Animal Control

Dogs and License

State Law prohibits dogs running at large throughout the Township. Dogs must be: confined within the owner’s residence/property; firmly secured by means of a collar and chain – or other device – so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured; under reasonable control of some other person; or engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, or field training. Failure to obey this law may subject the dog owner to a fine of up to $500. All dogs at large within the township are currently handled by the West Deer Township Police Department. Anyone who sees a dog running at large throughout the Township may contact the West Deer Police Department at (724) 265-1100 from 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Anyone who sees a dog running at large outside of those normal hours may contact Allegheny County Dispatch at (412) 473-3056, and a West Deer police officer will be dispatched.

All dogs in Allegheny County must be licensed. Licenses – either annual or lifetime – must be obtained through the County Treasurer’s Office in the County Building in downtown Pittsburgh. The penalty for failing to license a dog in the County is a fine of up to $300. The Township cannot issue the license, but applications for the County license are available at the Township. Please contact us for details.

All dogs in the State of Pennsylvania must also have a current rabies vaccination. Certification of vaccination must be in the form of a statement signed by a license veterinarian attesting to the vaccination of the dog and recording: the identification; breed; sex; age; color of the animal; the vaccination tag number; the name; lot number; duration of immunity; date of manufacture of the vaccine; and date of vaccination. The rabies tag alone does not constitute proof of vaccination. Violations of this law may subject the dog owner to a fine of up to $300.

Dog Shelter

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The West Deer Township Dog Shelter is operated by the Township as a service to the community. It is the only municipally-operated dog shelter in the area, and is staffed by volunteers. The shelter relies on support from the community.

Only dogs are housed. No other animals – including cats – are accepted. Cats are, however, part of the spay and neutering program as seen below.

The West Deer Dog Shelter exists to helps the lost and stray dogs of West Deer Township. Any time a dog is found, attempts are made to reunite them with their owners. If an owner cannot be found, the dogs are given vaccinations, neutered or spayed, and given a health check by our vet. They are then placed in loving indoor homes.

The shelter holds a maximum of twelve dogs. Unlike larger shelters, our animals are not usually living in cages. They have the freedom to come inside the building, or outside into a large fenced-in area. This allows the dogs to remain socialized and not become cage-bound.

If you are trying to find the Shelter, it is located on the orange belt near Deer Lakes High School directly behind the West Deer Township Municipal Building on 109 East Union Road.

For general information call 724.265.3680, option 5.


West Deer Dog Shelter is now accepting donations via Venmo @westdeerdogshelter. You will need to download the Venmo app and when asked for phone number for verification, please enter 5519.

Rite Aid Fundraiser for West Deer Dog Shelter:  Click on our link.  Even if you fill one prescription it will help us raise funds.  West Deer Township Dog Shelter link:

Donations by mail are also welcome, please send to:  West Deer Dog Shelter 109 East Union Road Cheswick, PA 15024.

For adoption or volunteer information call Barb at 724.265.3680, option 5.

West Deer Township Dog Shelter Mission

TO RESCUE lost and stray dogs in West Deer Township.
TO SHELTER lost and stray dogs in need of shelter, protection, or medical care.
TO RETURN lost dogs back to their owners.
TO ADOPT unclaimed, abused, and homeless dogs to new families.
TO TEACH dogs, people, and the community to live in harmony with each other through education.

Spay and Neutering Program

The Township Dog Shelter is pleased to introduce the Margaret Albrecht Spay and Neutering Assistance Program. Through this program, the Shelter provides assistance to West Deer Township residents with spay and neutering costs for dog and cat owners who meet program requirements. Spay and neutering costs will also be covered for Feral cats under this program. Please contact Jodi French for details at 724.265.3680, option 4.

Margaret Albrecht Spay and Neutering Fact Sheet

Application for Spay and Neutering Assistance Program

Dogs Currently Available for Adoption can be found on

Under the Shelters and Rescue tab click on Find an Animal Shelter or Rescue Group.  Type West Deer under group name then click on the magnifying glass under Pet List.

To visit the shelter, please call 724.265.3680, option 5 for an appointment.