Posted: December 3, 2018
It is important to take precautions to protect yourself and your pets against wildlife encounters.
Since wildlife is attracted by garbage odors, properly securing your garbage is one of the best ways to prevent wildlife from becoming a nuisance in your neighborhood.
Here are some general rules:
- Avoid feeding pets outside. If you must, feed them only once per day and remove the food bowl as soon as your pet has finished its meal.
- If you use compost, use enclosed bins and never compost meat or fish scraps.
- Clean up spilled bird seed around feeders.
- Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
- Keep trash in high-quality containers with tight-fitting lids and place the cans curbside the morning of collection (instead of the night before).
- If wildlife is present, make sure they know they are not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose.
Remember, never feed wildlife! It’s illegal in New Jersey and it’s dangerous. This is a surefire way to get them accustomed to people, and it will ultimately lead to their demise.
Coyotes generally avoid humans, even when their home range encompasses largely urban or suburban habitat. However, the presence of a free buffet in the form of pet food, compost or trash can lure coyotes into yards and create the impression that these places are bountiful feeding areas. Without the lure of food or other attractants, their visits will be brief and rare but a coyote who finds food in one yard may learn to search for food in others. For more information about coyotes, visit the Humane Society’s website.
Free-roaming pets, especially cats, may attract wildlife into neighborhoods. The best way to minimize risk to pets is never to leave them outside unattended. For cats, this means either keeping them indoors at all times or letting them outside only under your supervision wearing a harness and leash or in a secure enclosure.
Dogs, especially small dogs, are also vulnerable to wildlife confrontations. These incidents generally involve those who are either accustomed to people (usually due to wildlife feeding), or wildlife that is protecting their territory, their mate, or their pups. Always walk dogs on a leash and never leave them outside unattended.
Please make sure your pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccine and a pet license. Any questions or concerns, contact Randolph Township Animal Control at 973.989.7050