Urban Wildlife

General Information

  • Most wildlife in Texas is protected by State Law.
  • Migratory birds are protected by Federal Law.
  • It is illegal to possess a protected species even if it is orphaned or injured. A person must be licensed by the State for wildlife re-habilitation to possess any wildlife.
  • It is illegal to release, relocate or transport wildlife. Call Animal Control to do this for you.
  • It is illegal to kill wildlife without a license.

Wildlife Rescue

  • Make sure an animal needs help. Parents do not abandon healthy young in most cases. Touching a baby will not make parents abandon it.
  • An animal needs rescue if:
  • It is weak, thin, cold, sick or injured.
  • The parent is known dead and the baby is too young to survive on its own.
  • There are excessive insects (flies, ants, ticks, fire ants, etc.)
  • There is an obvious danger and the animal can’t be moved to nearby safety. (cats, dogs or other predators in area, it is in the roadway, etc.)
  • Call Animal Care If Rescue Appears Necessary at 972-317-6551. OFFICERS ARE TRAINED AND EQUIPPED TO HANDLE WILDLIFE.

Do Not:

  • DO NOT FEED - Wrong food or feeding at the wrong time can do more harm than good.
  • DO NOT GIVE - cow's milk or baby formula.
  • DO NOT GIVE - hamburger
  • DO NOT OFFER - water in a bowl without securing to prevent spilling and chilling the animal.
  • DO NOT KEEP - wildlife as pets.
  • DO NOT HANDLE - unless absolutely necessary. Let the professionals do it for you.

Nuisance Control Tips


  • Discourage denning by removing brush, rock piles, etc.
  • Place chicken wire on ground to discourage digging.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper, or rags soaked in ammonia, in area.
  • Treat yards for grubs and other underground insects.


  • Do not attempt to handle, CALL ANIMAL CONTROL.
  • Do not kill, it is against the law.
  • Do not use pesticides in area.
  • Bats carry rabies and histoplasmosis. Report any bite, scratches, or accidental direct contact to a person or domestic pet immediately.


  • Wrap trees with ¼ to 1 inch wire, 3 ½ feet up the tree trunk.
  • Paint or spray pepper on trees.
  • Protected species. Do Not attempt capture.
  • Call Animal Control if problems persist.

Cats: Bobcats and Cougars

  • Usually can be discouraged by noise and activity.
  • If it appears injured or sick, call Animal Care.
  • Never attempt to capture or confine, let the experts handle them.
  • Keep cats and small pets inside - they are an easy meal.


  • High risk rabies carriers. If the animal appears injured or sick, call Animal Care.
  • Discourage from area with ammonia soaked rags or cayenne pepper sprinkled throughout area.
  • Also discouraged by electric fences or guard dogs.
  • Store trash and pet foods properly.
  • Keep cats and small pets inside - they are an easy meal for coyotes.


  • Carry ticks that cause Lyme disease.
  • Can be discouraged with noise makers, soap bars hung in trees or blood meal spread in problem areas. (Caution ; blood meal can be toxic to domestic animals.)
  • Fencing to exclude deer must meet or exceed 6’ in height to be effective.
  • Fawn rescue should be done if :
    • Fire ants are present and threatening to fawn.
    • They have been chased long distances by dogs.
    • Injured by vehicle, implement, fence, etc.
    • Doe is known to be dead or disabled.
    • Sick or dehydrated.
    • Away from doe for 24 hours and/or has been fed cow's milk


  • Protected species.
  • High risk for rabies.
  • Exclude with noise, light or ammonia soaked rags.
  • Report all contact with humans or domestic pets immediately. Do not handle or dispose of a dead fox. Call Animal Control.


  • Protected species
  • If after pet birds ( or farm yard fowl) - take birds in at night. Or build sturdy pens with tight fitting doors and windows with netting or wire which is ½” or smaller mesh.
  • Attracted by pet foods. Remove uneaten foods and properly store supplies and trash.
  • In attics or buildings:
  • Turn on lights, make area as bright as possible.
  • Play loud music in area.
  • Scatter ammonia soaked rags in area.
  • Best done in evening to encourage them to leave when they are most active.


  • Carry ticks that spread tularemia.
  • Carry fleas that spread plague.
  • If young are not injured, do not rescue. Place near nest, in shrubbery, fence row or brush pile. Mothers will not abandon. Can survive on their own if they are 4” or more in size.
  • Extremely prone to fractures and stress. Do not handle unless absolutely necessary.
  • Discourage by :
  • Fencing with low, buried or electric fences.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper or blood meal in problem areas.


  • Protected species.
  • High risk for rabies.
  • Rescue young if :
    • Mother is known dead.
    • Young are thin or weak.
    • There are excess fleas, ticks or fire ants.
    • Do Not Feed !!
    • Never try to handle any raccoons!!! Call Animal Care!
    • In attic or crawl space;
    • Make area as bright as possible.
    • Play loud music in area.
    • Scatter ammonia soaked rags in area.
    • Put light dusting of flour at entrance to determine activity.
  • In Chimney:
    • Do Not Start A Fire!!
    • Use above suggestions.
    • Lower a heavy rope from top of chimney, if possible.
    • When clear, cap chimney.
  • In Trash:
    • Place ammonia in spray bottle and spray around trash bags or cans.
    • Keep containers tightly closed.
    • Place bagged trash out for collection only after daylight.
  • In the House:
    • May enter through pet doors.
    • Do Not attempt to capture.
    • Confine to smallest space possible.
    • Remove food items.
    • Open an outside door or window.
    • If animal does not leave, call Animal Control.
  • In the Garden:
    • Lights, noise or dogs will discourage.
    • Call Animal Control for live trap.


  • High risk for rabies.
  • Illegal for citizens to kill.
  • Can spray 5-6 times consecutively and are accurate up to 20 feet.
    • Contact Animal Control for trapping.
    • Evict with bright lights, loud noises, or scattered, ammonia soaked rags.
    • If your dog is sprayed by a skunk:
    • Wet and soap dog thoroughly.
    • Mix equal pats of peroxide, baking soda and liquid dish soap to use as a shampoo.
    • Rinse well. Repeat as necessary.
    • Can also spray with green “Scope” mouthwash. Do not try another brand.
    • If person is sprayed :
    • Remove clothing.
    • Use “Simple Green” brand detergent.
    • Spray all surfaces with diluted bleach and rinse.


  • Protected species. (Except for ground squirrels and flying squirrels)
  • Fallen infant :
    • Place in box at bottom of the tree. Keep pets and people away for at least 2 hours. Crying is normal and helps the mother find the baby.
    • Orphaned or injured babies --- Call Animal Control.
  • In attic or wall :
    • Make as bright as possible, play loud music.
    • Place ammonia soaked rags in area and at entrance.
    • If these measures fail, call Animal Control.
  • In Chimney :
    • lower rope from top of chimney for squirrel to climb out on, if possible.
    • Do Not Light a Fire.
    • If there is a nest, use bright light, noise or ammonia and allow time for mother to move young.
    • Cap Chimney after removal to prevent re-entry.
  • Gardens and potted plants :
    • Spray plants with Bioform (from organic nursery ) or garlic pepper, tea or sprinkle with cayenne powder.
  • Can sprinkle blood meal in area.
  • Bird Feeders: This is a war that cannot be won!!!


  • Most are beneficial and harmless.
  • Acute sense of smell and taste.
  • All snakes are deaf.
  • All snakes can bite, only four (4) species in Texas are venomous.
  • Certain species are protected.
  • Not known to transmit diseases to humans, but all bites should be thoroughly cleansed and tetanus shots up to date.
  • Bites from venomous snakes can be fatal. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • In the House :
    • Remain Calm. Use a broom to encourage snake to exit an open door.
    • Sweep into box, waste can or bucket and call Animal Control.
    • Seal possible entrances to prevent future entry.
  • In Outbuildings :
    • Removal same as above.
    • Discourage by storing feeds and trash properly to eliminate rodents which attract snakes.
    • Keep areas such as yards, sheds, etc. free of debris and overgrown vegetation.