PA Agriculture Secretary: Consider All Factors Before Buying, Adopting Pets During Holiday Season

December 23, 2009

Consider Gift of Dog License, Due Jan. 1

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Although many people dream of finding a puppy or other new pet under the tree, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today urged consumers to give careful consideration before buying or adopting pets during the holidays.

“Bringing a pet home or giving a pet as a gift comes with a high level of responsibility and a long-term commitment, and that important message should not be lost in the rush of the holiday season,” said Redding. “Those who are giving or know they are receiving a pet should work to ensure the new pet is going to a home that is fully prepared for the animal and educated about the pet’s needs.”

Redding said animals from shelters or rescues can make great pets and provide years of loyal companionship. More than 250 humane societies and rescues offer dogs for adoption in Pennsylvania.

If purchasing a dog from a breeder, ensure the breeder is reputable and visit before purchase to inspect the dogs and facilities. Check the breeder’s kennel inspection report and reports for shelters and rescues online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us.

The Pennsylvania Dog Law requires that puppies be at least eight weeks old before being adopted or purchased.

For those who already have pets, Redding suggested giving the gift of a dog license, which can serve as a passport home for lost pets.

State law requires that all dogs three months or older be licensed by Jan. 1 each year. License applications are available at county treasurer’s offices. A list of county treasurers and a downloadable license application is available online at www.agriculture.state.pa.us under “Forms.”

As part of the Department of Agriculture’s continued efforts to enforce the dog law, citizens are asked to confidentially report unsatisfactory conditions at a kennel or illegal kennels that may be operating in their community. Call the toll-free tip line at 1-877-DOG-TIP1 (1-877-364-8471).

Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Source: newswire

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