Info from COA Animal Protection Officer
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5 September 2018 - 20:51, by , in News, No comments

I am an Animal Protection Officer with City of Austin’s Animal Services. Austin’s rapid development can have an impact on residents experiencing wildlife activity. I would greatly appreciate your help in getting word out to the community about city services and preventative measures for reducing conflict with wildlife.

If a neighbor would like to make a report or receive assistance regarding wildlife, please advise that they call 311 so the call can be dispatched as appropriate. The City of Austin does not remove or relocate healthy native wildlife, but we do assist citizens in finding humane solutions to wildlife conflict.

Please feel free to share the attached brochures freely with residents and to use the blue text below as needed in communications with neighbors about information on coexisting with wildlife.  Coyotes and grey foxes are urban animals and are common in Austin. They are generally human averse but should be a consideration for indoor/outdoor pets. Please let me know if you would like additional information about either species. If you would like a free, one-hour presentation for your neighborhood association, informal group of neighbors or any other civic group, please contact 512-978-0514.

Tips on Coexisting with Urban Wildlife

Make Your Yard Less Appealing (Preventative Measures)

  • Use tight sealing lids on garbage, recycling, and compost receptacles
  • Keep extra garbage inside until collecting day
  • Keep barbecue grills clean
  • Pick up fallen fruit from trees
  • Feed pets indoors
  • If pets must be fed outdoors, feed at set time during the day and remove leftover food
  • Feeding wildlife and feral cats can attract coyotes. In addition to coyotes eating the food, mice and other animals will be drawn to leftovers, which can subsequently attract predators such as foxes and coyotes

Adopt Best Pet Safety Practices

  • Keep small pets inside if possible and monitor them when outside
  • Provide secure shelters for poultry or other animals living outside
  • Avoid using extendable leashes; walk dogs on leashes that are 4-6 feet in length
  • Avoid letting dogs explore vegetation that you cannot see through
  • Haze coyotes: coyotes are not strictly nocturnal, but do not tolerate coyotes in roads, sidewalks, driveways, or yards during the day. You can influence the behavior of a coyote through a simple process of negative reinforcement called hazing. Doing so will help it relearn to avoid people during the day. To haze, be big and loud: Wave your arms, shout, use noisemakers, or throw non-edible objects in its direction (but not at it), or spray the animal with a hose. The more an individual coyote is hazed using a variety of tools and techniques by a variety of people, the more effective it will be for the entire community. For more information on hazing please visit: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/coyotes-central-texas

How We Can Help

Call 311 to reach the City of Austin’s Animal Protection Office. Our Officers:

  • Work with you to keep pets safe and at home
  • Assist sick and injured wildlife
    • We partner with Austin Wildlife Rescue and other rescue groups
  • Assess wildlife behavior
  • Offer tailored solutions to conflict
  • Suggest methods for humane exclusion
    • Encourage the animal to move on its own
    • Install a game camera prior to physical exclusion
  • Assist with free or low cost pet services
    • Free microchipping!
  • Offer fencing assistance
  • Investigate rabies exposure
  • Rehome non-native species

Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance or provide information.

Best regards,

Adrienne Clark

Animal Protection Officer- Wildlife

Austin Animal Center

(512) 978-0514

http://www.austintexas.gov/department/coyotes-central-texas

Coyote Brochure

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