Residents can rent wild animal traps from Animal Care Services, free of charge. Learn about trap rental rules, owning private traps, baiting traps and setting up traps.
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
- The fee is waived for senior citizens, schools, daycare centers, medical facilities and approved low-income individuals.
- You may use the trap for 7 business days OR until the animal is caught in the trap.
- Once the animal is caught, an Animal Care Services Officer will pick up the animal and the trap.
- If you wish to rent an additional trap, you must come to the facility Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- We do not take money after 4:30 p.m. and are not able to print a receipt after this time.
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 p.m. and 5 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:
- Squirrels & Opossums: Peanut butter on bread, nuts, field corn, popcorn or crackers;
- Skunks & Raccoons: Peanut butter on bread, peanuts, a boiled egg, or piece of raw chicken;
- Foxes and Bobcats: Raw, spoiled meat or chicken, smelly canned dog food;
- Armadillos: Raw potatoes, carrots, or another root vegetable. These animals are virtually blind; however, it is also possible to “guide” an armadillo into the trap by creating a funnel with boards. The armadillo will wander into the area and, because they do not back up or turn around, be guided into the trap.
Setting Up Traps
- Set the trap on a fairly level spot. Try to keep it out of sight so it doesn’t get stolen;
- In the summer heat, set the trap in a shady spot so captured animals won’t get overheated;
- Make sure the trap is not set where the animal will be exposed to fire ants;
- Please don’t put it under a building;
- Try to leave it in the same place for each pickup, so the officer may find it quickly.