Every evening large raccoons scour my alleyway in the hopes of finding something to eat, and dozens of squirrels live in the old growth trees surrounding my south side historic home. I even had to call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control once to have them retrieve a bat out of my children’s playroom.
If you are a city resident, chances are you, too, live side by side with all types of wonderful creatures. Urban sprawl has happened gradually and, over time, has created fragmentation of wildlife habitats making it impossible for any animal to travel without coming into contact with our neighborhoods. Many of the creatures do not exhibit fear of people because they are born and raised among us. They have replaced their nesting places with decks, tool sheds, storm drains, attics, crawlspaces and chimneys among other residential cubbies. Many of them are opportunistic feeders who dine on dog and cat food or garbage left out overnight.
It is important to know that wild animals creating a nuisance, or simply being present outside your home, are not considered a threat to public safety. For those instances, contacting a wildlife removal company or simply removing those items that are attracting them to your home can be enough. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control should be contacted if the wildlife has made it inside your home or if any wildlife is causing an immediate public safety hazard.
We receive calls on a regular basis and will provide advice for the concerned caller. Many of those calls involve raccoons out during the day. Do not panic. This does not mean the raccoon is rabid. Raccoons have adapted and, although primarily nocturnal, it is not uncommon to see them out foraging for food during daylight hours. It could be a female foraging longer hours to support her young. We simply advise residents to seal their trash lids in some way and avoid leaving anything outside that may attract them. Urban wildlife enjoy the easy life we often unknowingly provide for them; they don’t like a hostile environment. Taking steps to deter them will encourage them to move on.
Often, in the spring, we will receive calls about baby birds that have fallen from their nest. If this occurs and you know where the nest is, gently place the baby bird back into its nest. It is an old wives tale that the mother won’t come back if you touch the babies. It simply is not the case. If you are unable to find the nest or it is unreachable, you can make a nest and place it in the tree as close to the nest site as possible. The parent birds will hear their baby and find it easily.
Mother rabbits often make nests in backyards. If the nest is near a fence line that your dog can reach, simply move the nest to the other side of the fence. A mother rabbit will join her babies near dawn or dusk. She may stay away from her babies nearly all day so as to not attract attention to the nest. If you fear she may not be coming back for her babies, sprinkle flour outside the nest area and watch for footprints. If in a 24-hour time period no footprints are seen, call Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control or simply bring the babies in.
Never put yourself at risk when it comes to wildlife in need of help. It is important that you never handle an animal that is injured. Always call when in doubt. Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, an all-access, all-species facility, will always send an officer to assist an injured or suffering animal. Call FWACC at 260-427-1244 for help or nights after 8pm & weekends contact us at 449-3000. We work with many organizations to do what is in the best interest of all injured, orphaned or sick wildlife. The Second Chance Wildlife Rescue, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, will take our orphaned, injured or sick wildlife for evaluation and rehabilitation. Upon recovery, the wildlife is returned to their natural habitat. “Bob the Batman” works strictly with bats (that have not bitten anyone), and he ensures their health before releasing them back into the wild. We also work with Soarin’ Hawk Raptor Rehab for birds of prey that are in need of care.
At Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control, we believe humans and animals can live side by side safely. Take steps to discourage wildlife around your home by taking a few simple steps: Keep your chimney capped, secure your trash can lid with a thick rubber strap, don’t leave dog or cat food outside unattended and try to keep holes sealed off that may provide access to your home. For more information on how to discourage wildlife, visit our website at www.fwacc.org and click on “service” and choose “wildlife” or visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2351.htm.
We hope that you will continue to help us help both domestic and wild animals.
Local Companies licensed by the DNR for Wildlife Removal
American Animal Control
Basic Wildlife Removal
Naylor and Sons
Sly Fox Wildlife Control