Nuisance animals include: raccoons, opossums, squirrels, groundhogs, woodchucks, skunks, weasels, minks and rabbits. Please report any nuisance animals that may be a public health risk to the Lake County General Health District. Fill out the form on their website or call 440-350-2543. If you need to get rid of a nuisance animal, please see one of the Nuisance Wildlife Resources below. 


Potentially Lost or Stray Pets

See a dog or cat that may possibly be lost or on the loose? Contact the right organizations to help:

  • For loose dogs, call the Lake County Dog Shelter at 440-350-2640
  • For cats, dogs or any lost or injured animal, call the Lake Humane Society at 440-951-6122
  • If you are having trouble contacting a shelter, call dispatch at the Painesville Police Department at 440-354-3434 for assistance


Report Animal Bites and Scratches

Please report to the Lake County General Health District wild animal vs. human, wild animal vs. pet and pet vs. human encounters as potential rabies exposures for investigation. An effort should be made to identify, locate and contain a stray domestic animal that may have bitten or scratched a human. Lake County General Health District investigates nuisance complaints to determine if there is a public health risk or environmental crime. Please call fill out the form on their website or call 440-350-2543.


Bats in Home

Please refer any concerns regarding bats found in a home, or human and pet exposures to the Lake County General Health District at 440-350-2543. It is important that residents do not release a bat to the outdoors that was found in their home without first speaking to the Health District. If indoor bats are captured, care must be taken not to damage the brain.


Nuisance Wildlife Resources

  • Ohio State Wildlife District 3 (330-644-2293): General wildlife including hawks, owls, beavers, wild turkeys, deer, coyotes and black bears
  • U.S.D.A. Migratory Birds (419-625-9093): Hawks and owls are protected under State and Federal statues and may not be possessed dead or alive
  • Lake MetroParks Rehab Center (440-256-1404): Injured or orphaned animals or birds - please do not move on your own! Rehab center will not take raccoons, skunks or bats
  • Local Animal Trappers: There are many local businesses that handle animal control and nuisance. Please note these licensed trappers are private contractors and do charge a fee for their services


Feral and Free Roaming Cats

Unfortunately, the City of Painesville does not provide assistance with feral or free roaming cats. While there are laws that prohibit animals to run at large (including cats and dogs), it is difficult to prove ownership of cats, particularly because they are not required to be registered and often do not have on collars identifying ownership.


If feral or free roaming cats are a problem in your neighborhood, we recommend the following:

  1. Obtain an appropriate trap and/or hire a company to trap the cat(s)
  2. Monitor the trap on a regular basis – more given inclement weather conditions
  3. Contact an area shelter or rescue group to determine if they have room and/or will accept feral or free roaming cats
Did You Know?
Feral cats are the “wild offspring of domestic cats” and are primarily the result of pet owner’s abandonment or failure to spay or neuter their animal, allowing them to breed uncontrolled. Feral cats can be found behind homes, near businesses, in alleys, parks and abandoned buildings. Most feral cats are elusive and do not trust humans. A pair of breeding cats, which can have two or more litters per year, can produce 420,000 offspring over a seven-year period. The overpopulation problem carries a hefty price tag! Statewide, it creates a huge problem because hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year on animal control, shelters and related expenses.


Feeding Deer

Please do not feed deer and other wild animals in your yard or neighborhood. Although it may seem like an act of kindness, it causes much more harm than good.

  • Deer spread diseases by carrying ticks that can have deadly Lyme Disease and other infectious diseases
  • Human food is unnatural to deer. It takes two to four weeks of feeding for deer to obtain any nutrients from human food. The rapid exposure to concentrated grain diet can even lead to death. Corn is also not good. 
  • Habituation to humans leads to increases in vehicle collisions and aggressive behavior
  • Long-term habitat destruction occurs (aka your neighbors' yards and gardens)
  • It increases risk of deer-to-deer diseases like chronic wasting disease and tuberculosis due to gathering in large numbers
  • "Feed junkies" behave unnaturally as they lose their natural wariness to humans and odd behavior attracts predators
  • Food attracts other nuisance animals and predators, like coyotes. These animals then become a danger to neighborhood pets like cats and dogs