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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

State Dog Warden May Be Knocking at Your Door

If you live in Palmer Township, you may have been visited by state dog warden Kathy Andrews this week. She's been canvassing neighborhoods to make sure that, if you have a dog, it is both licensed and up to date on its rabies vaccinations. I spoke with her today, as she made her rounds. She told me mst people aren't home, but in the places where people have answered the door, "We've had pretty good compliance."

It's something she'll be doing the rest of the year. Next week, she plans to visit Forks Township. She is also planning visits to Bethlehem and Bethlehem Township.

"It would be so much easier if Northampton County was computerized," she complained, indicating that most counties permit people to license their dogs online. She went on to explain that the state even offered to install online capabilities free of charge.

Andrews told me people who have no license for their pets are given cards to send back to her once their dogs are licensed. If they fail, they could be cited and face a fine of up to $300.

Every dog canine over the age of three months must be licensed. For a neutered male or spayed female dog, it's $6.50. For all others, it's $8.50. Disabled Pennsylvanians and seniors citizens get a $2 discount per dog registration. You casn also buy a lifetime license.

In Northampton County, you can get a license at the courthouse, centalized human services building,  Center For Animal Health and Welfare, Sandy King's Pet Supplies in Easton, Affordable Pet Center in Northampton, AVH Veterinary Group in Pen Argyl, Neighbors Home and Garden Center in Hellertown, Super Petz and Canine Grooming Shoppe in Bethlehem, and Mike's Bait and Sport Shop in Nazareth.

Because there is no online capability, the Revenue Division at the courthouse has been swamped with applications.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just throwing this out there: how does this lady have the authority to come knock on your door as a representative of the County who has the authority to fine you, and ask about anything? What are her express powers?

Does she have a search warrant? Does she read you a warning that you have a right to remain silent? Is she presuming you are guilty if you don't speak to her?

Anonymous said...

Will she be visiting people who own dead pigs?

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:10, She is a representative of the state, not the county, and you can decline to allow her into your home. So far as I know, she has no power to enter your home without your permission.

Anonymous said...

Thank you mommy government for intruding on people's lives to catch them doing something wrong. I guess all of society's problems are under control. This is selective enforcement against those who don't or can't work - and those work from home. I recommend she be treated as a Jehovah's Witness door knocker and ignored when she comes to bother you.

Anonymous said...

Go to 871 Cattell street do id never walked and kept in house .

Anonymous said...

No-real ezey - Pit bull that belonged to banger son now lives with mom ,If no registration at this rental in county recorded then bang on the door.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie the ONLY PEOPLE that can open up your stuff without a warrant are Game and Fish people .They can pull you over and look into the trunk and even come to camp and look in the fridge . They do not need a warrant.

Anonymous said...

They can knock on your door like anyone else as long as don't go over locked gate's or jump fence's. Just go outside and shut your door, you don't have to let them in.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about NorCo, but in Lehigh the State dog warden shares his time amongst several counties. I tried tirelessly to report a dog killing, my neighbor's pet purposely shot by an unknown deer hunter, probably a poacher, on my neighbor's leased land, 'twas a 6 month old puppy. I found the body hastily buried under a nearby tree stand. I went round and round with the State Police, Game Comm., State Rep and left many messages with our area Dog Warden, who had primary jurisdiction. I never ever got a return phone call. I just left messages til I gave up. Even after writing the State... Nothing. I did a post on it once. Now we give bounties for shooting coyotes, while in our rural areas more innocent dogs will likely be shot. Our dog law priorities are a joke. David N.

Anonymous said...

What's with the indignation of the Dog Warden checking for licenses and vaccinations?
You own a dog, do right by the dog and your neighbors.
Too many people think they don't have to pay for a license, or get them vaccinated. If you don't care enough about the animal to something as simple as vaccinations and licensing, you don't deserve to be a pet owner. If you can't afford that minimum, you can't afford to feed it or provide it proper veterinary care.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I can't speak to Lehigh County for sure, but believe that is in this Dog Warden's district, too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let me add that proactive measures like this could make life much easier for someone like Laini Abraham, whose boyfriend was bitten by a dog at a dog park in Easton recently. His would became infected and he was hospitalized. The owner still refuses to produce proof that the dog was vaccinated for rabies.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree, re: proactive measures, then let's have a department that can return phone calls and not be selective about enforcement. Try calling our shared dog warden. In my case, his voice mail was full for weeks. Just not much credibility in my book, then still nothing. David N.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This dog warden answered the phone on the first ring, and it was obvious to me that she was outside, visiting homes. She seemed like a very dedicated worker. Too bad you did not get to speak with her.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a new dog warden. That's a plus. Most recently my brother had his dog caught in an illegal coyote trap. The game commission took action on that. My point is, there may still gaps between animal cruelty and licensing.

Anonymous said...

What if she knocks on the door, my dog is barking but nobody answers the door. Then she smells pot, you know, marijuana. Is she required to call the local's finest?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No. There would have the be an application for a search warrant. The fact that she smells something that might be marijuana is, by itself, insufficient PC to do anything. There would have to be evidence from someone who can testify that he is familiar with the smell, like a police officer who has been trained. Then you would have to apply for a warrant.

Look, I don't think she's on a drug expedition. She just wants dogs to be licensed and vaccinated.

Anonymous said...

What if she simply knocks on the wrong door at the wrong time?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no idea what you mean and would prefer that you stick to the subject.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is looking for who the warden is in their county:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_76467_24476_10297_0_43/http%3B/10.41.0.77/AgWebsite/PublicationDetail.aspx?name=State-Dog-Warden-Contacts-by-County&navid=11&parentnavid=0&pubid=790&

Anonymous said...

What a cash grab.

Anonymous said...

What's with the indignation of the Dog Warden checking for licenses and vaccinations?
You own a dog, do right by the dog and your neighbors.
Too many people think they don't have to pay for a license, or get them vaccinated. If you don't care enough about the animal to something as simple as vaccinations and licensing, you don't deserve to be a pet owner. If you can't afford that minimum, you can't afford to feed it or provide it proper veterinary care.


I get vaccinations but tell me how licensing the dog is doing right by the dog? My dog has a lifetime license but it's still just a tax imposed on easy marks.