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Westmoreland

Need to renew your dog license? Westmoreland County offers an online option

| Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, 9:51 a.m.

Many dog owners have one more chore than other people with the new year — renewing their dog licenses.

One new resident was happy to hear she could get her dog licenses online.

Bonnie Kisic, 66, of Mt. Pleasant moved to Westmoreland County from Washington state. She braved freezing temperatures and snow flurries last week to walk her dogs, River and Tessa, at the Franklin Dog Park in Twin Lakes Park.

“That's an 18-mile trek, but they deserve a run,” she said.

Kisic thought she would have to go to the courthouse to get the licenses.

Since 2014, the county has offered an online option, said Jonathon Wian, chief deputy at the Westmoreland County Treasurer's Office.

In the first year, the county sold about 7,000 licenses online, he said. Last year, it sold 12,182 online.

Overall, the county sold 40,618 licenses in 2017, including 37,806 senior or regular annual licenses and 2,812 lifetime licenses. People also can mail their applications for renewals.

“We probably do the majority of them within December and January,” Wian said.

The county sent 26,228 renewal notices earlier this year, he said. The number of notices is fewer than the number of licenses because many owners have more than one dog.

Allegheny County sends out a notice for each registered dog and sent out 88,886 renewal notices in December, said Sam Mazza, manager of the license division in the Allegheny County Treasurer's Office.

“We've only gotten about 50 percent of that back so far,” he said.

About a third of the licenses get renewed online at alleghenycounty.us/treasurers-office/dog-license.aspx, he said.

Dog owners living inside Pittsburgh's city limits have to renew their licenses with the city. More information is available at pittsburghpa.gov/publicsafety/animal-control/dog-license.html.

Armstrong County sent out about 7,700 renewal notices, and about 16 percent of its dog licenses get renewed online, said Treasurer Amanda Hiles.

“We get a lot of ours back in the mail,” she said.

The county has offered online renewals since 2013, and a link to the online renewal is on the office's website, co.armstrong.pa.us/departments/elected-officials/treasurer.

Westmoreland County offers lifetime licenses, but they can't be purchased online. The site, co.westmoreland.pa.us/121/Dog-License, does provide the forms owners need to mail in to purchase a lifetime license for a dog.

The annual licenses are valid from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 of each year, and dog wardens typically conduct a two-week canvas of the county in April to ensure dogs are licensed and have received rabies vaccinations.

The fees for the licenses are set by state law and are $6.50 for each spayed or neutered dog and $8.50 for other dogs. Older adults and people with disabilities may purchase a license for $4.50 for spayed or neutered dogs and $6.50 for others.

Buying the annual licenses online costs another $1.95 in Westmoreland County. That extra fee goes to the vendor who handles the online sales for the county, Wian said.

“It's not something that's coming to us,” he said.

The amount varies for online renewals in other counties.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218, bbowling@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribBrian.

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