Frequently Asked Questions

The Lawton Animal Welfare Divisions Mission is to promote public health and safety and represent the morals of the community through the humane care and protection of its animals. This mission is obtainable through the high standards of professionalism in education, investigation, enforcement, adjudication, rescue, rehabilitations and the adoption process.

The community can best be served through common decency in caring and direct action to bring about the immediate resolution to all the problems concerning animal welfare in the City of Lawton. 

It is the duty and responsibility of the Animal Welfare Division to represent all Citizens of Lawton, by fulfilling their mission through enforcement of City Ordinances and State Laws, providing educational programs, providing spay and neutering services for our adoptable animals to prevent overpopulation, and providing humane treatment of all animals while in our care.

It is the goal of the Lawton Animal Welfare Division to assist the community to end the needless suffering of all animals and reduce the need for euthanasia, through Partnership Programs and Education.

It is also the responsibility of the Lawton Animal Welfare Division to bridge the gap between the City of Lawton, its Citizens, Rescues, and the Animals in our community, as a single viable team. 


All dogs and cats that live within the jurisdiction of Lawton Animal Welfare are required to be licensed. City licenses are available from the Lawton Animal Welfare Division.


An “A” license will be issued for dogs and cats that have been spayed or neutered (Fixed). The fee for this license is $10.00 (no charge for Senior Citizens age 62 & older). There is no renewal fee as long as the license is validated every year, with a current copy of their Rabies shot/record turned into Lawton Animal Welfare, prior to the current expiration date.


A “B” license will be issued for dogs and cats that have NOT been spayed or neutered. The fee for this license is $50.00 with an annual renewal fee of $50.00. (Senior Citizens are not exempt from this fee). Licenses must be validated every year, with a current copy of their Rabies shot/record turned into Lawton Animal Welfare, prior to the current expiration date. Article 5-5 Section 5-5-501

*Proof of current rabies vaccination, by a licensed Veterinarian, and proof of sterilization is required to purchase and/or validate each license.

Number of Animals Permitted:
You are allowed up to three (3) dogs or cats, in any combination, totaling three (3) without any additional fees or permits.
You may own up to seven (7) dogs and/or cats, in any combination, if you apply for a Special Handlers Permit. You must obtain a Special Handler’s Permit for each dog or cat over the limit of three (3) and up to seven (7). The fee for this license is $28.75, annually.


Control of Animals Required:

It is unlawful for any owner or person to permit any animal to run at large. Any dog or cat that is not confined and not under physical control of its owner / leaseholder or keeper will be presumed to be running at large. Any animal found running at large within the city limits shall be impounded by an Animal Welfare Officer and taken to Lawton Animal Welfare and/or cite the owner of such dog or cat to appear in Municipal Court.  Fines for running at large are a minimum of $100.00 for the first offense, $150.00 for the second offense and $200.00 for the third and any consecutive offenses. The third impoundment within 24 months requires mandatory sterilization.


No person shall, at any time, fasten, chain, tie, or tether any animal.  Should you have a confinement issue with your pet, you should consider erecting an escape-proof enclosure.  Minimum requirements for any outside enclosure is 100’ square feet and are outlined in the definitions in Section 5-1-101 A-37 of the city code. Article 5-1 Section 5-1-120 F

Sterilization Spay/Neuter and Breeding/Advertising/Transfer Permits: BAT Permit Required

Each year, thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized by cities across Oklahoma because they are unwanted or go unclaimed. In an effort to combat this situation, city ordinances have been put in place to limit the breeding of dogs and cats and to ensure that those that are advertised for sale or given away are sterilized.


Owners who wish to breed their dog or cat and meet the requirements of the breeding/advertising/

transfer (BAT) permit ($250.00) may apply for such permit through the Lawton Animal Welfare Division. The holder of the permit would be authorized to breed, sell, trade, advertise or transfer ownership of no more than one litter per licensed animal per year.


A (BAT) permit must be obtained by, but not limited to persons wishing to breed their dog or cat, persons wishing to advertise the sale or give away of an unaltered dog or cat, persons who intentionally or unintentionally cause or allow the breeding of a dog or cat. Article 5 Section 5-1-105 and Section 5-1-106; the fine for violation of this ordinance is $500.00.

Property owner Fencing/Enclosure Requirement:


Property owners allowing tenants to have dogs on their premises must provide an adequate enclosed space to secure the animal.  Article 5 Section 5-1-120 H

Impoundment of an Animal:

Impound fees are assessed and are based on compliance with all or none of the following requirements: spay/neuter/rabies/licensing. Impound fees range from as little as $00.00 for the initial impoundment, if current on City License, and daily boarding fees are $10.00 a day, and are higher depending on the level of compliance and duration of stay within the shelter. 

The different scenarios in which I reference; 

#1. Is the animal already registered with the city? 
A1. If it is registered with the City then the first impound is FREE, if you pick it up the same day, all you have to do is pay the boarding fee(s). 
A2. If the animal is not registered and is fixed the City License is $10.00, if the animal is not fixed the City License is $50.00. 

#2. Does the animal have a current rabies shot?
A. There is a $15.00 deposit, which you get back once you provide proof of a current rabies shot, from a licensed veterinarian.

#3. Is the animal fixed? 
A. If not then there is a $35.00 security deposit, once again refundable with proof of sterilization.

#4. How long has the animal been in the shelter before claiming said animal? 
A. There is a $10.00 a day boarding fee. 

#5. How many times has that animal been picked up?
A. The first impound is Free, although you must come in compliance with the City License requirement.
The Second impound is $20.00.
The Third impound is $80.00.

#6. To answer your question with a broad answer...
A. If you're out of compliance with everything, and have no proof of anything, and you pick your dog or cat up the same day the total would be $105.00 + $10.00 each day starting on the original date of impound. 

So, what is the true cost to get an animal out of the shelter?

Stray Animals:
All stray animals are held for 72 hours, to give an owner a chance to locate and claim their missing pet(s). If any animal is not claimed within the 72 hour time period then the animal become the property of the City of Lawton and are assessed and if eligible are sterilized and put up for adoption, sent to a rescue, or euthanized. 

*The 72 hour hold period does not include the day the animal is impounded or days that Lawton Animal Welfare is closed.

After the 72 hour hold period if the animal is not claimed by its owner, and it displays good temperament, then it is selected for surgery and it put up for adoption. 

Then it comes down to available space within our facility, and how many animals we keep taking in. 

Yes we do!!!

You can follow all of our Adoptable Animals in 'Real Time' on our Facebook page.


Lawton Animal Welfare does NOT put down any animal, just because of its Breed. 

Each Animal displays his or her own demeanor and that is what determines if it goes up for adoption or not.  

The State of Oklahoma and the City of Lawton have implemented and Prohibited Breed-Specific Measures, making it illegal for anyone to discriminate based on an animals breed.

Yes, we have Animal Welfare Officers on the road 7 days a week, during limited hours/times. 

We are not a 24 hour response facility, however we are 24 hours on EMERGENCY basis/cases.

A Stray or Confined (meaning you picked an animal up and took it home) Animal is NOT considered an Emergency.

NO, we do not put down animals, just because they do not have a micro-chip. 

We do promote, as well as Micro-Chip EVERY animal adopted from our facility, getting your PETS Micro-chipped because that is one of the easiest ways of getting an animal back to its rightful owner. 

However people need to keep their chip information up-to-date, which is one of the biggest issues facing animal shelters across the United States of America, to help find the current owners. 

We highly suggest that you double check your PETS information once a year, just in case you changed your telephone number, address, or any other pertinent information. 


All Rabies shots must be given by a licensed Veterinarian, and you must bring in a paper copy of the Certificate of Rabies, from said Veterinarian, down to our shelter, at 2104 SW 6th Street, to be able to register your animal(s).

Simple Answer is YES!!!

A Good Rule of Thumb to Remember is:

"If It is COLD Outside, Bring them INSIDE"

CALL CENTRAL DISPATCH AT: 1-580-581-3272 if You know of Any Animal Outside without the Required Shelter for them.

Oklahoma can vary from extreme Heat to extreme Cold, with a current Arctic Blast which is beginning to move across Southwest Oklahoma, right now, I wanted to take a minute and remind everyone, and share with you our Ordinance(s) which cover this, like I do each time these Storms Roll in.

5-1-120 - Keeping of Animals; Mistreatment

D. Owners and keepers of dogs, cats, and other small animals shall provide food, shelter, and medical attention to such animals, including, but not limited to, the following:

2. Deprive any animal of food, drink or shelter


5. Shelter to allow the animal to remain dry and protected from the elements. Such shelter shall be fully enclosed on three sides, roofed, and have a solid floor. The entrance to the shelter shall be flexible to allow the animal's entry and exit, and sturdy enough to block entry of wind or rain. The shelter shall be small enough to retain the animal's body heat and large enough to allow the animal to stand and turn comfortably. The enclosure shall be structurally sound and in good repair. The shelter provisions will apply in situations where animals are left outdoors longer than two (2) hours per day.

The LAW DOES Require/Mandate that any Animal Left Outside for more than 2 hours a Day to have a SHELTER… IE some sort of Dog House, as long as it matches the description in 5-1-120-D.5…