It's license season for county treasurers' offices with both fishing and dog licenses for 2014 now available.
Dog licenses went on sale at the beginning of the month and owners are required to have dogs age three months or older licensed for the year by Jan. 1.
Owners have some options.
An annual license runs $8.45, but is only $6.45 for spayed or neutered animals. Dogs with a permanent identification tattoo or microchip are eligible for lifetime licenses at rates of $51.45 and $31.45 for spayed or neutered pets.
Senior citizens and disabled persons may purchase annual licenses for $6.45 and $4.45, respectively.
Veterinarians must fill out lifetime license forms, according to Warren County Treasurer Dennis Munksgard. If a tatoo is desired, the license must first be purchased at the treasurer's office so that the veterinarian can tattoo the license number on the dog. Munksgard said that microchipping is currently the more popular option.
Owners whose pets do not have a current license can be fined up to $300 for each unlicensed dog.
To obtain a license, an owner must provide owner contact information and pet information including name, age, breed and color.
"Dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities, and licensing your dog is on the top of the list," Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig said in a Dec. 2 press release. "Buying a dog license is easy and affordable."
Besides their local county treasurers' office, owners may also purchase a license online by visiting www.padoglicense.com. The site charges an additional "convenience fee" for service.
Owners may call the Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office at 1-717-787-3062 for further information.
For anglers looking to snag a 2014 license early, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) opened up purchasing for the coming year on Dec. 1.
Munksgard said purchasers will need a prior year's license with a customer ID (CID) number, a driver's license or a Social Security card, and date of birth information.
"If they've had a license in a previous year, they're in the system," Munksgard said. "It's the same CID number for hunting and fishing. If they aren't in the system we can sign them up."
An annual resident license runs $22.70 and a trout-salmon permit runs an additional $9.70.
"An angler can enjoy more than a year of fishing for $32.40 - less than a typical dinner for two and about the price for two people to see one movie," Director of the PFBC Bureau of Administration Bernie Matscavage said in a press release.
"They can get three-year licenses and five-year licenses," Munksgard noted. "I think we started that last year."
Multi-year licenses are available at a rate of $64.70 for a three-year license and $106.70 for a five-year license.
Vouchers for licenses are also available to be used as gifts.
"We sell about 6,000 vouchers each year," Matscavage said. "They are easy to purchase and require only a method of payment. The recipient then redeems the voucher for a fishing license."
"Basically, what other people have done is," Munksgard said, "let's say your family member lives across the state. You can buy a voucher and give it to them for Christmas and they can use it at their local sporting goods store."
In addition to the county treasurers' office, vouchers and licenses can be purchased through the PFBC Outdoor Shop at www.pa.wildlifelicense.com, at the PFBC Northwest Region Office in Meadville or through local issuing agents.
The Fish and Boat Commission website, www.fish.state.pa.us, also has a link to purchase licenses online. The link is in the upper right hand corner of the page in yellow.
"Anything your going to buy for fishing, you can get online," Munksgard said.
Licenses can also be purchased by mail.
Issuing agents in Warren County include Clarendon Service Center in Clarendon, Tall Tales Sporting Goods in Russell, Peterson Hardware in Sheffield, Trading Post in Tidioute, Grizzly Gary Outdoors in Warren and at K-Mart and Walmart.
Minksgard noted the treasurer's office is open to handle licensing Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
"Unfortunately, we don't have worms or minnows," he said. "That's the advantage of going to your local sporting goods store."