‘The best way to protect your dog is with a license’: Ag Sect’y Redding says

February is ‘Love your dog, license your dog month’ in Pennsylvania

By: - February 19, 2022 6:30 am

Pennsylvania Dog license application form (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

Happy weekend, all.

When you think February, you think “dog licenses,” right?

I can’t say it’s the first thing that comes to my mind either, but according to a proclamation issued by Gov. Tom Wolf, February is “Love your dog, license your dog month.”

“I, Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim February 2022 LOVE YOUR DOG MONTH in recognition of the importance of responsible pet ownership and to increase public understanding about the laws regarding dog licensing in Pennsylvania. I urge all citizens to protect their pets by purchasing a dog license,” the proclamation reads.

“The best way to protect your dog is with a license,” Agriculture Secretary Redding said in a statement Friday. “If your pet gets loose or lost, a chip or tattoo is not a guarantee they will be recognized quickly and returned home. A license is. It’s simple — if you love your dog, license your dog.”

All dogs three months of age and older are required to be licensed, according to state law. Currently, the fee for an annual dog license is $6.50, or $8.50 if the animal is not spayed or neutered.

The license fee has not changed in over two decades, which has left the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement operating at a deficit. 

More information on dog licenses can be found here. 

As always, the top five stories from this week are below. 

The legacy of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012 continues to reverberate nine years later, including in how conspiracy theories have changed since the tragedy (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP via Getty Images/The Conversation).

1. Sandy Hook Anniversary: Conspiracy theories are worse and more mainstream than ever | Opinion

Conspiracy theories are powerful forces in the U.S. They have damaged public health amid a global pandemic, shaken faith in the democratic process and helped spark a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021.

These conspiracy theories are part of a dangerous misinformation crisis that has been building for years in the U.S.

American politics has long had a paranoid streak, and belief in conspiracy theories is nothing new. But as the news cycle reminds us daily, outlandish conspiracy theories born on social media now regularly achieve mainstream acceptance and are echoed by people in power.

As a journalism professor at the University of Connecticut, I have studied the misinformation around the mass shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. I consider it the first major conspiracy theory of the modern social media age, and I believe we can trace our current predicament to the tragedy’s aftermath.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

2. The Capital-Star’s 2022 Pa. incumbent retirement and primary tracker

With 2022 on the horizon, tracking legislative turnover amid changing lines, double-bunked incumbents, and retirements is difficult. But the Capital-Star will attempt to track these potential changes over the coming months.

Barring a court challenge, the House and Senate maps are in their final form as of Feb. 5. With that said, here is the latest running tally of lawmakers retiring next year, or facing a colleague to come back to Harrisburg.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin (R) and former state Rep. Rick Saccone at the U.S. Capitol on 1/6/21 (Facebook photo)

3. U.S. House committee subpoenas Sen. Doug Mastriano as part of Jan. 6 investigation

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 election issued subpoenas for six more people Tuesday, including state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin.

Mastriano, an ally of former President Donald Trump and Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate, attended the “Save America” rally, the morning precursor to the deadly riot. He has denied engaging in violence, but the state senator appears to have been much closer to the Capitol than he initially claimed, according to video footage.

In a statement, the U.S. House committee said Mastriano — who did not respond to a call seeking comment — was “part of a plan to arrange for an alternate slate of electors” and reportedly spoke with Trump about “post-election activities.” The panel cited a Nov. 28, 2020, tweet from Mastriano, who said he was advocating for the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Legislature to appoint Electoral College delegates.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta (WikiMedia Commons).

4. Dem group files campaign finance complaint against Barletta-linked PAC

A Democratic group has filed a federal campaign finance complaint against Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial hopeful Lou Barletta over political spending directed to a rental property formerly owned by him and his wife.

The spending was from Leaders Only Unite Political Action Committee, or LOU PAC, a so-called leadership PAC that elected officials often use to skirt federal limits on spending while supporting allies and electing like-minded new colleagues.

Barletta, who was elected to Congress in 2010 and served until 2018, set up LOU PAC in 2014.

Despite not running during the 2020 cycle, the PAC spent $33,000 from Feb. 2019 to Oct. 2020 to rent an unspecified property owned by Bartletta’s wife Mary Grace, according to the Huffington Post.

Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith, speaks during a press conference, which discussed the need to expand our lens of focus from opioids to fighting overall substance use disorder with the increase of polysubstance and stimulant use across the commonwealth, inside Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency in Harrisburg on Monday, October 18, 2021 (Commonwealth Media Services photo).

5. ‘No one is immune’: DDAP encourages Pa. workers, health care workers, to invest five minutes to better understand addiction

State officials are encouraging Pennsylvania’s workforce – especially its health care workers who have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic – to take advantage of a free, online educational tool designed to inform, and provide them with guidance on  substance use disorder.

The online learning platform, known as Just Five, launched in May 2021 as a way to improve Pennsylvanians’ understanding of addiction and substance use disorder, reduce the stigma surrounding the disease, and provide individuals with helpful resources.

“By improving our own understanding of this disease we can better understand others who may be at risk,” Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith said during a Tuesday news conference at WellSpan Surgery & Rehabilitation Hospital in York, adding that a time investment of just five minutes can make a difference.

And that’s the week. See you back here next week. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.