Animal Services

Dogs, rats, chickens, oh my! This is the place for all things animal-related, whether they be pets or pests. 

Oakland County Animal Control

The Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center oversees animal services for 40 metro Detroit municipalities, including Ferndale. Services include dog license issuance, abuse and neglect cases, kennel inspections, animal bite investigations, and certain wildlife issues.   

Oakland County Animal Control

1200 N. Telegraph Rd Building 42 E Pontiac, MI 48341



Yards, the public right of way, and exercise dog runs shall be kept free of dog droppings and uneaten food and maintained in a sanitary manner.

The City of Ferndale's municipal code does not allow dogs to be unleashed in any park or playground in the city. Dogs being walked in the City's right of way shall also be under reasonable control. If you wish to report a loose dog in a public area, contact the Ferndale Police Department non-emergency at 248-541-3650.

All dogs over four months of age are required to have a valid license. Licenses expire annually on December 31. To purchase your license, you must present a rabies vaccination certificate from a USDA-accredited veterinarian and proof that the animal has been spayed or neutered. Licenses are issued as metal tags that dogs are required to wear at all times. Beginning June 2, 2023, those who have not purchased a license are considered delinquent and will be charged $40 for a license.


The City allows residents to keep chickens in a detached structure in areas zoned as R-1 or R-2 (residential zoning). No more than three hen chickens shall be kept on a property at any time. Roosters or male chickens are prohibited. The slaughter of any chicken is prohibited within the city.  


Contrary to some beliefs, rodents don’t come from a specific neighborhood, entity, or area—rodents require food and shelter, and densely populated communities are more likely to provide these. When it comes to rodent control, everyone plays a part. Residents can remove food and shelter sources from their properties by:

  • Keeping a lid on trash (literally!)
  • Removing weeds and clutter
  • Keeping grass and landscaping neat and trimmed
  • Cleaning up after pets

Strong indicators of rats or rodents include:

  • Gnaw marks on wood, walls, or garbage cans
  • Trails—rats tend to follow the same path over and over, which can tamp down grass or leave tracks in the snow
  • Holes in the grass or ground
  • Greasy or dirty marks on walls, baseboards, or a home's exterior

Take away their food. Rodents will eat anything; to remove rats, you must remove their food source. Common food sources include garbage, bird food/feeders, pet food, chicken food, pet waste, fallen fruit from trees, and unharvested produce from gardens. 

Keep them out of your house. Rats can fit through a space the size of a quarter or smaller. Small openings in homes, buildings, and sheds must be sealed to prevent rodents from entering. Check for openings where pipes or wires enter the building, under eaves, around foundations and crawl space entrances, and near doors and windows. Use cement, 1/4-inch steel hardware cloth (wire mesh), or steel wool and spray foam to seal openings.

Keep them out of your yard. Don’t let your yard be a nesting zone for rodents. Rats will nest in outdoor garbage/junk piles, under wood or lumber piles, under untrimmed blackberry bushes, shrubs, vines, and tall grasses that are not trimmed, or holes under buildings that haven’t been filled.

In October of 2020, City Council signed a resolution against the use of anticoagulant rodenticides as part of maintenance programs for City-owned parks and facilities and recognized that the use of anticoagulant pesticides is harmful to our community environment. Read the full resolution.

Trapping is the preferred method for eliminating rodents, both indoors and outdoors. Snap traps are inexpensive and effective. Peanut butter usually works as bait. Set the trap in the area with the most rodent activity. Rodents tend to run along walls, so place traps next to a wall, fence line, or foundation. Keep children and pets away from traps.

Poison is not recommended for indoor use, as rodents can die inside walls and produce odor. Rodent poisons (rodenticides) are also harmful to animals and pets, so use them carefully. Always use a secured bait station to keep poisons away from children and pets. When dealing with poisons, it's best to work with a certified and referenced extermination professional. 

Your first step is to consult our 5 Steps to Citywide Rat Reduction guide. You'll find practical, user-friendly information about how to identify, exterminate, and prevent pests and rats.

While the City doesn't manage pest or rodent removal on private properties, we are happy to provide advice and recommendations. If you need additional assistance, contact the City of Ferndale Inspector.