Public Safety

Animal Control

responsible for enforccing ordinances relating to the control, impoundment, and dispositon of animals

Public Safety

Animal Control

responsible for enforccing ordinances relating to the control, impoundment, and dispositon of animals

Emergency: 911

Animal Control: 317-549-4814 / 317-341-2683

Non-Emergency: 317-545-7575

If there is an issue involving an animal, please call Animal Control at 317-549-4814 or 317-341-2683 and an animal control officer will respond. Call 911 for an emergency situation, such as an animal attack or bite. Please call Non-Emergency Dispatch after normal business hours for an animal control response.

Missing Pets

If your pet is missing, check with Indianapolis Animal Care Services at 2600 S. Harding St., where all strays picked up in Lawrence are taken. The shelter is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Indianapolis Animal Care Services is closed on Wednesday.

You also may adopt cats and dogs at the shelter. Please visit the Indianapolis Animal Care Services website at

Indianapolis' DPW does not remove dead animals from Lawrence streets.

Nuisance Wildlife

For problems with nuisance wildlife (coyote, racoon, oppossum, birds, bats, muskrats and the like) check the Department of Natural Resources web page for Nuisance Wildlife recommendations or contact one of many Animal Services listed in the Yellow Pages under Pest Control Services. 

Pet Licenses

Apply for Pet License

For animal license requirements in the City of Lawrence please see Title 3 of the Municipal Code.


City of Lawrence Animal Municipal Codes (As of August 21, 2023)


   (A)   It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any animal owned, kept or maintained by him or her to run at large without restraint within the city.

   (B)   Any animal found off the property of the owner or keeper of the animal and not on a leash under the control of a person who is able to control the animal is hereby declared to be a nuisance.


   (A)   It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep or harbor within the city any animal which, by its frequent or habitual howling, yelping, barking or making of other noises, shall create an annoyance or significant disturbance to the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood or which by that noise interferes with the reasonable use and enjoyment of another person’s property, and these conditions are hereby declared to be a nuisance.

   (B)   No owner, keeper or person harboring an animal shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his or her animals to prevent them molesting passers-by, chasing vehicles or habitually attacking other domestic animals, and these conditions are hereby declared to be a nuisance.


   (A)   It shall be unlawful for any person to own or harbor any dog or cat within the corporate limits of the City of Lawrence without first paying a license fee in the amount prescribed as follows:

      (1)   A $3 license fee for each neutered male dog or cat and spayed female dog or cat; and

      (2)   A $5 license fee for each non-neutered male dog or cat and unspayed female dog or cat.

   (B)   Proof of a rabies vaccination shall be presented at the time the license fee is paid as provided herein.


   It shall be unlawful to maintain or harbor within the City a dog or cat over six months of age unless the animal has been vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian or veterinary surgeon with anti-rabies vaccine. The initial vaccination shall occur prior to the animal reaching six months old as recommended by a licensed veterinarian and the animal’s vaccinations shall be kept current by a licensed veterinarian using either the yearly vaccine of the three-year vaccine as deemed necessary for the animal’s health and the public’s well being.


   Every owner or keeper of an animal kept in the city shall see that the animal:

   (A)   Is kept in a clean, sanitary and healthy manner and is not confined so as to be forced to stand, sit or lie in its own excrement; the person(s) responsible for animal(s) shall regularly, and as often as necessary to prevent odor or health and sanitation problems, maintain all animal areas or areas of animal contact;

   (B)   Has food that is appropriate for the species in adequate amounts to maintain good health, fresh potable drinking water where appropriate, shelter and ventilation, including quarters that are protected from excessive heat and cold and are sufficient size to permit the animal to exercise and move about freely;

   (C)   Shall not be tethered by use of a choke collar, or on any collar too small for the size and age of the animal, nor by any rope, chain or cord directly attached to the animal’s neck, nor by a leash less than 12 feet in length, or of an unreasonable weight so as to prevent the animal from moving about freely;

   (D)   Is protected against abuse, cruelty, neglect, torment, overload, overwork or any other mistreatment;

   (E)   Shall receive reasonably necessary medical care, in addition to the required rabies vaccination, which shall include recommended vaccinations as required by accepted veterinary proper care, and is segregated from other animals so as to prevent transmittal of the disease; and

   (F)   Is maintained in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws.


   It shall be unlawful for a person to incite, train to fight (other than crime prevention dog) or set any animal to fighting another animal or incite combat between animals and humans in the city.


   (A)   It shall be unlawful to leave a domestic animal unattended in a vehicle when the conditions in that vehicle would constitute a health hazard to the animal.

   (B)   It shall be unlawful for any dog or cat to ride in the bed of a pickup truck on public streets, highways and/or rights-of-way unless the animal is securely caged and protected from the environment or unless the bed of the pickup truck is enclosed with a camper shell or other device and there is appropriate and sufficient ventilation. 


   (A)   No person shall knowingly allow, except as provided in division (B) below, an animal to defecate on a public street or byway of any municipally owned or public land or buildings, or private property, without permission of the land owner.