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 for about pets and other wildlife in and around Lakewood.

Guide To Responsible Pet Ownership

Responsible Pet Owners as Tenants


  • Legislation+-

  • BSL Discussion+-

    PETA official supports strong regulation of pit bulls

    January 09, 2018

    LAKEWOOD – The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a cited expert in animal rights for over 37 years, notified Mayor Michael Summers that it supports “pit bull-specific laws and regulations” in order to protect pit bulls, other companion animals and the community at large.

    PETA’s Animal Care and Control Issues Manager Teresa Lynn Chagrin sent an email Jan. 8 to the Mayor and the entire City Council, which included a detailed PETA fact sheet advocating for pit bull-specific regulations and an exhaustive 15-year medical study by a team of trauma surgeons in San Antonio’s University of Texas Health Sciences Center.

    “This is the first time we have heard a balanced approach from an animal expert when answering the public safety question about pit bulls,” Summers said.

    The study, which was published in the Annals of Surgery, found that attacks by pit bulls were associated with considerably higher risk of death; caused more serious injuries; were more likely to require hospitalization; and, result in higher medical-care costs than attacks by any other breed. After a 15-year examination of national statistics, the authors reported the following:

    • One person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days
    • Two people are injured by pit bulls every day
    • One body part is severed and lost every 5.4 days as a result of pit bull attacks

    The report concludes, “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.”

    “The safety of our community comes first,” Summers said. “I am determined to protect the safety of our residents. We have proposed legislation that would allow pit bulls in our city, while providing protections that avoid jeopardizing the safety of all of us. What we have further learned from PETA is these same regulations serve to protect pit bulls from abuse and irresponsible pet owners as well.”

    At the beginning of the month, Mayor Summers jointly introduced legislation to City Council that strengthens dog control laws, adds requirements for responsible owners (e.g. mandatory spay and neuter, registration and leash control) and specific controls and regulations for pit bulls in place of the pit bull ban. The proposed legislation was determined through investigations of proven best practices adopted by cities throughout the nation.

    PETA’s representative, Teresa Lynn Chagrin, is available for discussion and comment about PETA’s position on pit bull specific laws and regulations and may be reached at 443-321-1277 or

    Mayor Summers also received a letter from the Humane Society of of the United States  which is displayed below:

    Dear Mayor Summers and Council Members,

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization, understands what a large responsibility it is to create a safe community for residents and to uphold standards of conduct through the enforcement of reasonable laws. We applaud the Council’s decision to examine Lakewood’s dog management ordinances, specifically the proposed repeal of the current breed ban. We strongly encourage the Council to refrain from implementing breed-specific regulations and instead focus on breed-neutral dog policy.

    The era of breed-specific legislation (BSL) is over – communities are repealing their breed-based ordinances after finding it to be extremely expensive, draining, and damaging. It is an ineffective animal management strategy that has failed everywhere it has been tried, and twenty-one states already prohibit BSL. Experts in policy-making recommend against using breed or any single-factor approach towards community animal management, and research has shown that while singling out a particular type of dog may give an illusion of protection, it does not work.

    The HSUS wholeheartedly supports reasonable regulations for all dogs and their owners, including provisions for regulating dogs who have shown themselves to be dangerous, as a critical tool in creating safe and humane communities. However, using physical breed standards as a proxy for determining whether a dog is dangerous is incredibly flawed. With advances in science and our increasing knowledge about a dog’s DNA and the relationship to appearance and behavior, we now know that breed is a complex issue that does not neatly translate into predictive behavior patterns. The physical appearance of a dog has no basis in determining whether a dog is likely to harm someone. Instead, breed-neutral factors such as whether a dog is well socialized, altered, receiving veterinary care and other similar issues are significantly more predictive of the likelihood that a dog may be dangerous.

    The most effective animal management strategies center around basic laws applied consistently to all dog owners. These laws, such as proper restraint and confinement ordinances, create standardized rules, norms, and expectations in the community and create a safer environment. When these laws are enforced consistently, enforcement agencies are able to positively engage the community through intervention, providing support and information to the vast majority of pet owners who love their pets and take good care of them.

    The HSUS would be happy to speak with policy makers in greater detail about this and offer more specific recommendations for breed-neutral laws which give enforcement agencies necessary powers to address dangerous incidents. The best use of limited local resources is an approach which ensures that dog owning residents are aware of standards and have access to the pet care services, information, and resources conducive to meeting them.  Everyone wants to live in a safe community and we should do everything possible to prevent harmful dog-related incidents from occurring. Our resources on dog behavior, dog management and dog ownership are free, and we would welcome the opportunity to partner with the city.


    Ms. Corey Roscoe
    Ohio Director, State Affairs
    t 614.570.0825

  • Animal Control+-

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

    Animal Shelter Hours
    Tuesday – 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
    Wednesday – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    Thursday – 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
    Friday – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    Saturday – 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    Closed on Monday and Sunday

    Animal Control Officers on Duty:
    Monday –  8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday –  8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Wednesday – 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Thursday –  8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Friday –  8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday – 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday – 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    The Citizens Committee for a Lakewood Animal Shelter (CCLAS) supports the Lakewood Animal Shelter through fundraising and providing volunteers to help the wardens care for the impounded animals. Click here for more information about CCLAS.

    Lakewood Animal Shelter/CCLAS Volunteers must have a police background check performed prior to working at the Shelter. Complete the attached application package and submit to Lakewood Animal Shelter, Lakewood Police Dept, 12650 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107.

    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 529-5020.

    • Trapped wildlife is disposed of per Ohio Division of Wildlife
      section 1501:31-15-03.
    • Outdoor nuisance trapping ceases when the temperature is below 35 degrees.

    Related Links

  • Animal Control FAQs+-

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

    A: The Shelter is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 PM to 4:00PM. The shelter is located at 1299 Metropark Drive, Lakewood.

    Q:        How much does it cost to adopt an animal?

    A:        $35 

    Q:        I have an animal I can no longer keep, can I bring it to you?

    A: The Lakewood Animal Shelter only takes in stray animals found in the City of Lakewood. We are a small shelter and just do not have the space for a large volume of animals.

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

    A: There is a website at, where you can find a listing of local animal shelters, and other links for rescue groups.

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

    A: Some situations may not constitute an emergency. Contact the Lakewood Police Department at (216) 521-6773, and they can advise or call in 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 if an animal is not adopted it will not be euthanized. At the Lakewood Animal Shelter all dogs not claimed or adopted are transferred to the Cuyahoga County Kennel. All cats not claimed or adopted are euthanized.

    Q:        I am having a stray cat problem in my neighborhood, can I borrow a trap from you?

    A: The Lakewood Animal Shelter and animal control do not lend traps for cats. However, if you rent or buy a trap, we will pick up from you. Call the shelter for available hours.

    Q:        I would like to raise backyard chickens. 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. Over time, there are 50 permits allowed in Lakewood. For an application and more information go at the following link:

    For additional questions contact the Mayor’s Office at 216-529-6600.


  • 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.

    Responsible Pet Owners as Tenants

    Guide To Responsible Pet Ownership


    Bird Feeding Guide

    City Chickens

  • Coyotes+-

    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.

    Click here for more information about coyotes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).