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February officially became Love Your Dog Month at a recent ceremony in Lancaster to promote the importance of proper licensing and cruelty law enforcement.
Having your dog licensed every year not only protects your own pet, but also helps mistreated dogs and dogs waiting to be adopted at shelters, according to presenters at the ceremony at Pennsylvania SPCA Lancaster Center on South Prince Street.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding presented a proclamation from Pa. Gov. Wolf officially deeming February as Love Your Dog Month.
The presenters, whom including Pa. Senator Scott Martin, asked for support of legislation that would raise the license fee from $6.50. Funds from the increase would assist dog wardens in enforcing cruelty laws.
The fee has been the same for 23 years, Secretary Redding said, while what Pennsylvanians pay for care of pets has increased 230 percent in that span.
“Why does it take so much effort to get people to do the simple thing?” Redding said of licensing. “It’s the right thing to do… It’s the lawful thing to do.”
Sen. Martin shared a story of how his English Bulldog, Samson, escaped their home and was found on Centerville Road. A passer-by was able to return Samson home because he was licensed.
About 50,000 dogs are licensed every year in Lancaster County, said County Treasurer Amber Martin, whose office oversees the licensing.
A license can be obtained at the Treasurer’s Office, online, or at numerous pet shops across the county.
Several dog law officers were present for the ceremony, along with some dogs rescued from abusive homes.
Spots is one of 16 French Bulldogs rescued during a criminal cruelty investigation in Lancaster County. Spots has been adopted, like most of the other Bulldogs.
“Every dog at a shelter has a story,” Secretary Redding told the crowd.
(In photo: Detective Resh and "Spots")
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright