According to levittownnow.com, Pennsylvania officials are considering increasing the cost of a dog license in the state.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says, "All dogs three months or older must be licensed by January 1 of each year.  Violators can be cited with a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs."

Currently, dog owners must pay an annual licensing fee of $8.50 or a lifetime fee of $51.50. That price is lowered to $6.50/year or $31.50/lifetime if a dog is spayed or neutered.

Levittownnow.com says that if the proposed increase is approved, fees for spayed or neutered dogs would be $10/year or $49/lifetime.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, license fees are used to fund its Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.  The Bureau "regulates activities pertaining to dogs that are classified as dangerous," as well as ensuring the safety of dogs bred in commercial kennels located within the state.

Levittownnow.com says the funds used to run the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement has run out. State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski told levittownnow.com that "without the service of the Bureau of Dog Law, we could see packs of stray dogs wreaking havoc in small communities."

In addition to funding the bureau, the state says licensing dogs helps reunite lost dogs with their families. In fact, licenses have helped over 8,000 lost dogs find their way home.

Dog license fees vary by state or even municipalities within a state. For example, according to nj.gov, municipalities set fees in New Jersey, although the state does mandate that fees cannot exceed $21/year.

Pennsylvania residents can obtain a dog license online at padoglicense.com.