Wildlife Frequently Asked Questions
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Do you handle wildlife?,
No. We cannot mix wildlife with the domesticated animals in our shelter. We handle domesticated animals only – this includes livestock, such as cows, chickens, and horses (although we do not have the facilities to board them at the shelter). All wildlife complaints or concerns should be directed to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) at (800) 292-7800.
If you found a baby animal, please do not disturb it. Mothers will typically leave babies so they can look for food, and they will usually come back to get them. If you move the baby animal, you are causing a problem, not helping them! If you know that the baby has been abandoned in a location for more than one day, you can call the DNR or the Howell Nature Center for information on what to do. Please be aware that the Howell Nature Center does not take in raccoons.
I have a raccoon, opossum, or bats in my home, what should I do?,
Please call a local critter control or pest control company. Livingston County Animal Control and Shelter is only authorized to deal with domesticated animals. We cannot remove a wild animal from your home or yard.
There is a coyote in my yard, what should I do?,
Coyotes are common in Livingston County. If they are left alone, they will normally leave you alone. Since we only deal with domesticated animals, if you have a problem coyote, you should contact the DNR at (800) 292-7800. We recommend that you do not leave small pets outside unattended - you are enticing coyotes to come into your yard to investigate, and putting your pets in danger.
I have an injured deer in my yard, what should I do?,
Please contact the DNR or your local police department. Livingston County Animal Control and Shelter only deals with domesticated animals. We have do not have the means to treat or dispose of deer.
What should I do if I find a bat in my house or if my pet kills a bat? ,
If you or your pet is the victim of exposure to or a bite from a bat, please contact the Health Department at (517) 546-9850. A health department nurse will advise you on whether or not the bat needs to be tested for rabies.
What should I do if I get bitten by a wild animal?,
If you are bitten by an animal and the bite is serious enough to require medical attention you should go directly to a health care provider. You should also call the Health Department at (517) 546-9850 if you have been bitten by a wild animal. Some wild animals are rarely infected with rabies and have not been known to transmit the disease to humans. These animals include: chipmunks, gerbils, gophers, squirrels, guinea pigs, hamsters, moles, shrews, mice, muskrats, voles, rabbits, rats and prairie dogs. As a result, the species listed above will NOT be test by the state lab except under extenuating circumstances.
Other animals, like fox, opossum, raccoons and woodchucks have been known to carry rabies and the Health Department will decide if the animal should be tested.
How do you test to find out if an animal has rabies? ,
There is no test that can determine whether or not a live animal is infected with rabies. The animal must be humanely euthanized, decapitated and sent to the state lab for specific brain tissue testing. Rabies affects animals neurologically and that is why brain tissue must be tested for confirmation.
To avoid this test, make sure to get your dog or cat vaccinated against rabies and keep them current. A rabies vaccine is very inexpensive and can help you avoid a lot of heartache as a pet owner.