Dogs At-Large

Dogs At-Large

Compassion & Safety for the Wandering or Lost

Unfortunately, dogs can sometimes get too adventurous and go missing. Under Pennsylvania Dog Law § 459-302, it is the duty of a Constable to seize and detain any dog which is found running at-large unaccompanied by the owner or keeper. This could be upon the public streets or upon the property of a person other than the owner of the dog. Constable Grove has been around dogs all of his life. His office is committed to safe and compassionate recovery practices that result in reunification. Constable Grove is also a member of Centre County Animal Response Team, whose mission is to provide direct local emergency response, disaster training/guidance, and the rescue of animals in immediate danger for incidents both large and small.

What Happens When a Constable Detains a Lost Dog?

The Constable will notify the last known address (set forth in the license application record of the person in whose name the license was procured) to claim the dog within five days after receipt thereof. If the owner is non-responsive – and to ensure the safety of the dog, the public, or private property – the Constable shall cause any at-large dog bearing a proper license tag or permanent identification to be properly kept and fed at an approved licensed kennel. The owner or claimant of a dog so detained is responsible for paying all reasonable expenses incurred by reason of its detention to the detaining parties.

What If the Lost Dog Is Not Identifiable by Tag or License?

First, the Constable will utilize social media and organizations such as Pet Recovery of Centre County to reach as many people as possible in an effort to locate the dog’s owner. If this is unsuccessful, the dog will be taken to a local clinic or shelter to scan for a microchip. If the dog does not have a microchip, it will be taken to an approval licensed kennel that accepts lost dogs.

It is important as a dog owner to provide your pet with identification tags. Dogs who have not been spayed or neutered are more likely to roam in search of a mate – increasing the chances that the dog will become lost. By law, unlicensed dogs are only required to be kept and fed for a period of 48 hours at an approved licensed kennel (except any dog seriously ill or injured or forfeited with the owner’s permission). Any person may view the detained dog during normal business hours. Unclaimed after 48 hours, the kennel may decide to transfer the dog to a humane society or association for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Can I Call the Constable If I Have Found a Lost Dog?

Yes. The Office of the Constable of Gregg Township is outfitted with the necessary tools and resources to offer wandering and lost dogs both compassion and safety while their owner is being located.

I Lost My Dog? Can the Constable Assist?

That depends. Constables are not pet detectives, but we can certainly assist by working with local organizations and other law enforcement agencies to notify you of recommended steps for you to take as a dog owner.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you bark can and will be used to help locate your owner. You have the right to some fresh water and food. If you do not have a safe place to stay, one will be provided for you.”  


APPREHENDED: Older female Yorkie with orange collar and purple flea collar, but no ID tags.

DATE / TIME / LOCATION: 09.28.19 / 2130 hrs / Spring Mills, Centre Co.



APPREHENDED: Older black dog with grey beard with ID tag.

DATE / TIME / LOCATION: 10.11.19 / 1900 hrs / Spring Mills, Centre Co.



  • Act 49 Certification #B004604
  • Expandable Baton
  • Oleoresin Capsicum Spray for Law Enforcement Officers
  • Management of Aggressive Behavior for Public Safety Officers (MOAB)
  • Traffic Incident Management on Rural Roads
  • Law Enforcement High Visibility PPE
  • Advance Warning on Roadway Incidents

Related Qualifications

  • Special Fire Police Officer
  • Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team (Centre County Member)
  • CPR / AED
  • IS-10.a Animals in Disasters-Awareness and Preparedness
  • IS-11.a Animals in Disasters: Community Planning
  • IS-05.a Introduction to Hazardous Materials
  • ICS-100.c Incident Command Systems
  • IS-200.b ICS for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents
  • IS-700.b National Incident Management System
  • Hazmat Awareness


  • Civil Law & Process
  • Criminal Law & Process
  • Crisis Intervention / De-escalation
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Mechanics of Arrest
  • Proper Use of Force
  • Prisoner Transport & Custody
  • Court Security
  • Traffic Control
  • Recovery: Dogs-at-Large

For Process Services to Political Subdivisions & Recovery of Local Dogs At-Large call Constable Grove.