Responsibilities Related to Owning a Dog

Owning a dog is one of the must enjoyable things a person can do in life, but it does require important responsibilities. Along with caring and playing with your dog, certain laws in Pennsylvania also require that your dog be registered and well as vaccinated. All dog owners need to learn and understand their full responsibilities that come with dog ownership.

Silouette of a Woman Walking a Dog

Pet Clean Up

As a "healthy community" and with walking the number one recreational activity in Manheim Townwship...often done with one's is important to remember common courtesy when it comes to pet care. Remembering common courtesy will help foster neighborly relations and help promote a positive and healthier community. Responsible pet care is in the best interests of an owner and their pet. Please remember, it is your responsibility to clean up after your pet and dogs and cats are not permitted to roam-at-large. Manheim Township Animal Control ordinance requires that you immediately clean up after your dog. It is illegal to leave dog excrement on any property other than your own.

Control of Your Dog

The residents of Manheim Township frequently ask questions regarding the leash requirements when walking a dog. There are two laws governing the control of animals: the Pennsylvania Dog Law (Title 3) and the Manheim Township Animal Control Ordinance. The State Law requires only that a dog be “confined within the premises of the owner” or “under the reasonable control of some person.” The Manheim Township ordinance, however, takes this one step further, stating that a person has a duty to keep a dog “on a leash at all times” when they are “on the streets or public grounds.”

Simply put, it is a requirement that your dog be somehow confined to your property. As long as the dog does not go beyond your property, there is no violation. One typical means of confinement is fencing, which does include electric fencing. Once the dog leaves your property, however, it is a Manheim Township requirement that the dog be on a leash at all times. Although it is tempting to allow dogs to run off leash while in our parks, the ordinance requires that dogs be leashed even while in our parks. The only exception to this is while the dog is in the Overlook Dog Park, located at the Overlook Community Campus. The length of the leash is not addressed in the ordinance, but it is recommended that you keep the length reasonable, particularly if you are using the retractable type.

Please plan ahead and bring the proper equipment with you to keep your dog leashed and to clean up after your dog. Should you wish to report a violation, please contact the Manheim Township Police Department at Non-Emergency number at 664-1180. For an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Dog Licensing Information

Basic control of your dog and clean up after your dog are the most common issues the Township faces in terms of dogs. When a dog does go astray and is running at large, it is likely that the Township will recieve a complaint and have to act to capture the animal and either return it to you, or delivery the animal to the SPCA, where it will be cared for and (if the owner is not identified) placed for adoption. The best way for a dog to be returned to the rightful owner, is to have it properly licensed.

In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to keep or harbor any dog three (3) months of age or older without a current Pennsylvania dog license (due on or before January 1).

Under the PA Dog Law the County Treasurer is responsible for registering dogs in Lancaster County.

Please see the link below for the Lancaster County Treasurer's office and the dog license application process.
Lancaster County Treasurer's Office - Dog License Application Page

Animals - Domestic or Wild

Visit Animals - Domestic or Wild, to learn definitions as well as zoning and codified ordinances related to animals.

Stray/feral cats and nuisance wildlife are other topics addressed on this page.