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Dog license applications on rise in Butler County

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

An online dog license application system and stronger enforcement from Butler County's dog warden mean more people are getting licenses for their dogs, county Treasurer Diane Marburger said.

“To me, it's all about penetrating a new market and renewing old licenses,” Marburger said. “If people see it's convenient (to renew), they'll take advantage of it and hopefully we will sell more.”

Statewide, qualified agents, including county treasurers, are selling dog licenses for 2014, according to the state Department of Agriculture, which oversees dog licensing.

“We are on a mission to increase license sales,” agriculture spokeswoman Samantha Krepps said.

The state began a dog license awareness month in March. As of last week, the state sold 952,647 dog licenses, up from 846,323 in 2012.

Dogs that are 3 months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year. An annual license costs $6.45 for animals that are spayed or neutered, and $8.45 for those not spayed or neutered. The fine for not licensing a dog is $300.

Proceeds from dog licenses help support shelters and help fund the state Dog Law Enforcement Office, according to the agriculture department. County treasurers also keep some of the money to pay for processing, and turn over some money to their respective county general funds.

Marburger has agents at 12 locations in Butler County, mostly at libraries, where people can get licenses. Pet owners can buy lifetime licenses for their dogs, ranging from $21.45 to $51.45, depending on senior citizens' discounts and whether the dog is spayed or neutered.

Marburger said in 2013, the county sold 27,711 licenses, up from 25,222 in 2012. For 2013, those sales generated $23,442 for the county's general fund, $12,522 for administrative fees and $157,279 for the state.

Marburger said the county began online sales in 2012, and sold 4,577. In 2013, that rose 38 percent to 6,333 licenses.

The office also mails forms to dog owners for renewal or sends emails to those who have bought the license online. Marburger said dog warden Ken Rudisill has been working to educate people on getting licenses.

For online licenses, visit http://www.doglicenses.us/PA/Butler/ or for more information, www.licenseyourdogPA.com.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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