STATEWIDE- Pennsylvania students in first through sixth grades are invited to enter a poster contest to help raise awareness about the importance of dog licensing. The deadline to enter is April 30.

Agriculture Secretary George Greig said the poster contest supports other dog owner education activities as part of March "Dog License Awareness Month."

The poster contest is open to all students enrolled in public, private or home school. Students involved with a sponsoring 4-H club or scouting organization may also participate.

The poster must reflect the theme "License your dog. It’s his ticket home." and include the website will be based on effective communication of the theme and importance of the dog license law and creativity.

State law requires all dogs three months and older to be licensed each year. Owners who fail to license their dogs could face a fine of up to $300 for each unlicensed dog.

An annual dog license is $8.45, while dogs with permanent identification like a microchip or tattoo may be eligible for a lifetime license for $51.45. If the animal is spayed or neutered, the annual fee is $6.45 and lifetime is $31.45. Discounts are available to older adults and people with disabilities.

Licensing fees support the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Dog Law Enforcement Office, which is responsible for ensuring the welfare of dogs, regulating dangerous dogs and overseeing annual licensing and rabies vaccinations.

The grand prize winner will receive a $20 cash prize and a visit by the Secretary of Agriculture and a dog warden during an official poster unveiling at their school. Grand prize artwork will be used on promotional displays and websites and will be the cover page of the 2014 Dog Law Enforcement Office Coloring Book. Winners of each age division (first and second grade, third and fourth grade, fifth and sixth grade) will receive a $15 cash prize and their artwork will appear in the office’s coloring book.

For complete contest details, visit and click "2013 Poster Contest" or call the Dog Law Enforcement Office at (717)787-3062.