Boarding Dogs at a Veterinary Practice

Boarding Dogs at a Veterinary Practice

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February 16, 2023 – This correspondence comes to inform you of the requirements of the Dog Law, specifically as it pertains to boarding kennel licensing. The statutory requirements of the Dog Law Act necessitate that all veterinarians who board a dog, regardless of whether the boarder is a client or not, must have a kennel license.

Pursuant to section 3 P.S. § 459-102 – Definitions:

  • Kennel.” Any establishment in or through which at least 26 dogs are kept or transferred in a calendar year, or a boarding kennel as defined in this act.
  • Boarding kennel.” Any establishment available to the general public where a dog or dogs are housed for
    compensation by the day, week or a specified or unspecified time. The term shall not include a kennel where the practice of veterinary medicine is performed if the kennel is covered by the provisions of the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L.995, No.326), known as the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” The term shall include any boarding facility operated by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine whether or not this facility is on the same premises as a building or structure subject to the provisions of the “Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.” 3 P.S. § 459-102 (emphasis added). The term shall include any establishment available to the general public that, for consideration, takes control of a dog from the owner for a portion of a day for the purposes of exercise, day care or entertainment of the dog. For the purpose of this term, each time a dog enters the kennel it shall be counted as one dog. This term does not include an establishment engaged only in dog grooming or dog training.”

Furthermore, pursuant to section 3 P.S. § 459-207(a.1)(1) – Requirements for kennels, “It shall be unlawful for kennels described under section 206 to operate without first obtaining a kennel license from the department.” 3 P.S. §459-207(a.1)(1)

Please be advised that a violation of operating a kennel without a license may result in a citation which carries
a maximum fine of $500.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact me at 717-787-3062. We look
forward to working with you in the future.

From the Desk of:

Kristen Donmoyer
Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement