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Public Safety and Coyotes
Animal Care Services receives many calls regarding public safety. While we know that there is great concern about wildlife attacking people, the risk is very low. Most of the wildlife with which we share our cities is very adaptable – as is the coyote. They are one of the most adaptable species on the planet. Because they eat a variety of foods which are abundant in cities, and are opportunistic, they find more than enough food in urban neighborhoods. Often, coyotes living in the Coastal Bend area are actually building dens in the sand dunes; coming out throughout the day to seek food.
WILDLIFE & SMALL ANIMAL TRAPS
Living with Wildlife
As our urban areas grow, animals lose their homes. Looking for a place to raise their families, industrious raccoons, squirrels, and other small creatures gnaw and claw their way into roofs, attics, vent pipes, and under homes.
These wild urban residents are resourceful. They have managed to adapt to a changing world and find the next best thing to natural habitat: manmade structures that provide all the insulation and protection they need to raise growing families. In many cases, urban areas are much easier places to live for these creatures. There is plenty of sustenance available in our trash and in our pets’ food bowls.
While many people are content to live alongside our little wild friends, there are solutions available when they become a nuisance instead of a neighbor.
Solution 1. Eliminate the attraction – Don’t leave pet food outside, as it attracts wildlife. Never put out your trash the night before trash pickup day. Seal the holes and small entryways into your home. Some animals can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter.
City Policy on Small Animal Traps
As of January 1, 2014, Animal Care Services discontinued the additional service of picking up privately owned small animal traps. Privately owned traps will continue to be accepted at Animal Care Services. This change in policy was done for several reasons:
City Traps Rented to the Public
Animal Care Services has a limited number of traps available for resident use. We require a copy of your driver’s license, a brief educational discussion with one of our trained staff members, and a signed trap rental agreement. While there is no rental charge, there is a $75 fee for lost or stolen small animal traps.
City Owned Trap Rental Rules
We encourage you to contact us prior to visiting our facility, by calling (361) 826-4622 during normal business hours, weekdays. Due to the high demand, there may be a waiting period before a trap becomes available.
The intent of trapping is to safely contain an animal so that it can be safely transported somewhere else. It should be used as a last resort and not in any way to make the animal suffer. Trapped animals that are not cared for is considered animal cruelty and a crime. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that the animal is trapped and maintained in a humane manner until it can be picked up by Animal Services. Please expect delays in Animal Services’ response times due to the high volume of emergency calls that take priority over trapped animals on private property.
In April 2014, a question arose about the legality of residents transporting opossums, considered nuisance fur-bearing mammals, to Animal Care Services for relocation, and whether the practice complied with Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W) guidelines. The City received authorization to continue the current City practice from TP&W.
Private Trap Owner Information
A private trap owner is welcome to bring a trapped animal to Animal Care Services during normal business hours. There is no fee to drop off a trapped animal. Traps may be purchased at most hardware stores or feed stores. Animal Care Services will accept any trapped animal captured within the city limits at our facility located at 2626 Holly Rd, between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We do not take traps on weekends.
Use cheap, smelly, canned food. The worse it smells to us, the better it smells to animals. Be sure to slide the bait into the trap so that it will not interfere with the operation of the foot pedal. This usually means setting the bait behind the pedal.
Some suggested baits for wild animals include:
Setting Up Traps
Murine Typhus Information
Murine typhus, also called flea borne or endemic typhus, is an illness contracted from infected fleas. According to William Burgin, Jr. M.D., Local Health Authority, “Rats and their fleas are the natural reservoirs (and animals that both maintain and transmit the disease organism) for murine typhus.” In a March 2014 press release Burgin urged residents to learn the facts about murine typhus. Feral cats and opossums also can be vehicles for fleas that carry typhus. This does not mean that the cat or opossum is unhealthy or has the disease itself; only that the fleas riding on the animal may have typhus.
Nearly every reliable expert or source in the field of pest and disease control recommends the following preventative measures to combat murine typhus, rather than trapping:
Animal Care Services will pick up privately owned or city owned traps if they contain any of the following known rabies carriers: bats, skunks, raccoons, bobcats, foxes, or coyotes. (Note: Opossums are not rabies carriers.)
The Humane Society of the United States
The Texas Department of Health Services
Texas Zoonosis Control
City of Corpus Christi Animal Care Services