HARRISBURG, Pa., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary George Greig today invited Pennsylvania students in first through sixth grades to enter a poster contest to help raise awareness about the importance of dog licensing. The deadline to enter is April 30. "This contest is a great way to educate students and their families about the importance of licensing their dogs," Greig said. "A current dog license is the best way to protect a dog if it gets lost, and it's the law. I encourage all eligible students to participate, get creative and talk with their families about safeguarding their 'best friend.'" Greig said the poster contest supports other dog owner education activities as part of March "Dog License Awareness Month." 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 and a lifetime license is $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 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 www.licenseyourdogPA.com. Judging will be based on effective communication of the theme and importance of the dog license law and creativity.