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.
JCACC Humane 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. JCACC 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 sigh
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 Jessamine County humane 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.
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.