Kelly introduces legislation to enforce dog licensing

    Here are some laws you probably break every day in Philadelphia: parking in the middle of South Broad Street, parking in your driveway, walking your dog. Actually, just owning your dog.

    Did you know you need a license to have a dog in Philadelphia? Yea, neither did anyone else. But Councilman-at-Large Jack Kelly has introduced legislation to better enforce the license.

    “There’s an education component,” said Holly Maher, special assistant to Kelly, about making people more aware of the law. Some aspects of the measure haven’t been established, but the legislation is a way to boost the city’s dog license compliance rate and boost support for animal control.

    Maher says the current compliance rate is at 3 percent, which brings in less than $100,000 for animal control each year. “The city is paying close to $4 million” for animal control, Maher says, and “lots of folks don’t know about the license.”

    More details will be worked out when Council considers the measure, but Maher said the legislation “empowers veterinarians to sell licenses” in the same way that animal shelters already can.

    Anyone who decides against buying the license offered by their vets at exams faces more fines. Vets can give names and addresses to animal control, which will have the authority to determine and enforce license violations.

    License fees will cost $16 per neutered dog and $40 for non-neutered dogs.

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