(Main picture is cheerful little Lily, a lovely three year old Mountain Cur Mix who is up for adoption now. For more information please click HERE).
“Just living the Dream” – A family, a roof over your head, food in your belly. Not to mention, if misfortune befalls us, we have ambulances and hospitals, police, fire dept and facs. Financially if things get super bad we have insurance in some circumstances, or disability and welfare.
Now, that said, we also don’t have an oppressing super species that’s taking over all of our cities and demolishing our homes, polluting our water and eliminating our food sources among other things. Imagine that!? Believe it or not, wildlife that surrounds us, is just trying to live the dream too, we are just making it impossible.
(Below is Squishy, a female black and white pig up fr adoption now! She is less than a year old and very social. For more information please click HERE).
Even before my education and work background, I’ve always loved wildlife. The chance to see an animal that you rarely see, I always thought of it as a “treat” or “blessing”.
However, over the past few years, with our population rising and expansion taking over even more of the habitat of wild critters; I’ve received many calls at the shelter of people that are terrified or even downright angry that an animal could be trespassing! Not just on their property, but neighbours, school yards and hydro fields.
(Below is shy little Bailey who needs someone to open up their home and show her what true affection is. She is a Cocker Spaniel mix and about 2 years old. She was rescused from hoarders. For more information click HERE).
Now although at some time they can seem like a nuisance at times, (and I’ll address that later in wildlife proofing), they rarely threaten human health of safety, it’s actually the other was around. People think that because they put a fence up around their yard it makes it exclusive to them only. I believe that works for the most part with other humans, but that’s pretty much it. Our back yard, porches, balconies, school yard and hydro fields are visited by many creatures, some just travelling through, some looking for food and some in fact live there and always have. They’re not trespassing; they’re just living.
(Below is 5 year old Chester who loves other cats and would love to be part of your household. For more information CLICK HERE).
Below is wonderful Meatball. He’s been cooped up for quite a while. Could you open up your home for him? He’s a Lab Mix who is about 4 years olf. For more information CLICK HERE).
Many of these animals play a vital role in our maintaining and creating healthier ecosystems that benefit us. If we take the opossum for instance, I’ve had people call screaming that there’s a huge rat in there recycling bin. After asking further information, it’s determined that it’s actually an opossum.
First off not only are they not even related to rodents. They’re actually a marsupial, so relatives of the kangaroo and koala. They are not dangerous unless they are cornered and even then sometimes just “play dead”. They have a partial or totally immunity to rabies, and help get rid of ticks, grubs, rodents and snakes. Proper wildlife proofing could have avoided this whole circumstance.
I also want to add that some animals living in the metropolitan area such as, opossums, skunks, raccoon and coyote have change some of their know habits to adjust to living in close quarter with us, including looking for food and water during the day. Unless they seem sick (spinning in circles), or injured, they may just be looking for midnight snack during the day.
It’s our responsibility as the super species to learn to share and keep other species safe. By that I mean wildlife proofing. Nip it in the bud before it can become a nuisance, problem or scary encounter.
Wildlife proofing 101
- Educate children to never touch or approach wild animals
- DO NOT feed, Ever
- Make garbage, compost and recycle inaccessible to wildlife
o Use garbage cans with locking lids
o Clean recycling before putting in out
o Fasten lids with bungee cords
o Put garbage out the morning of pick up and not the night before
- Use motion senior lights to scare unwanted critters away
- Keep pet doors locked
- Do not leave pet food out at night
- Keep BBQ closed and grill clean
- Use window well covers
- Fix any holes in roof or siding
- Use environmentally friendly, non toxic pesticides on lawn to control grubs
- Cap chimneys
- Cover vent openings with mesh
- Trim tree branches that are close to your roof
- Inspect attic for any openings regularly
- Keep eaves troughs cleaned out
- Close in open area’s under decks and hot tubs
(Below is 4 year old Mirabelle up for adoption now . She is a shy little kittie…for more information CLICK HERE).
In some sense, we have been conditioned to believe we humans actually own everything, but in reality, we share everything. I hope the next time you see a critter…I hope it gives you as much enjoyment and wonder as it does me. If you have any questions you can always call our shelter 905-356-4404
This week’s column written by: By Nicole McKenzie, NFHS staff
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