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Stray & Wild Animals
Approaching Stray & Wild Animals
At some point in your life, you are likely to come across a stray or wild animal. Maybe it's a stray dog in the park, raccoons getting into your garbage, or a baby or injured animal. In any case, be careful when approaching any animal, wild or domestic, under any circumstances.
Domestic animals such as dogs and cats, even ones you know, can be dangerous when ill, injured, frightened or confused. If it is a stray animal, there is an increased risk of rabies and infection.
Animal Assistance Resources
More than likely, you will need assistance in securing and removing the animal. Properly securing an animal, both wild and domestic, requires special training to know how to handle the animal and minimize any possible harm to both the animal and people. For this reason, the City of Verona does not provide any animal control type services. Should you need assistance with securing or removing an animal, you can contact the following resources:
- The Wisconsin Humane Society offers tips and advice for situations involving animal encounters of all kinds.
- Madison and Dane County Public Health Service
- Dane County Humane Society
- Any one of the many animal control specialists listed in the Yellow Pages.
If an animal is in imminent danger, such as in traffic, please contact the Verona Police Department at (608) 845-7623.
Living in Harmony With Wild Animals
Many kinds of wildlife adapt and thrive in suburban habitats. In fact, wildlife such as raccoons, gray squirrels and red fox can be found in greater numbers in the suburbs than in a similar sized area of rural characteristics. The reason for this is that these animals capitalize on the abundant supply of man-made foods and shelters found in suburbia allowing them to survive and reproduce more successfully than in areas where these artificial resources are lacking. This adaptability inevitably brings wildlife in close proximity to people resulting in many questions and concerns.
Many kinds of wildlife will always make their home in residential areas, the key is learning when and how to live with wildlife and to make sure your behavior (and the neighborhood) is keeping wild things wild and wary of people.
Preventing Conflicts - Keep Wild Things Wild
There are some simple rules for living with the wildlife that is found or attracted to areas near people.
Our behavior as people affects the behavior of wildlife. The following tips explain how to live with and enjoy wildlife responsibly:
- Don't feed wildlife. Direct feeding can alter an animal's normal behavior. Problems occur when animals become habituated (used to people) through a prolonged period of direct and / or indirect feeding.
- Do not feed pets outdoors. The pet food attracts wildlife right to your door.
- Protect your pet from being sprayed. Always turn on a flood light and check your yard for skunks before letting your dog out at night.
- Keep trash, garbage and compost around your yard contained and picked up. Wildlife will raid open trash materials and compost piles. Secure your garbage in tough plastic containers with tight fitting lids and keep in secure buildings when possible. Take out trash the morning pick up is scheduled, not the previous night. Keep compost piles in containers designed to contain but vent the material. Remember, many wildlife species are most active at night.
- Remove bird feeders especially if wildlife is seen around the feeders. The seed in bird feeders can attract many small and medium sized mammals (squirrels, chipmunks, mice) these, in turn attract animals that prey on squirrels, chipmunks, and mice. If possible, try to find a bird feeder that does not allow seed to spill.
- Close off crawl spaces under porches, decks and sheds. Wildlife will use these areas as dens for resting and raising their young.
- Protect your growing produce. Fencing can be useful in keeping wildlife out of certain areas. It is a good idea to clear fallen fruit from around fruit trees in the fall.
- Don't approach or try to touch wildlife. Wildlife which becomes habituated may approach other humans expecting food or attention. This is not safe for the animals or for people. Don't provoke an encounter by moving too close to a wild animal or by restricting its free movement.
- Educate your neighbors. Share this information with your neighbors since your good efforts could be futile if neighbors are purposely or unintentionally providing food or shelter for wildlife.
For more information, please call the Verona Police Department at 608-845-7623.