Nuisance & Stray Animal Concerns

Deer Feeding Ordinance

In response to community concerns about the deer population in Worthington, City Council adopted an ordinance at its May 9, 2022 meeting prohibiting the intentional feeding of deer. The ordinance will go into effect on July 1, 2022, allowing for an educational period for residents. Here are a few basic things you should know: 

  • This legislation prohibits people from purposely feeding or making food available for consumption by deer on private or public property within the City.
  • Commercially purchased bird feeders are not prohibited.
  • Complaints will be primarily handled by the Planning and Building Department code enforcement officer.

See answers to frequently asked questions here

Nuisance Wildlife

Worthington residents value our community's natural and peaceful landscape, which is just one of the reasons Worthington is a wonderful place to call home. Wildlife also values the same qualities in its environment, which sometimes brings unwelcome visitors to our neighborhoods, creates conflicts, destruction of gardens and landscaping, and possible health risks.

The City of Worthington occasionally receives questions from residents about nuisance, stray animals, or other pests. According to the Ohio Division of Wildlife, common types of nuisance wildlife include animals such as bats, roosting birds, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, snakes, squirrels, woodpeckers, groundhogs, and deer.  While the City does not provide animal control services, we do want to provide resources and information to help you find solutions if animals or pests become a nuisance or health concern.  

Animal Feeding

As Central Ohio continues to grow, the abundance of wildlife is adapting to dwindling natural habitats and capitalizing on the new food sources and nesting opportunities. Most times we can coexist peacefully with the beautiful array of birds, rabbits, squirrels, and other creatures that take up residence in our yards and public parks, but some wildlife can become unwelcome “tenants,” causing destruction to property and, in some cases, posing a health risk.

One thing that residents can do to keep wildlife from becoming a nuisance or danger is to avoid intentional feeding.  For more information on animal feeding click here.

Stray Dogs and Other Animals

Dogs and other pets are not permitted to run at large and must be under the control of their owner at all times according to City Ordinance. If you need assistance with stray animals, you may contact Franklin County Animal Control by calling (614) 525-3400 24 hours a day.

Dead Animal Removal

If a dead animal is in the City's right-of-way such as a street, City service crews can remove and dispose of the animal. The Worthington Department of Service & Engineering can be called Monday-Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at (614) 431-2425.

If the animal is on private property (in your yard, driveway, sidewalk, or home) you must perform the removal yourself or contact a private company. Search for pest control companies online or access a county-by-county list of nuisance control trappers via the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.

Share Your Concerns

If you notice unusual behavior and believe an animal to be sick or in distress, contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-WILDLIFE (800) 945-3543 or visit

For any other concerns about wildlife, feel free to fill out this form or directly contact Management Assistant Ethan Barnhardt at or 614-786-7347.


Deer Facts Opens in new window

Deer Management White Paper - October 2021 (004)_Page_01

City staff has evaluated multiple methods for controlling the deer population and examined Worthington-centric data to evaluate the extent of the deer issue in the community.

This research paper contains case studies of other communities throughout Central Ohio that have utilized methods such as No Feeding Ordinances, Bow Hunting, Sharpshooting, and Birth Control in order to control their deer populations.  


  1. Deer
  2. Foxes
  3. Coyotes
  4. Skunks
  5. Squirrels and Raccoons
  6. Rats and Mice
They are absolutely everywhere," Worthington Police dealing with deer  dangers | WSYX

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More Information On Deer

Signs You May Have Deer

  • You notice uneven bite marks out of plants.
  • You find scrapes in the bark on the lower portion of trees.  These are typically made by the deer's lower teeth.
  • You find rubs in the bark on the lower portion of trees.  Bucks typically make rubs as they shed their antlers in the fall.
  • You notice heart-shaped hoof prints or dark oblong droppings.

DIY Deterrents

  • Do not approach a deer that has taken up residence near your home.  Be sure to keep dogs and children away from the deer.  
  • When you do see a deer near your residence, make loud noises using household items (i.e. pots and pans, a blow-horn, etc.) to scare the deer away.