For Immediate Release
August 20, 2015
Contact: Justine Lentz
Animal Services Superintendent
Wildlife Trapping Guidelines in Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas is called the Natural State for many reasons; one of those reasons is the abundance of wildlife. At times, it can be hard to balance our lives and needs with those of the wildlife around us. Fayetteville Animal Services has historically serviced citizens’ privately-owned wildlife traps; for instance, if a resident didn’t like the raccoons eating around their birdfeeders, they could set a trap and call Animal Services. An Animal Control officer would remove the raccoon and release it in a rural area near a water source. However, multiple studies have shown the impact of relocating wildlife may be harmful to the wildlife, often resulting in starvation and death, so a change needed to be made in the City’s practices related to wildlife response. Also, calls for this particular service take up much more time than a regular call and Animal Control officers have not been able to conduct necessary patrolling of parks and neighborhoods to address safety issues. Currently we are rotating three Animal Control officers seven days a week, for the entire City.
In addition, unless citizens take appropriate steps such as removing food sources or sealing off entryways into or under structures, it is only a matter of time before some other animal moves in to take the place of the past occupant. Often people don’t realize that they have a food source nearby. Items such as pet food dishes left outside, garbage, compost piles, and bird feeders all provide food for different creatures. Fruit trees and vines also can attract hungry wildlife. To discourage wildlife from making entry or establishing residence on your property, citizens should identify and remove or protect all potential food sources. Many times there are also structures that provide shelter for animals such as sheds elevated on blocks, porches, and uncapped chimneys. Prevent animals from returning by installing exclusion fencing, chimney caps, and conducting thorough property maintenance.
Effective September 1, 2015, Animal Services will set a trap or will service privately-owned traps once in a twelve-month period and relocate trapped wildlife, following the City’s standard guidelines for the setting of humane traps. Animal Control officers do not service attics, basements, and crawlspaces – citizens will be required to hire a professional wildlife trapper or service their own traps. However, if a citizen finds a wild animal in a living space (e.g. you come home to a possum in your kitchen, bedroom, closet), Animal Services will respond to that call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.