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You can read the laws that apply to dogs at the Department of Agriculture's website 

Click Here

This is part of what is available at that website. (I have inserted some highlights because they are the questions that I most frequently receive)

What are Pennsylvania's Dog Laws?

  • All dogs three months of age or older must be licensed
  • All dogs must be under control and must not be allowed to run at large. 
    • Dogs are personal property, and owners are responsible for damages caused by their dog.
  • It is illegal to mistreat or abuse any animal. 
    • Violations should be reported to a local humane organization or the police.
  • It is illegal to abandon or attempt to abandon any dog.
  • No dog under eight weeks of age may be sold, traded, bartered or transferred.
  • You may not place any poison or harmful substance in any place where dogs may easily eat it, whether it is your own property or elsewhere.
  • Owners of dogs and cats 3 months of age or older are required to have a current rabies vaccination.
  • It is illegal to interfere with an officer or employee of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture engaged in enforcement of dog laws.

The Bureau of Dog Law is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Enforcing licensing and control of dogs
  • Investigating dog bites
  • Seizing and detaining any dog seen running at large
  • Reimbursing individuals for dog-caused damage to livestock, poultry and domestic game birds
  • Establishing and enforcing the quarantine of dogs in certain areas when required
  • Enforcing the Pennsylvania Rabies Law

Puppy Lemon Law:

In an effort to ensure that consumers buying a dog in Pennsylvania know their new pet has a clean bill of health, Pennsylvania's dog sellers and breeders must now post a visible notice that informs consumers of their rights under the state's Dog Purchaser Protection Act, also known as the "Puppy Lemon Law".  Sellers and breeders must also provide a written copy of the consumer's rights at the time of the sale.

For more information on Pennsylvania's "Puppy Lemon Law", or to file a complaint, visit the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection

The Dog Purchaser Protection Act (or Puppy Lemon Law) can be read on the website of the Office of the Attorney General's Office: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx?id=163

PA Rabies Law

Vaccinations are mandated by law.  Vaccinations are to protect your pets, their owners, and the public against fatal diseases, particularly rabies.  All pet owners must have their pets vaccinated against rabies.  Rabies threatens the live of humans and animals.  Unvaccinated pets are a threat to spreading disease.  Pets under one year of age must receive a booster vaccination one year after the original inoculation, then at least every there years thereafter.  Animals older than one year must have boosters at least once every three years after the original vaccination. 

Police, state dog wardens and municipal animal control officers are charged with enforcement.  Those who do not have their animals rabies vaccinated could be fined up to $300.  A person owning or keeping a dog or cat over 3 months of age shall, upon request of a police officer or State dog warden or designated municipal animal control officer, produce within 48 hours a valid certificate of vaccination.  Any dog or cat over 3 months of age brought into this Commonwealth shall be accompanied by a certificate of vaccination.