Division of Animal Care & Control


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. You can call the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069 between the hours of 7:30am and 3:00pm, 7 days/week.

At this time the Animal Control Officers will pick up stray dogs, stray injured cats, and trapped nuisance wildlife (skunks, groundhogs, opposums, and raccoons). Call the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069.

The Division of Animal Control can help you between 7:30am and 3pm, 7 days/week, or you can register online at the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer's Website, or call the County Dog Warden at 216.525.7877 for a location near you.

You can pay your fine by mail or at the Clerk of Courts Office located on the 3rd floor of the Justice Center. The Justice Center is located at 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio (map). The phone number is 216.664.4966. See the back of the citation for full instructions.

Under City Ordinance 603A, exotic pets are not permitted. See the full list of the animals and the ordinance for more details.

Many dogfight injuries are life-threatening and cause death. Most fights feature pit bulls which have been bred and trained for fighting. They cause bruising, puncture wounds, and broken bones with their powerful jaws. Dogs often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, exhaustion, or infection. Some owners train their dogs for fights with cats, rabbits or smaller dogs. These "bait" animals are often stolen pets or animals obtained from "free to good home" ads.

Because participants can make a lot of money at it, misdemeanor penalties are not strong enough to make them want to quit. It is cruel and premeditated. 
Dogfighters go to great lengths to avoid being caught by Police, making investigations difficult, dangerous, and expensive and officials are more likely to investigate dogfighting if it is a felony. As more states make dogfighting a felony, states with low penalties will become magnets for dogfighters.

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Remove unused pet food and water bowls at night and never leave them out for wild animals
  • Don't store garbage in bags - keep it in cans with secure lids or stored in a secure area
  • Harvest gardens often and pick up fruit from the ground
  • Control access by keeping pet doors locked and sealing entry holes in and under buildings, eaves, air ducts and decks. Slotted vent covers are better than screens
  • Make a trench around a deck at least one foot deep, put in ¼” screening or metal flashing, and fill with dirt. Attach screen to deck with nails or fence staples. Before completing, make sure no animals are trapped inside. Sprinkle flour around entrance holes and check for tracks in the morning- if there are none 3 nights in a row, there probably are no animals. This may also be used along fences.
  • Animals damaging lawns may leave if there are no grub worms or subsoil insects. Organic and chemical control products can be bought at hardware or garden stores. If using chemical products, remember the safety of pets and children
  • Animals may be kept away from roof areas by trimming branches 10 feet from roof and by keeping climbing plants away from roof area and eaves.

Animal Control Officers issue citations for violations of the city's animal ordinances. A municipal judge will decide the amount of the fine which will range from $25 to $1,000.

By City law, dogs and cats are held for 72 hours. But in order to give owners a chance to find lost pets, the Division of Animal Control will hold a stray animal three days not including the day it is picked up, Sundays, and holidays. After that, the animal is evaluated and transferred to other shelters and rescue groups if deemed adoptable. At this time the Cleveland Kennel does very limited adoptions.

Adoptable animals are held as long as possible, but those deemed not adoptable are humanely euthanized.

No. The Animal Protective League is a non-profit (supported through donations) that accepts animals surrended by their owners. Cleveland Animal Control is a government entity (supported through tax dollars) which handles animal control related issues.

The Division of Animal Control does not offer this service, but low-cost spay/neuter referral is available at 216.664.2759. The following organizations offer low cost spay/neuter services:

The Cleveland Division of Animal Control, Animal Protective League, and Cuyahoga County Kennels have a partnership. Adoptable dogs are transferred from the Division of Animal Control to avoid overcrowding.

The Division of Animal Control posts photos of available dogs here. 

Traps are set up for stray dogs when needed, according to written guidelines. Please call the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069 seven days/week from 7:30am to 3pm for details. The Division of Animal Control does not trap cats at this time.

There are no city ordinances regarding the use of dog parks, but they do have signs that list their rules.

The Division of Animal Control does not have a Veterinarian at this time. Check the yellow pages or look online for a Veterinarian near you.

To best procedure to follow is to call and visit:

Only you can truly identify your dog. You should also check with neighboring city animal control offices. We also recommend that you post a notice on and check the lost/found web sites including Petango, Cleveland.com, Craigslist.org, Petharbor.com, and missingpetads.com.

You can check the yellow pages for a veterinarian near you. If you need a Veterinarian after normal business hours or on weekends, you can call:

20400 Emerald Parkway, 
Cleveland, OH 44135 

Westpark Animal Hospital 
4117 Rocky River Drive 

VCA Great Lakes Veterinary Specialists 
5035 Richmond Road 
Bedford Heights, OH 44146

The Division of Animal Control does not provide Veterinarian or grooming services, but you can find providers online or in the yellow pages.

The City of Cleveland does not require a breeders permit.

Yes. The cost of the microchip is $25. Please check for service availability at 216.664.3069 prior to coming, and bring your pet to the Kennel (map) at 9203 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH  44102. The Kennel opens at 10am daily. It closes at 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and at 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Microchips are also available at the Cleveland APL (website) and many veterinarians in the area.

The Division of Animal Control does not offer this service, but you can visit or contact one of these organizations for humane education for children:

There is no city ordinance which pertains to the number of animals permitted in a household.

Questions concerning the health of your pet should be addressed by your Veterinarian.

It is not required by law, but many owners concerned with their pet's well-being will make sure the cat has an identification tag or has been microchipped.

Animal Control Staff will follow-up on all animals found with any type of identification, canvass lost pet notices posted at the Kennel, in the newspaper, and various lost and found web sites. In addition, lost and found animals are posted here.

The Kennel accepts and needs pet supplies, blankets, beds, towels, leashes, collars, dog/puppy food, cat/kitten food, cat litter, dog treats, food bowls, water bowls, and money.

Donations can be dropped off or mailed to:
City of Cleveland Kennel
9203 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44102
Attn: Chief Animal Control Officer

You can contact the Friends of The Cleveland Kennel or call 216.274.9480 for more information.

No. The Division of Animal Control only picks up stray dogs. The Animal Protective League accepts dogs from their owners. You can contact them at 216.771.4616.

No. Check the yellow pages or online for "Boarding Kennels".

Bordetello Vaccination and DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and parainfluenza).

  • Never approach a strange dog, especially one who's tied up, confined behind a fence, or in a car
  • Don't pet a dog, even your own, without letting him/her see and sniff you first
  • Never turn your back to a dog and run away - a dog's natural instinct is to chase and catch prey
  • Don't disturb a dog that's sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies
  • Be cautious around strange dogs - if a dog doesn't know you, you may be seen as a threat
  • Remain motionless with your hands at your sides until the dog loses interest, then slowly back away until s/he is out of sight. Never turn your back to the dog
  • If the dog attacks, "feed" it your jacket, purse, or anything that you can put between you and the dog
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears and your chin tucked to your chest and remain motionless and try to not scream or roll around

No, but the Animal Protective League has a Trap Neuter Release Program and can be contacted at 216.377.1624 ext 124.

Contact the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069.

Contact the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069. If it is after 3pm call the Cleveland Police at 216.621.1212.

The Animal Protective League (216.771.4616) has Cruelty Investigators that investigate complaints.

You can contact the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069. Residents have several service options to choose from regarding nuisance wildlife.

  1. You can use your own trap. Animal Control will pick up any trapped wildlife except skunks (contracted trappers will pick up skunks). We will return the trap or it can be picked up at Animal Control which is located at 9203 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.
  2. You can borrow a trap from us for a $20 returnable deposit. We will pick up any trapped wildlife except skunks (contracted trappers will pick up skunks). The trap will be returned or it can be picked up and used until you are satisfied. The deposit is returned when the trap is returned.
  3. The wildlife can be put on the contracted Wildlife Trapper list. Time frame for this service is unknown because it is difficult to estimate how long it will take the trapper to handle each assigned service call.

If you are in need of trapping services, call 216.664.3069 and leave your name, address, zip code, phone number, and type of nuisance animal. The trapper is not contracted to trap animals that are inside homes. If an animal becomes trapped inside your house, it is your responsibility to handle that situation. The Wildlife Trapping Service is available from April 15th to October 31st each year.

Call the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069 or the Police at 216.621.1212

The adoption fee is $40 plus the cost of a current year license. The cost of the license is $21. The adoption fee includes vaccination, spay/neuter, and micro chip.

Thoroughly clean the wound by washing with soap and tap water as soon as possible. Seek immediate medical attention and/or contact your family physician. Report the animal bite to the Division of Kennels at 216.664.3069 with the following information:

  • Name of Animal Owner (if known)
  • Address/location of animal
  • Type of animal (Dog, cat, etc.)
  • Date of bite

In this sadistic "contest", two dogs (bred, conditioned, and trained to fight) fight for spectator's entertainment and gambling. Fights average 1-2 hours or more, and end when one of the dogs will not or cannot continue. In addition to these fights, there are reports of an increase in unorganized dogfights in urban areas.

Children are sometimes present, and can learn insensitivity to animal suffering, enthusiasm for violence and a lack of respect for the law. Those who attend gamble illegally, and weapons have been found at fights because there are large amounts of cash. Dogfighting has been connected to other violence, including homicide. Illegal drugs are often sold and used at dogfights. Fighting dogs are aggressive towards people as well as other animals, and children are especially at risk because of their size.

Yes. Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states and a felony offense in almost every state.

The Kennel opens at 10am daily. It closes at 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and at 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Kennel is closed on holidays.

The Division of Animal Control is located at 9203 Detroit Road Cleveland, Ohio 44102. For directions call 216.664.3069. 

The Division of Animal Control has a contract with a veterinarian to examine animals housed at the Kennel. The veterinarian does not perform any other services.

Call 216.664.3069 with the dog owner's address. An Animal Control Officer will respond and issue a written notice of complaint. This phone is answered 7 days/week from 7:30am to 3pm. An answering machine records after-hours calls.

Call the Cleveland Animal Protective League at 216.771.4616. They have trained investigators to investigate claims of animal cruelty.

Contact the Division of Animal Control at 216.664.3069 (7:30am to 3:00pm, 7 days/week). After hours, call Police at 216.621.1234, and they will contact the Animal Control Officer.

The Division of Animal Control is located at:

9203 Detroit Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44102

P: 216.664.3069
F: 216.348.7359