Dog owners in Pennsylvania might have to pay more for a dog license come 2024.

Earlier this week, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro signed a bill that updates Pennsylvania's Dog Law. It aims to improve conditions in breeding kennels and shelters, as well as protect people who buy or adopt a dog in the state.

Those efforts make it necessary to boost dog license prices, as the money collected from those sales goes toward funding dog warden's work statewide.

Effective March 1, 2024, the fee for an annual dog license will increase to $8.70 for all dogs. That's up from the previous price of $6.70 a year. Dog owners can still get a license for $6.70 between December 1st and February 29th of 2024. If your pup is not spayed or neutered, a dog license before the 2024 increase will still cost you $8.70.

Owners also have the option to purchase a lifetime dog license. After March 1st of next year, lifetime licenses will increase to $52.70. Those licenses will be available from December 1st to February 29th, 2024 for the current price of $31.70. For dogs who are not neutered or spayed, the lifetime license cost is currently $51.70.

The bipartisan bill enacts some other changes too, including:

  • All dogs sold in PA must be licensed at the time of purchase
  • People selling or offering dogs for adoption must provide dog license application along with the dog
  • Criminal penalties for dog law violations will increase from $500 to $1,000 for summary offenses, and from $1,000 to $5,000 for misdemeanor offenses
  • Annual registration for harboring a dangerous dog will increase from $500 to $1,000 for any dog deemed dangerous after 90-days
  • Kennels selling or adopting dogs at retail to the public must disclose breeder information, vaccination and medical documentation, and any known bite attacks on a human or a domestic animal
  • Dogs imported into PA kennels must be isolated for at least 14 days
  • Owners of dogs already declared dangerous that attack again, must find and pay a kennel to house the dog during court proceedings until a final determination is made

"Pennsylvanians have made it clear that they expect kennels, breeders, and shelters to be held to high standards," said PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "They want their communities to be safe from stray and dangerous dogs. They want owners to be held responsible when their dog attacks, and they want unscrupulous breeders to be shut down."

Shapiro's office says this is the first license fee increase in nearly 30 years. The law also allows the Secretary of Agriculture to increase fees by $2 again on December 1st of 2025 and December 1st of 2027.