Butler County's great daily newspaper

‘Chip’ dogs need tags

January 18, 2013 Letters to the Editor

The annual dog licenses sold in Butler County have decreased in number with the increased popularity of identifying a dog by implanting a microchip, as reported in the Jan. 14 Butler Eagle.

However, dog owners still must purchase a Pennsylvania/Butler County dog license as required by law.

At one time, Butler County’s annual license sales were more than 28,000, but that number has decreased because of the marketing of microchipping.

In mid-December, the Butler County Treasurer’s Office sent its annual dog license renewal reminders for 2013 dog licenses. License sales in 2012 totaled 25,222, with 4,577 of those by way of online sales.

So far in 2013, 12,000 dog licenses have been sold, with 2,322 online sales.

Among the 2013 licenses sold to date have been more than 100 lifetime licenses. In 2012, lifetime licenses increased 27.5 percent, with a record number of 673 licenses issued.

Lifetime licenses cost between $21.45 and $51.45; annual dog licenses cost between $4.45 and $8.45.

Dog owners in Butler County have looked for a renewal in their mailboxes the past 11 years. The mailing originates in the county treasurer’s office, but is paid for by the Dog Law Enforcement Office in Harrisburg.

In 2009, the treasurer’s office started offering online license sales. Online customers receive an email reminder to purchase their new dog licenses instead of the paper reminder.

By law, the treasurer’s office is mandated to be the administrator of all dog license sales in the county. As administrator, the treasurer has the authority to identify and partner with sub-agents located within the county to broaden the dog license distribution system.

This county has 11 sub-agents located throughout the county selling dog licenses.

The Butler Eagle’s Jan. 14 front-page article stressed the importance of having a dog properly identified to help ensure its safe return, if the dog is lost or separated from its owner. And, indeed, everyone in the treasurer’s office can attest to the importance of having a properly licensed dog.

The treasurer’s office maintains a complete file of all dog licenses issued going back to 2002. Through these records, the treasurer’s office helps lost and reported dogs be reunited with their owners throughout this county.

People whose dog has a microchip but does not have a current Butler County dog tag should get in touch with the treasurer’s office at 724-284-5149, or access the county website at www.co.butler.pa.us. The website has detailed information on dog licensing and sub-agent locations where licenses can be purchased.

Lifetime licenses are issued only through the treasurer’s office.