Dogs at Large

Dogs can be picked up by the Dog Warden or any member of the public if they are running at large.  If a dog is picked up by the Dog Warden in Wayne County, it will be taken to the Wayne County Dog Shelter located at 5694 Burbank Road in Wooster, OH.  Often times if a dog is picked up and wearing its' dog license, the Dog Warden will attempt to return the dog home before taking it to the shelter (on its' first offense). If the dog is taken to the Dog Shelter, it will be well cared for until an owner is able to claim the dog.  If a dog is not claimed, it will be evaluated and placed for adoption.

The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog at large will incur a few costs.  They can be cited and have to pay fines much like a traffic ticket. If the dog is taken to the Dog Shelter there will also be fees assessed prior to the owner claiming the dog.  These fees cover the cost of the dog warden and Dog Shelter staff's time for caring for your pet as well as basic vaccines, flea treatment, and dewormer.  These basic care requirements are issued on intake for any dog coming into the Shelter in an effort to reduce disease in a shelter environment. From picking up your dog running at large to making sure it has a comfortable space while it's waiting to be claimed, everything we do, is done to ensure the safety of your pet.  We care about your dog/s and want to help in a time of need.

Please practice responsible pet ownership and try to prevent your dog from escaping. Check your fence frequently for areas that might have been dug out or for repairs that might need done.  Make sure that your dog is leashed or in a separate area before you open an exterior door. Install a running line or line on a stake to allow your dog to be outside without being loose.  Many dog bites occur while an owner is watching their loose dog in their yard but a stranger walks by on the sidewalk and the dog takes off. Please take precautions to prevent these types of incidents. We understand that accidents happen and sometimes dogs run away.  The Wayne County Dog Shelter wants to help put your mind at ease in knowing that your pet will be well cared for should it be picked up running at large. 


The exact law can be found in Section 955.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

NOTE: If your dog has been deemed dangerous, a different set of laws apply.

955.22 (B) No owner, keeper, or harborer of any female dog shall permit it to go beyond the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer at any time the dog is in heat unless the dog is properly in leash.

955.22 (C) Except when a dog is lawfully engaged in hunting and accompanied by the owner, keeper, harborer, or handler of the dog, no owner, keeper, or harborer of any dog shall fail at any time to do either of the following:

(1) Keep the dog physically confined or restrained upon the premises of the owner, keeper, or harborer by a leash, tether, adequate fence, supervision, or secure enclosure to prevent escape;

(2) Keep the dog under the reasonable control of some person.