act;

(4) the person holding or applying for a license has failed to comply with any regulation promulgated under this act;

(5) the person holding or applying for a license has been convicted of any law relating to cruelty to animals and the conviction is more than ten years old, if there is evidence the person has not been rehabilitated and granting a license would jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of the dogs;

(6) the person holding or applying for a license has been convicted of a felony;

(7) the person holding or applying for a license has:

(i) within the last ten years, been found to have violated section 9.3 of the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L. 1224, No. 387), [FN1] known as the “Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law,” or been required to cease and desist from operating a kennel or owning, selling or caring for dogs, or both; or

(ii) within the last ten years, entered into an agreement with the Office of Attorney General which requires the person to cease and desist from operating a kennel or owning, selling or caring for dogs, or both;

(8) the location of the kennel for which the license is sought is subject to a final, binding order, which is not subject to a pending legal challenge, declaring the kennel is not a permitted use under the applicable zoning ordinance;

(9) the person holding or applying for a license has acted or is acting in concert with a person who has violated the act of December 15, 1986 (P.L. 1610, No. 181), [FN2] known as the “Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act”;

(10) the person holding or applying has had a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license refused or revoked within the past ten years; or

(11) the person holding or applying for a license has a person who does or will play a role in the ownership of the kennel or caring for the dogs, and such other person would be refused a license if that person had been the applicant. A role shall include ownership of a financial interest in the kennel operation, caring for the dogs or participation in the management of the kennel.

(a.1) Factors to consider.–In determining whether to revoke or refuse a kennel license, dealer license or out-of-state dealer license for a misstatement as set forth under subsection (a)(1) or (2), the secretary shall consider the gravity of the misstatement. In determining whether to revoke or refuse an existing kennel license, dealer license or an out-of-state dealer license for a failure to comply with a provision of the act or regulations promulgated under it as set forth under paragraph (3) or (4), the secretary shall consider the following factors:

(1) The gravity of the violation.

(2) The number of current or past violations.

(3) The potential effect of the violation on the health or welfare of a dog.

(4) Whether the kennel has been warned previously to correct the violation.

(5) Whether the violation resulted in a criminal conviction.

(6) The length of time that has elapsed between violations.

(b) Notice of action.–

(1) The secretary shall provide written notice of a kennel license, dealer license or an out-of-state dealer license revocation, suspension or refusal to the person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused. The notice shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action and shall advise the affected person that within ten days of receipt of the notice he may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure).

(2) Written notice of revocation, suspension or refusal shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person or to a responsible employee of such person whose license is revoked, suspended or refused. Revocation or refusal shall be effective upon the expiration of the ten-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the department.

(c) Administrative process.–

(1) If the secretary revokes or refuses a kennel license, dealer license or an out-of-state dealer license, a person whose license revocation or refusal has become effective shall comply with all of the following:

(i) Immediately cease and desist from operating a kennel, including boarding, buying, exchanging, selling, offering for sale, giving away or in any way transferring dogs.

(ii) Acquire no additional dogs nor increase the number of dogs in the kennel by any means, including breeding. This subparagraph does not apply to an acquisition or increase by birth of puppies from a mother which, at the time of revocation or refusal was:

(A) on the property;

(B) pregnant; and

(C) owned by the kennel or the kennel owner.

(iii) Notify the department prior to the euthanization of any dog. No dog may be euthanized unless it is determined by a veterinarian that the euthanasia will prevent the dog from suffering caused by a medical condition. If a veterinarian determines a dog should be euthanized, a copy of the veterinarian’s findings, signed by the veterinarian, must be provided to the department. The provisions of this subparagraph do not apply to an emergency situation if it is deemed by the veterinarian that immediate euthanasia is necessary to relieve the suffering of the dog. Following euthanasia in an emergency situation, a copy of the veterinarian’s findings must be signed by the veterinarian and provided to the department.

(iv) Permit State dog wardens to inspect the kennel without a warrant in order to determine compliance with the department’s order, any relevant court order and any provision of this act.

(v) Divest of all dogs over 25, unless directed otherwise by the department or court order, within a reasonable time period as determined by the department, but not to exceed ten days. The department’s notice of revocation or refusal shall set forth the manner by which the kennel owner may divest of the dogs. If there are more dogs on the premises than permitted in the department or court order after the expiration of the time period set forth in the order, the kennel may select the dogs to be kept, up to the number allowed under this subparagraph. The dogs not selected shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the department or court order or to an entity approved by the department without compensation to the owner.

(2) The following apply to appeals:

(i) This paragraph applies to a person whose license is refused or revoked and who:

(A) has timely filed a request for an administrative appeal; and

(B) would continue to require a kennel license under this act, pending the exhaustion of all administrative appeals.

(ii) A person subject to subparagraph (i) shall:

(A) be considered to be operating under suspension;

(B) receive notice from the department of the license being suspended; and

(C) during the duration of all administrative appeals, and thereafter if the department’s action is upheld, be subject to the requirements set forth in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv).

(iii) Within ten days after the exhaustion of an administrative appeal under subparagraph (i)(A) in which the department’s action is upheld, the kennel shall reduce the number of dogs under paragraph (1)(v).

(3) Failure to take action or to meet the conditions imposed under this subsection, in addition to any other penalties allowed under this act, may result in imposition by the department of an administrative penalty of not less than $100 nor more than $500 per day for each violation. Each dog in excess of the number of dogs permitted under subparagraph (1)(v) or (2)(iii) shall count as one violation.

(4) Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(d) Seizure of dogs.–

(1) After service of an order under subsection (b) or section 207(a.3) [FN3] or during the duration of an administrative appeal under subsection (c)(2) or section 207(a.3)(2), the department may order the seizure of any dog from that kennel if the department determines, based on the conditions found at that kennel, there are reasonable grounds to believe the dog’s health, safety or welfare is endangered because of neglect of duty of care, deprivation of necessary sustenance, water, shelter or veterinary care or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal’s body heat and keep it dry or other conditions which a veterinarian determines pose a serious health risk to the dog. The seizure may occur immediately upon notice, whether personal or otherwise, and shall be followed by service of the order.

(2) The order of seizure shall set forth the general factual and legal basis for the action taken and shall advise the kennel owner that, within ten days of receipt, the kennel owner may file with the secretary a written request for an administrative hearing subject to bonding requirements of this section. The order shall be served by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the kennel owner affected or to a responsible employee of such kennel owner. The department order shall become final upon the expiration of the ten-day period for requesting an administrative hearing, unless a timely request for a hearing has been filed with the secretary.

(3) The written request for a hearing must be filed by the affected kennel owner with the secretary within ten days of receipt of the order of seizure or such order shall become final. The request for a hearing shall set forth the factual and legal grounds upon which the request is based. A hearing on the matter shall be held in accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure). The issue on appeal shall be limited to whether the department order was justified under paragraph (1).

(4) If the department’s order has become final or after the exhaustion of any administrative appeals, in cases where the department’s action is upheld, the dogs seized under the order shall be forfeited to the entity set forth in the department’s order or to an entity approved by the department without compensation to the owner.

(e) Bonding requirements.–The following shall apply to bonding requirements:

(1) If dogs are seized from a kennel under this act and an administrative appeal is filed, within ten days of filing the appeal, the owner of the licensed or unlicensed kennel shall either:

(i) post a surety bond in the amount determined by the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2); or

(ii) deposit a sum of money not to exceed 10% of the amount of the surety bond determined by the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

(2) The amount of the surety bond shall be based on the number of dogs seized and shall be equal to the estimated cost of transportation, care and feeding, pursuant to removal and impoundment, for a period of 31 days.

(2.1) Any surety bond posted pursuant to paragraph (1)(i) shall be payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. The department shall remit such funds to the entity holding the dogs.

(2.2) Any deposit pursuant to paragraph (1)(ii) shall be held by the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, until after the appeal. If, after the appeal, the dogs are not placed under the care of the owner from which they were seized, the department shall be entitled to keep the deposit and collect from the owner the remainder of the amount determined by the department applying the criteria set forth in paragraph (2).

(3) If, after appeal, the dogs are placed under the care of the owner from which they were seized, the department shall reimburse the owner for the deposit or the reasonable costs of the bond incurred under this subsection.

(4) The department shall guarantee payment of any difference in the amount paid to the holding entity and the amount owed under paragraph (2). The department may refer the matter to the Attorney General who may initiate an action in the appropriate court to recover the amount paid under this paragraph.

(f) Prohibitions.–No dog removed under this section may be:

(1) sold or given freely for the purpose of vivisection, auction or research;

(2) conveyed in any manner for purposes of vivisection, auction or research;

(3) conveyed to a dealer;

(4) sold to pay the costs of their transportation, care and feeding under this section before the