Pennsylvania Auditor General plans to revisit dog-law enforcement audit
A 2013 audit that found Pennsylvania lax in dog-law enforcement will be revisited, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced this week.
The 2013 performance audit of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Dog Law Enforcement Office found several problems, including: $8 million from the restrictive dog law account being spent for unrelated purposes, a lack of required formal training for dog wardens and failure to accurate track kennel sales for licensing purposes.
“I want to make sure animals are being treated humanely and that the department is following my recommendations to improve how it enforces the dog law and manages funds in the restricted dog law account,” DePasquale said.
In the previous audit, DePasquale said Pennsylvania had one of the worst reputations for permitting puppy mills.
He said lack of enforcement had put animals at risk of harm.
Now, he said, he wants to determine whether enforcement has improved.
State law requires cities the size of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to have dog licensing, control and enforcement. Smaller cities can opt for a local program, as four have: Altoona, Erie, Harrisburg, and Scranton.
The Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement under the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is responsible for ensuring the welfare of dogs in commercial kennels.
Shannon Powers, a Department of Agriculture spokeswoman, said Wednesday that the agency had “resolved all the issues outlined in the 2013 audit.”
“The bureau didn’t stop there and continues to improve operations and outreach,” Shannon said in an email.
That included taking steps to increase the number of dog licenses sold and working with the state legislature for increased funding, Powers said.
Nicole C. Brambila is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Nicole at 724-226-7704, [email protected] or via Twitter .