HARRISBURG – The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) that would exempt certain service dogs from licensing fees.
Senate Bill 36 amends the state’s Dog Law to exempt service dogs and their handlers from paying for licensing fees if those canines are used by the Sheriffs’ offices, fire departments and/or for rescue or emergency medical services missions. The legislation would require service dogs seeking an exemption to have their explanation filled out using the letterhead of the emergency or public safety group seeking an exemption.
The state’s Dog Law currently exempts state police and local police K-9 units, as well as service dogs used by individuals who are disabled from having to pay the licensing fees.
“These dogs perform a critical function for our communities and the service organizations we depend on in emergency situations,” Phillips-Hill said. “I am grateful the committee advanced this measure that will provide some relief to these organizations that tend to rely on donations from our community to perform their very vital services.”
The legislation heads to the full Senate for its consideration.