Phillips-Hill’s Legislation Improving State’s Dog Law Heads to Governor’s Desk

Removes Onerous Laws for Boarding Kennels, Provides Fee Exemptions for Service Dogs

HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) that would update the state’s dog law to extend license fee exemptions to service dogs integral to first responders and address challenges faced by dog boarding kennels.

“By making these significant revisions to the state’s dog law, we can help our first responders and our kennel owners,” Phillips-Hill said. “I am grateful for the feedback during the last several months about how we can move forward as a state to ensure that proper protections are in place to protect dogs, while cutting down on some of the bureaucratic red tape that was adversely impacting boarding kennels.”

Senate Bill 82 prioritizes the contributions of service dogs in various public safety roles, their roles in enhancing sensory capabilities and supporting the mission success of our emergency response teams. Under the legislation, license fee exemptions would be extended to services dogs working for fire departments, sheriff’s offices, and rescue services. Current law only provides exemptions to municipal and state police departments.

Service dogs play a crucial role in detecting threats, aiding in search and rescue missions and providing critical support during medical emergencies. The exemption from licensing fees aims to minimize financial barriers for agencies relying on these highly trained animals.

The measure also provides significant relief for dog kennel owners operating along the state border that board dogs from out-of-state residents.

The bill heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Back to Top