Pet FAQs

What do I do about my neighbor’s barking dog?

Chapter 2 Part 1 Section 2-103 of the Code of Ordinances states that it shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog to permit or to allow such dog in the Forest Hills Borough to be at large; Engage in habitual howling, barking, crying or whining or conduct itself in such a manner as to unreasonably and habitually annoy any persons; Cause damage or destruction to any property or create a nuisance by performing its excretory functions upon the premises of a person other than the owner of the dog; Chase or otherwise harass any person in such a manner as to reasonably cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury; Habitually chase, run aside of or bark at motor vehicles or bicycles.

It is preferable that residents try to establish good communication with each other to alleviate conflicts, but if the situation becomes a nuisance, residents may summon police to this by calling 911.

What are the rules on dogs running at large?

The State dog law mandates that owners have control over their dogs at all times. The best way to establish control is with a leash. Animal Control Officers are tasked with enforcing most calls for dogs at large. You can summon the officers by calling 911.

When do I have to license my dog?

The County treasurer is tasked with issuing licenses to dogs older than 3 months. The license is renewable annually. The County Treasurer website is:

What parks in the Borough allow for my dogs to run off leash?

Dogs are permitted in the parks with the exception of posted areas. However they are not permitted to be off leash. Owners are required to pickup and remove any dog waste.

Who do I call with a dog complaint?

The number for animal control is 412-351-7346. The line is answered by Allegheny County 911, but they dispatch Animal Control to Forest Hills calls.

What do I do if a dog bites me?

Here are some strategies that could keep an aggressive dog from attacking you:

Try commanding the dog to “sit,” or “stay.” This could give you time to think or even get away.
Do not make any sudden movements. Rather, keep your hands down at your sides. This may serve to calm the dog down and show that you are not a threat.
Do not turn your back on the dog. Canines often take that as a sign of weakness or an opening to attack.
Further, do not run away! That will probably only cause the dog to come after you.
Don’t smile. Bared teeth may signify aggression to a dog. Back away slowly once the dog stops paying attention to you.
If the dog does attack and the wound is serious, call 911. Dispatchers will send appropriate responders. If the bite is not serious, call 911, and either Animal Control or Police will respond to take a “Bite” report. The officers will assure the offending dog is licensed properly and has current shots. They will also issue a quarantine to the dog owner to ensure the animal is controlled and monitored for infectious diseases.

What are my responsibilities if my dog bites someone else?

See answer above. Also all dog owners are obligated to have their pets licensed and innoculated with required shots.

Who do I call if I think a dog is being mistreated?

Calling 911 will bring the appropriate responders to the scene of a complaint in Forest Hills. The officers will assess the situation and take appropriate action, which may include referral to the local humane officer.

What do I do if my dog runs away?

Call 911 and report the lost pet.

What do I do if I see a stray dog in my neighborhood?

Call 911, and officers will respond to capture the animal if possible.

Where do I find information about the PA State Dog Laws?

State Dog Laws can be referenced at this website: Pennsylvania Dept of Agriculture- Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement