Elizabethtown Borough, in conjunction with the Lancaster County SPCA, has a procedure for the handling of stray, missing and/or lost dogs.  If your dog escapes or is missing, your first step should be to contact the Lancaster Countywide Communication Center at (717) 367-1835 to determine if a missing dog report has been filed with either the Elizabethtown Police Department or Northwest Regional Police Department.  By advising which police department you are trying to contact, the dispatcher can have an officer contact you in a timely fashion.  Do not call 911 for a lost dog.

For dogs found in the Borough, the Police will make every attempt to contact the owner, provided the dog is displaying a license or other form of owner identification.  For dogs without a means of identification, the Police will contact the Lancaster County SPCA and arrange for transportation to its facility at 848 South Prince Street in Lancaster. Instances when an owner cannot not be identified, or when an owner does not respond to attempts to be contacted, will result in the dog being transported to the Lancaster County SPCA where the animal will be held for further attempts at identifying and/or reaching the owner.   

Owners should anticipate receiving an invoice for a  fee when picking up a dog at the SPCA facility. This fee is based upon the charge that the SPCA charges the EPD for accepting and housing the dog, which is currently set at $225 per occurrence.  This fee is in addition to any fees that the SPCA charges to dog owners at the time of recovery.  For more information visit the SPCA website ( or call 917-6979 during normal business hours: 

            Monday—Saturday....................................... 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

            Sunday.......................................................... 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Keep your dog safe and healthy by properly securing it at home and on your property.  Consider having your dog spayed or neutered, and always have your dog wear a collar with an identification tag and current state license for the county in which you reside. State law requires any dog three months of age and older to have a license. Violations for not having a current dog license can be up to $300 per dog. 

If the owner of the dog is located before the animal is transported to the SPCA, the owner will be assessed a fee ranging between $25 and $100, depending upon how many prior times EPD has had to return the dog to the owner.  

If you have found an injured dog or other animal, contact O.R.C.A. at (717) 397-8922.

Please view the ordinance below.

PDF icon Dogs Ordinance