As a homeowner, you are responsible for the removal of any uninjured nuisance wildlife in your home or on your property. LFACC can offer assistance with sick or injured wildlife or with wildlife animals that pose a threat to the community as a whole.
Wildlife is abundant in Kentucky’s natural areas and farmland, and animals inevitably find their way into our communities as their territories shrink. While some people are fascinated or delighted when wildlife, such as deer or foxes, wander into their neighborhoods, these incidents can cause serious problems.
Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife is responsible for providing information and guidance to individuals with questions or concerns regarding wildlife. You can visit their website at fw.ky.gov/ or contact them at 1-800-858-1549.
LFACC Animal Control Officers are not authorized or trained to handle nuisance wildlife; however, there are resources available to help manage the situation. A web search will provide contact information for various individuals or companies involved in wildlife removal services. LFACC does not endorse any particular service or company and strongly recommends consumers check references, licenses, insurance, and bonding before hiring any company.
Why are they here?
Residential areas, especially those located near farmland or natural areas, provide habitat for coyotes. Plentiful food sources exist, such as mice and rabbits. These small animals feed on birdseed, berries, and garbage, which are commonly found and easily accessible. Shelter and water can be found in landscaped parks and yards. As coyotes have adapted to the presence of humans, they have lost their natural fear of us.
What attracts coyotes to your neighborhood?
Coyotes are attracted to neighborhoods due to the availability of garbage, pet food, and even pets, which coyotes see as prey. The following list illustrates some of the attractants that draw coyotes close to people. Remove these attractants to discourage coyotes, or other nuisance wildlife, from visiting your property:
- Outdoor pet food or water
- Birdseed or food sources that attract small mammals
- Accessible garbage or compost
- Fallen fruit or berries from trees or shrubs
- Shrubs or woodpiles that can provide cover or be used as a den
- Dogs and cats primarily residing outdoors
Discourage a coyote's approach
Every citizen can help both people and coyotes by taking action to re-instill them with a healthy and natural fear of people. Clap your hands, yell or honk an airhorn, if you see coyotes so they can relearn to avoid humans.
- Be as big and loud as possible
- Wave your arms and clap
- Shout in a loud and authoritative voice
- Do not run or turn your back on the coyote
- Face the coyote and back away slowly
Teach your children
- Never approach wild animals or dogs you don't know!
- If a coyote approaches you, wave your arms, stomp your feet, and tell it loudly to go away!
- Call for help
- If the animal doesn't leave, walk out of the area, keeping the animal in your sight
How can you protect your pet?
Coyotes may view domestic pets as a food source and large dogs as a threat or possible mate. Keep your pet current on vaccinations. Reduce the risk to your pet by following these guidelines:
- Cat owners
- The only way to guarantee your cat's safety is to keep it indoors
- Outdoor cats also face potential death from cars, diseases, parasites, foxes, raccoons, dogs, and birds of prey
- Dog owners
- Always supervise your pet outside, especially at dawn and dusk
- Do not allow your dog off leash unless in a fenced yard or dog park
- Do not allow your dog to play or interact with a coyote
- If possible, pick up your dog when coyotes are visible
- Avoid known or potential den sites and thick vegetation; like domestic dogs, coyotes will defend their territory and their young
- If you must leave your dog outside, secure it in a fully enclosed kennel meeting all LFUCG care and treatment standards
Please keep in mind not all wildlife babies removed from their natural habitats can survive the rehabilitation process. They are often better left in the wild for their mothers to care for them. If you find a baby animal, please follow the directions listed below specific to animal type.
- Birds: One very important thing to remember is baby birds are usually unsuccessful first-time fliers. The fact that they are on the ground does not mean that they need help! The parents will continue to feed and care for them until they can care for themselves. If an un-feathered or incompletely feathered baby is found on the ground, try to locate the nest above and replace the baby in the nest using a clean dish cloth to gently pick up the baby. If you cannot locate or reach the nest, make a nest by using a small basket or bowl. Line the basket or bowl with soft grass clippings and place the baby bird in your "nest." Place your nest securely in a crook of the same tree. For the most part, the mother will find the baby and take care of it.
- Bunnies: It is very hard to successfully raise baby bunnies by hand; therefore, their best chance for survival is to remain in the nest with their mother. Mother rabbits only attend to and feed babies twice-a-day, once in the very early morning and once at night just after dusk. If they sense someone is watching them, they will not approach their nest. If the babies are not injured, cover the nest back up with the nesting material (if available). If the original material is not available, cover it up with light grass clippings and leaves. Line the outside of the nest with a dusting of flour (approximately 12 inches in diameter) or place an X over the top of the nest with string or sticks. Wait until the next morning and check the flour for footprints or see if the X has been moved. This will indicate the mother has been back to care for them. If there is no sign of the mother after 24 hours, place the babies in a box lined with a towel and contact LFACC.
- Raccoons: Raccoon moms will come and go during the day. If the baby appears happy and healthy, please leave it alone as mom is caring for it. If the baby appears weak or unkempt and is crying loudly for over one hour, please use gloves or a light dish cloth to pick up the baby and place it in a box bedded with a towel and contact LFACC.
- Squirrels: Squirrel moms come and go frequently but usually remain within sight/smell of the nest. If the nest is still in the tree, leave the babies alone! If a hairless baby is found on the ground, try to locate the nest. If you can locate the nest and reach it, pick the baby up using a light dish cloth and place the baby back in the nest. If the entire nest has blown out of the tree, place the entire nest back in the tree or in an adjacent tree. If the baby appears weak or unkempt and is crying loudly for over one hour, please use gloves or a light dish cloth to pick up the baby and place it in a box bedded with a towel and contact LFACC.