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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Spring is just around the corner, and with warmer weather on the way, your pets will be outside more and more. Because of that, now is as good a time as any for pet owners to be reminded of the importance of licensing your dog.

To help, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has created reminder e-cards, like this one:

(Image: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture)

The campaign is called “Love Your Dog, License Your Dog,” and in addition to the e-cards, there’s this video too.

The Pennsylvania dog licensing program is important for a few reasons.

First, if your dog gets lost, having a current license will go a long way in getting your best friend back. It’s an important proof of ownership.

Also, as local animal advocate Mary Kennedy Withrow says, “The Office of Dog Law Enforcement has done a fantastic job in cleaning up kennels in Pennsylvania. Licensing your dog will give them the funds to continue their work.”

To obtain a license for your dog, you can contact your county treasurer’s office or an issuing agent.

For the list, visit this link. Pittsburgh residents can go through the city. If you live elsewhere in Allegheny County, click here for more information.

There is a small fee that goes toward funding the Agriculture Department’s Dog Law Enforcement Bureau. But if you and your dog are caught without a license, you could face a hefty fine. And your dog won’t be pawing the bill!

All dogs must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year.

Stay tuned animal lovers for more Furry Tails! You can follow me on Twitter at @HeatherLang24