Some troubling behaviour has been observed in the local racoon population this spring (2017).
The Owen Sound Animal Shelter (OSAS) have already had over a dozen calls for racoons in distress after interacting with a porcupine. This behaviour has never occurred at this level before in this area and is not considered normal.
What To Do and Who To Call
Spending all or part of your summer at the cottage is not like being in the city.
There are wild animals with whom we share this beautiful space.
In 2016 there were a number of incidences involving wild animals in distress and one where a dog and another a teenager were bitten by raccoons. The individuals involved at the time were unsure what to do and who to call.
The following should help you avoid a confrontation and give you the correct numbers to call should one take place.
Some Simple Rules
- If you see an animal behaving strangely, leave it alone. Call the OSAS pager number, 519-373-5721, for advice.
- Never let children come in contact with wild animals.
- If you find an animal trapped in your garage, shed or under your deck, leave it alone and call the OSAS for advice.
- Don’t leave pet food outside, ever. It also attracts larger animals such as bears.
- Rabies and distemper are in the area. Have all your domestic pets vaccinated and keep them on a leash at all times. Minimize any wild/domestic animal interactions.
Wild Animals in Distress
Do not go near or approach an animal (wild or domestic) if they are behaving in an odd manner.
If you see a small animal (dog, cat, fox, skunk or racoon) in distress or behaving oddly, call the Owen Sound Animal Shelter (OSAS) on their pager at 519-373-5721. They will return your call, 24/7.
They will walk you through a quick triage process to determine if what you are seeing is an animal in distress or not. It may well be normal behaviour, but it may not.
OSAS will help you determine your next steps. OSAS will respond to a trapped or cornered small wildlife on Saugeen First Nation, if there is no sign of behaviour disorder.
If the OPP attends, expect the animal to be dispatched. You will be expected to dispose of the remains or, if a human bite is involved, take the remains to the Public Health Unit for testing.
If the Animal has Bitten a Human
call the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit immediately at 519-376-9420 and report the animal bite.
Take the person bitten to the nearest hospital immediately.
Do not call the Ministry of Natural Resources as they will not answer the phone or will not attend.
Under no circumstances approach a wild animal. If it approaches you, that is not natural behaviour. Call the OSAS for advice.