WEST WYOMING — A weekend event aims to turn the trend of unlicensed dogs in the state of Pennsylvania.
The second annual “Cause for the Paws” will run from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Dailey Park, 926 Shoemaker Ave., Wyoming. The event is presented by state Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, in conjunction with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County.
Last year’s event welcomed about 100 pet owners, said Eileen Cipriani, legislative assistant for Mundy and chair of West Wyoming Council. It brings needed awareness to the lack of licensed pets across the commonwealth.
“In conversations with the SPCA, there are an awful lot of dog owners that do not license their dogs,” Cipriani said.
Dog-licensing revenue helps fund kennel inspections, compensates shelters for providing care for animals and provides grants to animal shelters to help fund their operations. It’s estimated that only 15 percent of Pennsylvania dog owners license their dogs. Failure to purchase a license annually could result in a fine of up to $300, Cipriani said.
In addition to the successful inaugural gathering last June, a dog licensing event at Mundy’s office in January welcomed 70 dog owners.
Veterinarian Dr. Mark Stair will administer rabies shots and implant pet microchips at the event. Rabies vaccinations are required for cats and dogs older than 3 months in Pennsylvania, and booster vaccinations are due every three years.
Pet photographer Jessica Cobb will be on hand to take portraits of pets and their owners for a small fee, with proceeds benefiting the local SPCA. Dog trainer Nikki Banfield of the School for K-9s in Sweet Valley will present simple demonstrations and discuss dog behavior with owners.
Dog advocacy groups, including the Eastern Pennsylvania Animal Alliance, the Dog Scouts of America, the Modified K9 pit bull rescue, 4 Paws Spay Neuter Program and Pleasure of Your Company Therapy Dogs, also will participate.
Last year, the event raised more than $100 for the local SPCA. A portion of the proceeds from Saturday’s event also will benefit the organization.
Face painting will be offered to children, but the event is mainly focused on dog owners.
The event is free to enter, but there are fees for licenses, vaccinations and more. Microchip services are available for a reduced fee of $25, and rabies vaccinations cost $10, Cipriani said.
Dog-license fees, according to the Luzerne County website, cost between $4.45 for senior citizens who own a neutered or spayed dog and $8.45 for a non-neutered or non-spayed dog. Lifetime licenses are available to dogs with some form of permanent identification — either a tattoo or microchip — for between $21.45 for neutered or spayed pets belonging to a senior citizen and $51.45 for dogs that have not been spayed or neutered.
For more information, contact Mundy’s office at (570) 283-9622.