PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Attention dog owners: the wardens are checking, is your dog licensed and vaccinated?
“They will be visiting your neighborhood to check and make sure that you have your dog properly licensed and vaccinated against rabies,” Shannon Powers of the PA Dept. of Agriculture told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Delano: “The wardens are going to come knocking on doors?”
Powers: “They will. They will coming knocking on door. They won’t come onto your property without your permission, but they will knock on your door and request proof of rabies vaccination and proof of dog license.”
At-home inspection has already begun in Westmoreland County and will start in Allegheny County in May.
“Seems a bit intrusive to go into somebody’s home,” says Chase Imbriaco of the Northside.
That was Imbriaco”s first reaction, as he was walking Rigby, his licensed and vaccinated dog.
But, he added, “It’s part of a responsible dog owner, especially when you do live in the city and are surrounded by people to make sure that your dog is properly vaccinated and licensed, so although I think it’s intrusive, I completely understand.”
Siobhan Scherer of Shaler is a professional dog walker.
“I’ve seen a lot of situations where there are people that have animals that are not being well kept, and that’s scary to me.”
State law requires all dogs to be licensed and both dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies.
If your pet contacts a wild animal — raccoon, bats, skunks, feral cats — it can pick up rabies.
“It is a deadly disease. It is contagious towards humans. and the vaccine is very effective,” said Dara Metzger, medical manager of Humane Animal Rescue.
The state says this justifies a door-to-door check, but it’s unlikely to happen everywhere.
If the PA Department of Agriculture had hundreds and hundreds of dog wardens, clearly this could be very intrusive.
But the reality turns out that they only have two or three wardens per county, which means it’s really unlikely that your door is going to get knocked on.
But if you do get the knock, it could cost a $300r fine for a vaccine that, says Metzger, “Through our walk-in clinics, it’s ten dollars.”