Pets are really important to us here in Toledo and we have a very special connection to every veterinarian in Toledo.
For 10 years now, the Toledo Blade newspaper has been reporting aggressively on policies and conditions at the Lucas County dog shelter. Back in 2009, the shelter euthanized 72 percent of the dogs it took in. In 2018, more than 78 percent of dogs handled by the shelter were reunited with owners, adopted out or turned over to rescue groups. The paper publishes daily lists of dogs that are killed and dogs that are adopted out. It publishes photos and names and information about dogs available for adoption.
A local law that has been in place since the 1980s has defined pit bulls as vicious dogs, and the Lucas County shelter had a policy in place that prohibited letting the animals leave the facility unless they were being reclaimed by an owner. Toledo erased that law in 2010 and began defining vicious dogs by their behavior and not their breed. Ohio followed suit in 2012 with a change in state law.
Meanwhile, groups such as Toledo’s PET Bull Project—it stands for Prevent, Educate and Train—work “to help our dogs and their owners become good citizens.” The group’s members make rounds of area parks to offer free training sessions and teach people how to safely interact with dogs. It operates a Pet Care-a-Van that distributes leashes and collars, and it partners with Humane Ohio to run a pet-food bank for dog and cat owners.
Other unique programs run by local groups include the Toledo Are Humane Society’s Barn Cat Program, which places “felines who are less than friendly” in outdoor spaces around people who promise to provide them food, water, and shelter. Another Humane Society effort, HARP (Hope and Recovery Pets), places companion dogs and cats with adults referred by local mental-health agencies. The society says it’s the first emotional-support animal placement program in the United States.
Among city laws in Toledo that govern pet ownership:
Pet stores that opened in 2014 or afterward must keep certificates verifying the source of their cats and dogs and can only obtain them from shelters, humane societies and rescue organizations. Owners cannot keep dogs tethered and unattended for more than 30 minutes at a time. Dogs are considered a nuisance to neighbors if they bark, whine, screech or howl for more than 15 minutes continuously or for more than a half-hour intermittently. Convicted felons may not own dangerous, unspayed or unneutered dogs.
Toledo falls under Ohio’s ban on most exotic and endangered animals. The city allows residents to keep up to six hens, but it bars them from raising roosters.
Maumee Bay State Park welcomes dogs and cats to stay with guests in their cabins, but there is a $15-per-pet charge and a limit of two pets per room. Dogs are allowed on the park’s 10 miles of hiking trails and in its campgrounds, but they’re prohibited from Maumee Bay’s Lake Erie beach and its inland lake. Dogs are welcome at the park’s other inland lake, but they must be leashed even if they go in the water. Dogs and other pets are not allowed in Ohio’s state nature preserves, including three that are outside Toledo.
After five years of lobbying, site identification and preparation, a group called Toledo Unleashed opened the Glass City Dog Park on the city’s South Side. The volunteer-run park requires a $45 annual membership. Other local off-leash areas exist at the Toledo Pet Farm, a private facility, and at Middlegrounds Metropark in downtown Toledo.
Toledo also has a growing number of restaurants and bars that welcome pets on their patios.
For more information, visit:
City of Toledo code
Toledo Area Humane Society