Animal Control FAQs « The City of Lakewood, Ohio -
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Animal Control FAQs

Q:        What are the hours for the Animal Shelter and where is it located?

A:         The Animal Shelter is located at 1299 Metropark Drive and is open as follows:

Monday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tuesday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Wednesday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Thursday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Friday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Closed on Sunday

It’s always a good idea to call the shelter at (216) 529-5020 before stopping down just to make sure they are not out on an emergency call.

Q:        When are the Animal Control Officers on duty?

A:         An Animal Control Officer is on duty all seven days of the week during the following hours:

Monday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tuesday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Wednesday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Thursday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Friday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday – 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Stray dogs found on the weekend can be taken to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter 9500 Sweet Valley Drive, Valley View, OH 216-525-7877.  They are open Saturday 10:30 am-4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 pm-4:00 pm. 

If there is an emergency situation after hours, please contact the non-emergency police number at (216) 529-6773.

Q:        How much does it cost to adopt an animal from the Lakewood Animal Shelter?

A:         The adoption fee for animals from the Lakewood Animal Shelter is:

The adoption fee for kittens and cats is $75.00.
The adoption fee for puppies and dogs is $100.00.

               The adoption fee includes the following services:

* Spay or neuter

* First vaccinations, de-worming, flea treatment

* Collar and ID tag

* One free medical exam with one of our area veterinary partners will be offered for new adopters who adopt from the Lakewood Animal Shelter. The services offered at Lakewood Animal Hospital consist of a free exam and one vaccine. The services offered at Detroit Dover Animal Hospital consist of a free exam and one vaccine. Guardians are responsible for post-adoption expenses related to medications, additional vaccines, diagnostics or treatments. An appointment for the free medical exam must be made within 30 days of adoption and proof of adoption from the Lakewood Animal Shelter is required.

Click here to view adoptable animals.

Q:        I have an animal I can no longer keep in my possession. May I surrender it to the Lakewood Animal Shelter?

A:         The Lakewood Animal Shelter is only equipped to take in stray animals found within the City of Lakewood.  The shelter is small and does not have the space and capacity to house a large volume of animals.

Q:        Where can I take my animal if I can no longer keep it?

A:         If you find yourself unable to keep your pet, please understand that the Lakewood Animal Shelter does not accept owner surrendered animals. If you are unable to re-home your pet yourself, contact an animal welfare group to make proper arrangements to surrender your pet and to ensure your pet’s best chance of finding an adoptive home.  A great resource is, where you will find a listing of local animal shelters, and other links for rescue groups.

Q:        What can I do if I have an after-hours animal related emergency?

A:         Some situations may not constitute an emergency.  Contact the Lakewood Police Department at (216) 521-6773, and they can advise you what to do or they will contact an Animal Control Officer if necessary.

Q:        Is the Lakewood Animal Shelter a no-kill shelter?

A:         A no-kill shelter is defined as a shelter that guarantees that unadopted animals will not be euthanized.  At the Lakewood Animal Shelter, all dogs not claimed or adopted are transferred to the Cuyahoga County Kennel.  In rare circumstances of extreme illness or for public safety concerns, a dog or cat may be euthanized.

Click here to view adoptable animals.

Q:        May I borrow a trap from the Animal Shelter?

A:         The Lakewood Animal Shelter and the Animal Control Officers do lend traps for a $50 refundable fee.  However, if you rent or buy a trap, the Animal Control Officers will pick the trapped animal up from you.  You may call the Animal Shelter at (216) 529-5020 during regular business hours so an Animal Control Officer can advise you of the proper trapping protocol and answer any other questions.

Q:        I would like to raise backyard chickens/hens.  Is this allowed in Lakewood?

A:         Yes.  Lakewood has a Backyard Hen program.  Section 505.18(e) of the Lakewood Codified Ordinances addresses the backyard hen program.  There are a total of 50 Hen Permits available in Lakewood.  Click here for an application and/or more information.

Q:        Are there any dog breed restrictions in Lakewood?

A:         Lakewood no longer has breed specific legislation.  All dogs are welcome in Lakewood.  With this legislation change came new, rigorous classifications for and restrictions on dogs based upon their behavior and bite history.

The new animal ordinance applies to “all dogs” and may be found in revised Chapter 505 and 506  by clicking here.

Q:        Are retractable leashes allowed in Lakewood?

A:         No. Part of the new ordinance was a heightened focus on safety, including an owner’s control of their dog.  All dog leashes must now be no more than six (6) feet in length and may not be retractable.  Failure to comply is a violation of Chapter 505.02 and is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree with a maximum penalty of $250.00 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Q:        Am I required to have liability insurance for my dog?

A:         Yes, as of September 30, 2018 all dog owners or individuals harboring a dog must maintain at least $10,00.00 of liability insurance for injury or damage caused by their dog.  Check with your insurance agent to determine what coverage you may have under your homeowner’s or tenant insurance coverage and what other coverage you might need.

Q:        Do I need to carry my insurance policy or other proof of insurance with me?

A:         No.  If you are stopped for a violation of Chapter 505 or 506 due to the behavior of your dog or the failure to comply with the basic responsible pet owner requirements outlined in the ordinance.  You will be requested to show proof of insurance or provide it within a reasonable amount of time.

Q:        My dog is a service animal.  Do I have to maintain liability insurance coverage?

A:         Yes. All dogs living or being harbored in Lakewood must be insured.

Q:         Is there a city board or commission associated with animals in Lakewood?

A:         Yes, the city of Lakewood has an Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board. This advisory board currently meets on the third Wednesday of most months. Click here for more information, click here.

Q:        Does my dog have to be licensed?

A:         Yes.  All dogs must have an annual dog license. The State of Ohio has required all Ohio counties to issue dog licenses for residents within that county.  The Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer issues dog license for Lakewood residents. Dog licenses are issued annually between December 1 and January 31. More information and online dog license registration may be found by clicking here.  Your dog’s license tag will also help identify your dog and the dog’s home address in the event your dog gets loose.

Q:         Can I purchase my dog’s license tag in Lakewood?

A:         Yes, there are 3 Lakewood locations on the County’s list which list may be found by clicking here.

Q:        Does Lakewood have a dog park?

A:         Yes. The Lakewood Dog Park is located in Lakewood, Ohio, just south of the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metropark. It is adjacent to the City of Lakewood Waste Water Treatment Plant.  More information, including park rules and hours, may be found by clicking here.

Q:        Can I walk my dog in all Lakewood parks?

A:         Yes.  However, dogs are not allowed in picnic pavilions, athletic fields, tennis courts or playgrounds and must always be on a leash.

Q:        What should I do if a dog bites my dog or me?

A:         If you need immediate medical attention, call 9-1-1. If not, call the Lakewood Police Department at (216) 521-6773, and they will respond or contact an Animal Control Officer to respond.

Q:        What should I do if see an animal being abused or neglected?

A:         Call the Lakewood Police Department at (216) 521-6773 or Lakewood Animal Control at 216-529-5020.

Q:        What should I do if I see a cat or dog “running at-large” in Lakewood without their owner or acting strangely like they are hurt or sick?

A:         It is unsafe to approach any unknown animal.  The animal might be frightened by your approach, protective or sick and may react aggressively.  Contact the Lakewood Police at (216) 529-6773 and they will determine whether to send a Police Officer or contact an Animal Control Officer.