As COVID-19 continues to impact us locally, we will be closing all Public Health Madison & Dane County offices to the public effective Thursday, March 19, 2020.
Although this decision was not arrived at easily, it is a decision that we needed to make. We are prioritizing preserving the health and safety of our staff and clients while continuing to maintain our ability to provide essential services, including our response to COVID-19.
We will continue providing services through alternate avenues, detailed below, but at this time we are reducing our direct contact with the public.
Animal Services is providing only priority services at this time. Specifically:
- Staff will respond to requests from the public when time permits.
- Staff will respond to calls from Dispatch and requests for delivery of COVID-19 supplies.
- Priority areas include Bites, rabies follow-up, dangerous animals, animal welfare, and injured/sick wildlife in public spaces presenting a risk to the community.
Keeping Wildlife Wild
It's important to remember to keep wildlife wild. Stress from contact with a human can cause serious health problems for the animal, and wild animals can carry parasites and diseases, which can cause illness for humans or their animals.
Wildlife are enjoyed by many but sometimes, they can cause trouble. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for information about what you can do to deal with nuisance wildlife.
Possession of Wild Animals
- The possession of almost all wild animals is illegal in Wisconsin.
- Birds are protected by federal law, mammals and other wildlife by state law. You must have a permit from the proper governmental agency to keep a wild mammal or bird.
- Strange as it may seem, it may be perfectly legal for a pet store to sell you a wild animal and illegal for you to possess it.
Removing Wild Animals
- For help with removing a wild animal from your property, call a private pest control service.
- For more information on wildlife and health, visit CDC's wildlife page.
How to Tell if a Wild Animal is Orphaned
If you find a young animal in the wild, it may not always be an orphan. A young animal's best chance for survival is with its mother.
- If you see an injured, ill, or "orphaned" wild animal, leave it alone.
- Please check the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for tips on deciding if the animal you have found is orphaned or not.
- If you determine that the animal is truly orphaned or injured, call the Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center at (608) 838-0413, ext. 151
We occasionally receive reports of coyote attacks on pets in urban areas of Madison and Dane County. Most have involved smaller dogs left unattended in backyards.
The mere presence of coyotes can be unnerving or frightening for people. Coyotes are generally more afraid of you than you are of them, but in instances where coyotes have gotten too comfortable around people there are several things neighborhood residents can do to re-educate their neighborhood coyotes to be more afraid of people and leave their pets alone.
- Coyotes are generally more afraid of you than you are of them.
- When coyotes have been fed by humans, they lose their fear of humans.
- Between January and March, coyotes are mating. During this time they are more territorial and possibly more aggressive.
- Between March and May, coyote pups are born and parents may act aggressively when near their pups or their den.
Learn How to Haze a Coyote
This video, "How to Haze a Coyote," gives some concrete solutions for how we can safely co-exist with coyotes in an urban area. It explains the process of hazing, or scaring away coyotes, so they do not feel comfortable being in urban neighborhoods.
Don't Attract Wildlife to Your Yard
- Don't feed coyotes. Feeding most wild animals is prohibited. See Wisconsin Deer Baiting and Wildlife Feeding Regulations for more information.
- Clean up fallen fruit and birdseed that attracts the prey of coyotes. Coyotes will also eat the birdseed or fruit.
- Make sure lids on garbage cans are on tight, and don't keep pet food or bowls outside.
Protect Your Pets
- Don't leave pets outside alone, either on or off a leash. If your dog stays outside, keep it in a secure outdoor kennel with a solid bottom and secure top.
- When walking your dog, carry a noisemaker, squirt gun, or sticks to throw toward (but not at) a coyote, if you meet one.
- Always walk your dog on a leash.
Call Public Health Animal Services
- If you learn that someone is feeding coyotes,
- If a coyote does not respond to hazing attempts,
- If you see a coyote that is sick or injured,