State auditor says dog law enforcement needs more funding in Pa.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale discussing one of the many audits he has conducted over the past several years. (Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale discussing one of the many audits he has conducted over the past several years. (Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania)

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General is telling lawmakers that the commonwealth needs more money to impose dog laws.

He’s following up on a previous audit of the Dog Law Enforcement Bureau, a little-known office within the Agriculture Department that ensures the welfare of dogs in kennels and boarding facilities and oversees licensing and rabies vaccines.

The last dog law audit came in 2013, and at the time DePasquale reported that some funds were being used incorrectly, and that canine laws and health regulations weren’t being enforced well enough.

Since then, he said, the bureau has been functioning much better.

But, he added, there’s now a new problem: there’s nowhere near enough money for the bureau to keep functioning as it should.

He said staff has been cut by 18% since 2014, and he estimated the bureau could run out of cash this summer.

His office is recommending the General Assembly take a few different actions: increase dog license fees — which brings in much of the bureau’s revenue — to account for inflation, let the bureau keep all the proceeds from its fines and penalties, and increase penalties for kennel violations.

He thanked the Dog Law Enforcement Bureau for cooperating with the audit.

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