Animals in Lakewood | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Animals in Lakewood

This page is the landing page for all things animals.  Lakewood is home to many animals, both pets and wildlife.  This page is designed to provide useful and necessary information about pets and other wildlife in and around Lakewood.

Dog Liability Insurance

On September 30, 2018 L.C.O. Section 504.24 – Insurance Coverage for Dog Liability, took affect and requires every owner, keeper or harborer of a dog in the City of Lakewood to maintain public liability insurance in a single incident amount of at least $10,000.00.  All residents (whether you own or rent) are obligated under the law to maintain this insurance coverage.  This type of animal coverage is often covered in a standard homeowner’s or renter’s liability policy.  You are encouraged to contact your insurance agent or check your homeowner’s or renter’s liability policy to determine if this coverage is already included in your policy.  For questions contact the city law department at: 216-529-6030

If your homeowner’s or renter’s liability policy has breed restrictions that affect your ability to find coverage, the following is a list of insurance companies the city has compiled that have no breed restrictions in their policy coverage.  This list is provided for your convenience only and may not be accurate or exhaustive.  The city is prohibited from recommending any particular insurance carrier and strongly encourages you to get quotes and compare pricing as well as check references and specific policy language.

These national companies do not have national breed policies:

  • StateFarm
  • Chubb Insurance
  • Auto-Owners Insurance
  • USAA
  • Amica Mutual Insurance Company

Others companies that indicate they may not have breed restrictive policies are:

  • Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (May vary by state)
  • Farmers Insurance (varies by state)
  • Dean Insurance (for canine liability insurance only)

Guide To Responsible Dog Ownership

Letter to Registered Dog Owners-May 22, 2018

Responsible Pet Owners as Tenants

Landlord Guide to Renting to Pet Owners


  • Animal Control+-

    Shelter Address
    1299 Metropark Drive
    Lakewood, Ohio 44107
    (216) 529-5020
    [ Email Animal Shelter » ]

    Animal Shelter Hours
    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

    Animal Control Officers on Duty:
    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.

    Click here to view animals available for adoption.


    If you are interested in fostering and/or transporting animals to the vet or APL appointments, please contact the Animal Shelter at (216) 529-5020 or Lakewood Animal Shelter volunteers must have a police background check performed prior to working at the shelter.

    The Citizens Committee for the Lakewood Animal Shelter (CCLAS), an non-profit organization, supports the Lakewood Animal Shelter through fundraising and providing fosters with needed supplies.

    Click here for more information about volunteering.

    Wildlife Trapping
    Animal Control will pick up any raccoon, opossum or skunk a resident traps. Prior to setting a trap, please contact Animal Control at (216) 529-5020.

    • Trapped wildlife is disposed of per Ohio Division of Wildlife section 1501:31-15-03.
    • No wildlife trapping is permitted from November 1st to April 1st.

    Animal Control FAQs

    Related Links

  • 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.

  • Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board+-

    The Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board was established to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor and Council on issues related to the health and welfare of humans and animals as they interact in our community.

    The Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory board is composed of eleven members. Board members include a representative from the Lakewood City Council, the Director of Public Safety or a representative of that office, and nine members who are residents of the City of Lakewood with  some area of expertise in animal behavior, animal safety or other experience that would bring diversity to the membership of the Board.

    The Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board is an advisory board and shall coordinate its activities with the Administration and Council.  The board shall report to Council and the Mayor at the request of either or at its own discretion.

    Click here to view the 2024 Meeting Calendar.

    Click here to view the Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board agendas.

    Click here to view the Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board minutes.

    For information about a particular Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board meeting,  please visit


  • Beekeeping+-

    New to Beekeeping? Learn more about the responsibilities of Beekeepers from this collaborative video put together from the Ohio Department of Agriculture- Apiary Division, Ohio Soybean Famers, and  Grow Next Gen.  Click here to view the video.


    All apiaries in the state of Ohio must be registered with ODA as required by ORC 909.02. Your registration expires on May 31 annually. Please return your application for renewal and payment prior to June 1. Please note that any newly established apiaries are required to be registered within 10 days of receipt of the honey bees. Please visit here for more information on how to register with the state of Ohio.

    In addition to registering with the state of Ohio, Lakewood residents must obtain a beekeeping permit with the city. Permits must be renewed annually between May 1 and June 1.

    Click here to apply for a permit.

    Click here to view the ordinance regarding beekeeping.

    Other resources:

    Ohio State BeeKeepers Association:
    Honey Bee Health Coalition:
    Pollinator Partnership:
    Local Organizations:

  • Birds+-

    If you feed birds, they will come—unfortunately this is true for rodents, too.
    Because birds and rodents enjoy a similar diet, it is important to manage the mess from your feeder.

    Click here for tips on feeding birds.

  • Coyotes and other Wildlife+-


    Coyotes are territorial animals that are common throughout Cuyahoga County and all of Ohio. Coyotes have coexisted amongst us in Lakewood for years, rarely being noticed. Today, there are at least groups, living in Lakewood. A group lives in the Madison Park vicinity, another lives in the Lakewood Park vicinity.  Because coyotes are here to stay, it is important to learn to safely coexist with them. Coyotes serve an important role in the local ecosystem by keeping populations of smaller wild animals and vermin in check.

    What do to about coyotes

    Click here for more information about coyotes.

    Raccoons, Skunks, Opossums, Fox, Chipmunks, Bats, Squirrels and other wildlife:

    There are a variety of wildlife that live amongst us in the city.  Just as in humans, there are diseases that impact wildlife and make them sick. This reinforces the importance of properly managing wildlife populations and NOT FEEDING WILDLIFE, other than song birds.  Feeding wildlife concentrates animals and increases the likelihood of spreading diseases.  Some best practices when dealing with wildlife are found below:

    Best practices to avoid attracting wildlife to your property:

    • Do not feed wild life; (other than song birds – Check out: “Feeding Birds without Burdens”)
    • Do not leave open or accessible garbage on your property
    • Winter proof your house in the fall (screen open vents and chimneys)
    • Clean up the yard – leaf and debris piles make ideal harborage for small animals
    • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house (another good home for animals)
    • Keep bird feeders out of reach of squirrels, raccoons and opossums
    • If you choose to trap nuisance wild life call Animal Control to assist with removal of trapped animals or use a professional pest control service (Please note that Lakewood Animal Control does not provide physical traps or trapping services)

    Best practices when seeing or encountering wildlife in the city:

    • Maintain your distance when encountering or seeing wildlife
    • Do not attempt to feed, catch or pet wild life
    • Do not approach wildlife babies or animal mothers with their babies; mother’s protective instincts can be fierce
    • Do not attempt to give aid to an injured or sick animal
    • Report injured, sick or aggressive animals to Lakewood Animal Control or after hours to Lakewood Police

    You are always encouraged to reach out the Lakewood Animal Control Officers with questions and concerns about dealing with local wildlife issues.  If rabid animals are suspected Animal Control will contact the County Board of Health to pick up the animals for testing.

    Animal Control Officers may be reached at:  216-529-5020; their hours of operation are found HERE.  For emergencies in off hours contact Lakewood Police.

    Link to wildlife diseases in Ohio

    ODNR Wild Ohio Magazine – Archived issues

    Lake Erie Nature & Science Center FAQs

  • Dog Legislation 2018+-

  • Dogs Running at Large+-

    When not on your private property, a dog must be accompanied by a responsible person, must be on a non-retractable leash of not more than six feet in length, and under the reasonable control of this person.

    It is important to note that Lakewood is taking responsible pet ownership and dog safety seriously and has enhanced the penalties for violations.

    An owner may also be liable for all damages caused by an animal at large. And if a domestic animal or human is aggressively bitten by the dog as a result of an animal running at large, then the owner can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    See section 505.02 of the Lakewood Codified Ordinances for details.

  • Foxes+-

    Click here for information about foxes.

  • Hens+-

    Less than a century ago, when more people raised their own food, keeping a few chickens in the yard was common in cities, and plenty of city ordinances still allow the practice. Raising chickens ensures you know where your eggs come from, and collecting eggs fulfills an instinct to provide our own food, advocates say.

    Chickens also make great garden and recycling assistants. They provide fertilizer, eat pests, and help dig over your vegetable patch at the end of the season. Chickens eat biodegradable kitchen garbage like rusted lettuce, tomato tops and corn husks.

    After one year as a pilot project, run out of the mayor’s office, an ordinance allowing backyard hen-raising was approved by Lakewood City Council in May 2016.

    Click here for more information about hens.

  • Raccoons+-

    Click here for information on raccoons.

  • List of animals not permitted in Lakewood+-

    According to section 505.18 of the Lakewood Codified Ordinances, the following animals are not permitted in Lakewood:
          (1)    All crotalid, elapid and venomous colubroid snakes;
          (2)    Apes; Chimpanzees (Pan); gibbons (hylobates); gorillas (Gorilla); orangutans (Pongo); and siamangs ( Symphalangus);
          (3)    Baboons (Papoi, Manrillus);
          (4)    Bears (Ursidae);
          (5)    Bovines (Bovidae), includes all members of the bovine family, for example goats, sheep, bison and buffalo;
          (6)    Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus);
          (7)    Crocodilians (Crocodilia);
          (8)    Constrictor snakes when fourteen feet in length or more;
          (9)    Coyotes (Canis latrans);
          (10)    Deer (Cervidae), includes all members of the deer family, for example, white – tailed deer, elk, antelope and moose;
          (11)   Elephants ( Elephas and Loxodonta);
          (12)    Foxes (Canis vulpes);
          (13)    Gamecocks and other fighting birds;
          (14)    Hippopotami ( Hippopotamidae);
          (15)    Horses (Equidae), includes all members of the horse family, for example donkeys, mules and zebras;
          (16)    Hyenas (Hyaenidae); .
          (17)    Jaguars (Panthera onca);
          (18)    Leopards (Panthera pardus);
          (19)    Lions ( Panthera leo);
          (20)    Lynxes (Lynx);
          (21)    Monkeys, old world ( Cercopithecidae);
          (22)    Ostriches (Struthio);
          (23)    Piranha fish ( Characidae);
          (24)    Puma (Felis concolor), also known as cougars, mountain lions and panthers;
          (25)    Rhinoceroses (Rhinocerotidae);
          (26)    Sharks (class Chondrichthyes);
          (27)    Snow leopards ( Panthera uncia);
          (28)    Swine (Suidae), including Pot-bellied pigs;
          (29)    Tigers (Panthera tigris);
          (30)    Wolves (Canis lupus), including wolf hybrids;
          (31)    All game birds, including but not limited to, water fowl, chickens (with the exception of those with a hen permit), roosters, ducks, geese, turkeys and common pigeon (other than a homing pigeon).

Animal Safety & Welfare Board Blogs

  • Preventing Bird Collisions+-

    Migratory birds move through Ohio in the spring and fall traveling to or from their breeding grounds. Experts estimate that up to 988 million birds are killed annually by building collisions in the U.S., with roughly 56% of mortality at low-rises, 44% at residences.

    You can help migratory birds at home by reducing nighttime lighting, treating reflective glass, planting native vegetation and carefully placing shrubs and bird feeders around windows. In highrises and lowrises: turn off exterior decorative lighting, dim lobby and atrium lighting, turn off interior lights or draw blinds, especially on upper floors, and consider reducing the reflectivity of glass surfaces, especially those adjacent to green spaces.

    For more ways to prevent bird collisions, vist

  • Balloon Releases Kill Wildlife & Cause Environmental Hazards+-

    Balloons kill wildlife, pollute the Earth, and waste helium, a non-renewable resource.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asks that Americans cease the release of balloons. Marine species like dolphins, whales, and turtles, as well as animals such as cows, dogs, sheep, and birds have all been hurt or killed by balloons. The animal is usually killed from the balloon blocking its digestive tract, leaving them to slowly starve to death. Animals can also become entangled in the balloon, or its ribbon, rendering them unable to move or eat.

    The City of Cleveland banned large balloon releases earlier this year, not only to limit environmental harm, but to prevent power outages and fires caused by mylar balloons hitting power lines. The Alliance of the Great Lakes discovered 18,000 balloons and balloon pieces during beach clean-ups between 2016 and 2018.

    To learn more, visit

  • Fourth of July Pet Safety 2022+-

    Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take precautions to keep your pets safe both during and after Fourth of July festivities. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters across the nation as the stress of fireworks can cause pets to run away. Be sure that your animals have up to date identification – tags, microchip information, a current photo of them in your possession – just in case. Many pets experience fear and anxiety from the booming sounds of fireworks and may benefit from medication – consult with your veterinarian. Leave your pets inside at home when attending any gatherings or fireworks displays, and ensure their environment is safe and secure – an escape proof room or crate is recommended; having someone stay at home with them may be the best option.

    The Lakewood Animal Shelter is closed on July 4th; if you find a lost dog, please call the non- emergency police line at 216-521-1234.

    For more tips to keep your pets safe during summer festivities, please visit:

  • Coping with the Loss of Your Pet+-

    Losing a pet certainly can be a sad experience.  Some of us are embarrassed to admit how dismal we feel, afraid that someone will say, “It’s only a cat,” or “You can always get another dog.”  Maybe you think you don’t have anyone who would understand your loss, so you keep quiet about it. Or maybe you live alone, and your pet was your only companion. Often some support while you’re going through this difficult time can be a big help.  And that brings us to the resources that are available online to help get you through this rough spot in your life.

    Visit t  for helpful suggestions on how you and your family can cope with grief.

  • Summer Safety For Pets: Environmental Safety+-

    Help your pets enjoy this beautiful time of year without having to suffer from environmental dangers. Summer is a great time to see the vet for parasite prevention and testing, vaccinations and allergy medication.

    Parasites can cause serious illness in our pets and prevention is simple. It only takes one mosquito bite to infect your dog or cat! A monthly heartworm prevention pill costs about $8 per dose and can protect your pet from such a terrible illness and agonizing treatment. You will need to have your pet tested for heartworm disease to get a prescription. Due to increasingly unpredictable temperature fluctuation throughout the year, The American Heartworm Society recommends that pets are given a dose every month, not just in the summer.  Staying consistent will save your pet from having to suffer the consequences of this horrible disease.

    Many heartworm prevention medications also deter fleas, mites, ticks, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Even if you have been giving your pet a regular dose of prevention, your vet still needs to administer an annual heartworm test, just to be sure. With a combination test for heartworms, a small blood sample can also be tested for other diseases transmitted by ticks, such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis. Early detection is key for successful treatment. Make an appointment with your vet to decide on the best prevention plan for your pets.

    We are experiencing a serious deer tick problem in Northeast Ohio right now. Do not let your animals roam in tick infested areas and try to check your pet’s skin and coat for ticks daily. Find out if the Lyme disease vaccination is right for your pet. If you need to remove a tick by hand, refer to for step-by-step instructions from The Humane Society of the United States.

    Flea and tick prevention can be satisfied with a variety of treatments, including spot-on medications, oral medications, shampoos, collars, sprays, powders and dips. Speak to your vet about the best option for your dog or cat.

    Maintain a beautiful yard while keeping your pets healthy this summer! Try using natural lawn treatments instead of harsh chemicals and make sure dangerous plants and other hazards are out of reach.

    Here are some tips to keep your yard pet-friendly this year:

    • Avoid using cocoa mulch, which contains the same toxin as chocolate.
    • Don’t let your pet spend time on any lawn that has been treated with chemicals.
    • If you use a lawn service, let them know you have pets.
    • Keep Citronella, tiki torches and insect coils out of reach.
    • When deciding on plants and flowers for your yard, do your research to make sure they are safe. There are a number of popular plants that are toxic to pets including lilies, azaleas, daffodils and many more. Lock up your plant food, too.

    The key to ensuring the safety of our pets during the summer is keeping a watchful eye on them. The change of season brings new challenges but all of these potential dangers can be prevented. Keep in mind that our animals are totally reliant on us to keep them out of harm’s way. Have a happy and healthy summer with your pets!

    Erin Shaughnessy is a Member of the Lakewood Animal Safety and Welfare Advisory Board.

    Important Numbers – Save These in Your Phone, Just In Case!

    Lakewood Animal Control / Animal Shelter
    (216) 529-5020

    ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
    (888) 426-4435

    Emergency Vet Services

    West Park Animal Hospital
    After Hours Emergency Services from 6 pm – 1 am
    4117 Rocky River Drive
    Cleveland, OH 44135
    (216) 252-4500

    Animal Emergency Clinic West
    Open 24/7 Including Holidays
    14000 Keystone Pkwy.
    Brook Park, OH 44135
    (216) 362-6000

  • Summer Safety For Pets: Safety In The Heat+-

    Prevention is vital in keeping our pets safe and healthy. The warmer months can be uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous for pets, but there are many easy ways to prepare for, and avoid, the dangers of summer.

    Safety in the Heat

    Dogs can overheat easily and can’t cool themselves off as efficiently as we can. Preventing heat stroke is far easier than treating it. Make sure your dog has shade when outside and unlimited access to fresh water. Try a kiddie pool! Your dog will be able to cool off and get a drink when it heats up. If you have a real pool, don’t leave your dog unsupervised, don’t let them drink from it and make sure to rinse off chemicals after each swim.

    If you leave your pet home alone, fans are often not enough as they do not cool dogs and cats the way they cool people. Our pets enjoy air conditioning as much as we do, but many of our Lakewood homes aren’t equipped. Try a cooling pad or set them up with a cold spot in the basement or on a bathroom floor. Make sure they have cold, fresh water and check on them often. Ask a neighbor to let you know if there is a power outage when you’re not home and your pets are shut inside the house.

    During warm weather, please remember these tips to keep your pet cool:

    • Offer access to unlimited fresh water!  Animals should always have fresh, clean water available.  Bring portable water bowls on walks and car rides.
    • Provide shade when outside.
    • To avoid hot pavement, try a 5 second test; if it’s too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for theirs.
    • Limit exercise or take walks early in the morning or late at night.
    • Keep all of your windows screened so your pets don’t fall out.
    • Apply sunscreen, especially to dogs with thin coats.

    Signs that an animal is overheated:

    • Excessive panting/difficulty breathing
    • Rapid heartbeat/respiration
    • Drooling
    • Mild weakness, stupor or collapse
    • Seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomit
    • A body temperature of over 104 degrees

    Breeds with flat faces (pugs, bulldogs, Persian cats) and those with dark or thicker coats are more likely to struggle with dehydration and heat stroke because they can’t cool themselves down as effectively as others. These breeds, as well as elderly or overweight pets and those who suffer from heart or lung disease should spend as much time as possible in air conditioned rooms.

    If your animal is experiencing heat stroke, the first thing to do is get them out of the heat. Then you’ll want to use cool (not cold) water to bring their temperature down, either in the tub or with wet rags on the back of the neck and in the groin area. Having these tips in mind will allow you to act quickly in an emergency.

    Visit to learn how to treat a pet with heat stroke:

    NEVER Leave Your Pet Unattended in the Car.

    Your vehicle can get dangerously hot very quickly, causing your animal organ damage or even death. Rolling down the windows has little effect, according to The Humane Society of the United States. When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour. When it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes. Your pet just isn’t safe alone in the car.

    Even if you think it’s cool enough to leave your dog in the car, someone else could disagree. Lakewood Animal Control fields calls from Good Samaritans non-stop in the summer. “You could leave your pet in the car for one minute and someone will call us,” says Animal Control Officer Kurt Bialosky. “Leave them at home.”

    If you see a pet stuck in a hot car, here are some steps you can take to help:

    • Get the make, model and license plate number.
    • Go into nearby businesses and ask management to make an announcement to find the owner.
    • If the owner can’t be found immediately, and you think the animal is in danger, call Animal Control at (216) 529-5020.

    The key to ensuring the safety of our pets during the summer is keeping a watchful eye on them. The change of season brings new challenges but all of these potential dangers can be prevented. Keep in mind that our animals are totally reliant on us to keep them out of harm’s way. Have a happy and healthy summer with your pets!

    Important Numbers – Save These in Your Phone, Just In Case!

    Lakewood Animal Control / Animal Shelter
    (216) 529-5020

    ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
    (888) 426-4435

    Emergency Vet Services

    West Park Animal Hospital
    After Hours Emergency Services from 5 pm – 1 am
    4117 Rocky River Drive
    Cleveland, OH 44135
    (216) 252-4500

    MedVet Cleveland West
    Open 24/7 Including Holidays
    14000 Keystone Pkwy.
    Brook Park, OH 44135
    (216) 362-6000

  • Summer Safety for Pets: Keeping Your Pets Safe On The 4th Of July+-

    While the Fourth of July is one of the best times of year to be a resident of Lakewood, the holiday can be a nightmare for pets. Did you know that July 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters across the country? The stress and anxiety that fireworks cause in animals can lead to pets running away from home and finding themselves scared, exhausted and in dangerous situations.  Many pets experience fear and anxiety from the booming sounds of fireworks and may benefit from medication – consult with your veterinarian. Your pet can panic and jump a fence or break away from a leash because of fireworks. Never leave your pet outside during fireworks and never take them with you to a fireworks display. If you believe they will experience anxiety when they hear the fireworks show, have someone stay with them during that time. Should the worst happen, and your pet runs away, make sure that their microchip is active and they have a collar with up-to-date tags that will make it easier to be reunited. Safety collars will release if your pet gets stuck on something unsafe. A little planning in advance can minimize the risks the holiday can bring.

    What if you find a lost dog on July 4th? Lakewood Animal Shelter is closed on Independence Day. Please call the non emergency police line at 216-521-6773.

    We owe it to our animals to understand the stress that fireworks can cause, take steps to reduce this stress, prevent escape from home, and maximize the chances they can be easily reunited with their families.

    Whether it’s an Independence Day celebration or just a summer cookout, make sure you designate a responsible person to keep an eye on your pets while you’re taking care of your guests. Too often our pets are left unattended to scarf down dropped food, get dehydrated or sneak out an open gate. Make sure your pets are safe and happy during get-togethers this year.

    Ask your family and friends (especially kids) not to feed your pet! Toxic foods include grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, avocados, citrus, coconut, alcohol, nuts, dairy, and bones. Some summer treats that your dog might enjoy are green beans, baby carrots or plain popcorn. Your cat will love lean fish, broccoli or frozen corn.

    Here are some tips to help keep your dog safe at home during your summer celebration:

    • Keep a visible tag with your name and phone number on your dog’s collar.
    • Leave your dog home during fireworks with a frozen stuffed treat and music or, ideally, a comforting dog-sitter.
    • Keep fireworks, sparklers & charcoal away from dogs.
    • During parties, keep your dog away from the grill and bonfires.
    • Have treats handy so your guests don’t offer non-permitted foods.
    • Does your pet get scared hearing the fireworks? Try a Thundershirt, which can also help during summer storms.
    • Make sure your dog gets exercise before parties begin.

    Between the  fireworks and parties, your pets can experience a lot of stress all in one day. Make sure they get the attention they need during the festivities.


  • Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips+-

    Did you know that cold weather can pose serious threats to your pets’ health?

    Here are some tips to help ensure your pet stays safe during the winter months:

    • Be aware of your pet’s limits for colder weather; their tolerance can vary based on coat, underlying health issues, body fat stores, and activity level. Cold weather may actually worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis.
    • Your car’s warm engine may be an appealing source of warmth f or outdoor or feral cats. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk your horn to give them some warning and allow time for escape.
    • Wipe your pets’ feet and routinely check their paws, especially after walks. Ice, road salt, and even antifreeze can accumulate between your dog’s toes, possibly leading to irritation, skin damage, lameness, or toxin exposure. Avoid walking on ice to avoid slips and falls.
    • Did you know that more pets are lost during winter than any other season? Snow and ice can ma sk scents that may otherwise help lead your pet safely home. Be sure your pet is always leashed when outside, wearing a collar with ID tag, and consider a microchip.
    • Just stay home! Cold cars can pose a threat to your dog’s health, especially if they are left unattended. Cats should always be kept indoors.

    For more tips, please visit: 10 winter weather tips pets/