HARRISBURG, Pa. - Berks County state Sen. Judy Schwank is reintroducing legislation that calls for an increase in Pennsylvania's dog licensing fees.

Schwank's bill would raise the fee from $6.50 to $10 per year. She said dog license fees have not increased in 25 years.

She said those fees make up 87% of the funding for the state's Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, which needs more money so that it can care for stray dogs, support shelters, and inspect kennels.

"This isn't an issue of, you know, we need to fund an agency," Schwank said. "This is about public safety, and if we care about our dogs, it's important that we also ensure their safety as well."

The fee for an annual license is currently $6.50, or $8.50 if the animal is not spayed or neutered. Lifetime licenses are available for dogs that have permanent identification, such as a microchip or tattoo, and discounts are available for qualifying older adults and persons with disabilities.

Schwank said her legislation would also require people to get their dogs licensed as soon as they take ownership.

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