“Wildlife Proofing” Your Home: Managing Urban Wildlife in Vaughan

Check out the updated Animal Services webpage on vaughan.ca for information on dog and cat licensing, animal control by-law education, urban wildlife, pick up of injured or stray dogs and cats, reuniting owners with lost pets, and pet adoption.

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You may see them, you may not. You don’t need to have seen them to know they’ve been rustling in your garden or through your garbage in the night. Residents in Vaughan share this beautiful city with an abundance of urban wildlife.

For the most part, urban wildlife are harmless. However, some can cause a nuisance in their quest for yummy human food.

Here are useful tips for learning how to safely enjoy and live with urban wildlife:

Don’t extend the invitation with food

It’s important not to feed urban wildlife, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Some of the ways we unintentionally feed wildlife is through unsecured garbage, compost bins, bird feeder spillage and pet food left outdoors.

To prevent garbage-related issues, the Ministry of Natural Resources suggests:

  • Using garbage cans that have secure lids
  • Storing garbage cans in an enclosed area, like a shed or garage
  • Taking the garbage out on the morning of pickup and not the night before
  • Cleaning up immediately if a critter has gotten into your garbage to avoid attracting more animals with the smell of food

Understand what kind of critter you’re dealing with

Wildlife are adaptable and easily learn to see humans as food providers, which is why we often find them migrating into residential areas. In Vaughan, some of these wildlife may include:

Click on the links above to learn more about each animal and how to specifically manage them.

Need more help? Contract it out!

The City of Vaughan’s Animal Services department is not equipped to respond to wildlife calls. Our focus is on educating and empowering the public to handle wildlife issues. Any wildlife concerns affecting traffic or public safety should be directed to York Regional Police.

The Ministry of Natural Resources assists homeowners and municipalities with dealing with wildlife conflicts. They make referrals to reputable agencies and offer information on how to manage animals and hire a wildlife control agent.

If hiring a wildlife control professional, always ensure they are experienced and adhere to provincial wildlife legislation by only using humane methods when dealing with animals.

Click here for some pointers on choosing a contractor.

Always keep your distance

Education is key, and it cannot be overstressed to enjoy wildlife from a distance. Although wildlife are typically more afraid of us than we are of them, they deserve respect regardless of their “cuteness quotient.” Females can be very protective of their young and any wild animal will feel threatened when cornered.

Protect your pets

In order to avoid potential conflicts between domestic pets and wildlife, always keep your cats safely indoors, your dogs safely on a leash and your pets’ rabies vaccinations up to date.

If you’d like more information and resources, please visit the City of Vaughan’s Animal Services page at vaughan.ca.

Happy wildlife proofing,

Susan Kelly, RVT
Animal Services Supervisor
City of Vaughan, By-law and Compliance

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