Responding to Wildlife in Your Neighboorhood
Many residents in Orange County experience occasional visits from local wildlife, especially in areas of new development or areas near protected parks and wilderness trails. While some residents understand that wildlife is being pushed from their natural habitat and take pleasure in these visits, many consider them a nuisance because of late night forages in trash cans, messes left behind and the occasional “setting up camp” in or around one’s property.
Orange County Animal Care receives many calls about wildlife from residents throughout the year. In an effort to alleviate concerns, here are some helpful tips to discourage wildlife activity in your neighborhood:
- Keep pet food indoors and do not leave food of any kind outside at night. Food left out at night will be taken as a welcome invitation by wildlife, and may prompt a future visit.
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.
- Remove any fruit which has fallen to the ground.
- Store trash in covered, heavy-duty containers.
- Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds, and enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
- Eliminate garbage, debris, lumber piles, etc.
- Check fencing and try to eliminate access points to roof tops.
- Change automatic sprinkler settings regularly.
Taking these preventative measures should help in deterring wildlife from visiting your property. Please remember that if the three life sustaining elements are available (food, water and shelter), you are likely to encounter some wildlife in your area.
OC Animal Care will respond to situations regarding any wildlife that is sick, injured, dead, or has had physical contact with a human or domestic animal. To contact Animal Care Services, please call (714) 935-6848. For more information on the laws pertaining to urban wildlife and their protection visit the Department of Fish and Game’s website at www.dfg.ca.gov.