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Chesapeake Animal Services does not routinely pick up wild animals or provide traps for this purpose. Officers will respond if:
Citizens may be concerned about perceived dangers from these animals. In reality, a person is 700 times more likely to be harmed by a dog or a cat than one of these animals. However, wildlife is naturally drawn to food sources. The best way to discourage wildlife from visiting your property is not to provide such a food source. This may include removing bird feeders at least temporarily. As for your pet, he or she is much more likely to attack wildlife than the other way around. If your pet is injured as a result, it may have to be quarantined. The best way to protect your pet is to keep them away from wildlife and make sure rabies vaccinations are current. (See What Should I Know About Rabies?)
It is unlawful to disturb or destroy the nests of song birds or migratory birds.
CASU gets many calls during the spring and summer for "injured" birds. In reality, most of these are fledglings. These are baby birds that are just beginning to feather and have left the nest to learn to fly. They are still being fed by parents. How do you tell if a bird is a fledgling?
Fledglings are much better off if left alone so that the parents can care for them. They are experiencing an extremely important part of their development towards independence.
If you are really concerned that a cat or other predator may harm the fledgling, you may fashion a "nest" out of the bottom portion of a milk carton or 2 liter soda bottle. Thread the top portion of your "nest" with string or twine so that it can hang in a bush or tree, or nail it to a tree. Punch small holes in the bottom and put some bedding in your "nest" then place the fledgling inside. It will call to its parents, and they are probably close by in any case. It is NOT true that if you touch the bird, its parents will abandon it.
If an animal is causing property damage, or you simply wish for more information about wildlife, contact the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 804-829-6580. Call 804-367-1258 after hours and on weekends. They will be able to advise you regarding the laws pertaining to these animals, and may be able to refer you to professional trappers.
With increasing development in our City, wildlife is more visible than ever before. In almost every neighborhood, Chesapeake residents will commonly see raccoons, opossums, muskrats, nutria, groundhogs, foxes, and many types of birds. These animals seem to have lost their fear of humans and have readily adapted to living in close proximity to humans. In addition, species that we often think of as nocturnal are now frequently seen during the day.
These animals are a necessary part of our environment. Some are predators that eat vermin, insects, and carrion (dead animals). Some are prey that other animals use as a food source. Sometimes citizens request that these animals be captured and removed for no other reason than the fact that the animal is present. Relocation is not permitted when most of these animals are captured. They must be destroyed. This is neither practical nor desirable, if the animal is healthy and behaving normally. Finally, removal can often create a void that will quickly be filled by another animal.