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Living with Wildlife in Lake County

Best Friends Animal Hospital has been issued permits by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Natural Resources. These permits allow us to provide medical care, rehabilitation and captive rearing for native wild animals. We are legally prohibited from providing any information that would allow an unlicensed individual to care for a wild animal.

Wildlife have special nutritional, handling and housing needs that can only be met by licensed individuals. It is illegal to keep wild animals without a license for any amount of time. Failure to place an injured or orphaned wild animal with a fully trained and licensed wildlife rehabilitator can result in the death of the animal you are trying to help.

If you believe you have identified an animal in need of care, please contact us or one of the other Lake County wildlife resources.


Wildlife Problem Prevention

These suggestions will help prevent problems with wildlife on your property.

  • Do not feed wildlife
  • Do not store garbage cans outdoors
  • Keep grills and barbeques clean
  • Keep pet food and water indoors, especially at night
  • Keep spillage from accumulating around bird feeders
  • Trim trees that allow access to rooftops
  • Install and maintain chimney caps
  • Keep roof, soffit and fascia in good repair
  • Block access to areas beneath decks and porches

Wildlife Deterrents

These suggestions may help deter wildlife if they are already a problem on your property. All deterrent techniques should be started as soon as the wildlife is identified and continued for at least a week.

  • Place lighting in the den and leave it on during the day.
  • Place a radio, alarm clock or noisy toy in or near the den during the day.
  • Place ammonia soaked rags near den, resoaking daily.

Important: Do not use the ammonia technique from March - August. During this season there may be infant animals in the den unable to escape from the toxic fumes.

Call our office for more information on deterrents, or to inquire about safe wildlife relocation.

What Not To Do
When faced with a problematic intruder or an injured wild animal, there are some actions that are never appropriate.
Do Not Use Poisons
Poison is inhumane and may be illegal. Poisons kill indiscriminately and can impact scavengers and birds of prey, as well as neighborhood pets.
Do Not Trap Wild Animals
Trapping and relocating a wild animal is illegal without a permit, and will generally only open a space for another animal to move in. Trapped adults may leave behind young that will die of starvation.
Do Not Remove Eggs or Young Animals
Baby animals are not like baby humans. Their parents do not watch them constantly, and it is normal for them to spend a lot of time alone or with siblings. If you suspect there is a genuine need to intervene with infant wildlife, please call our hospital for guidance.
Do Not Keep Wild Animals
It is illegal to keep wild animals for even a very short time. If you find a wild animal you believe needs medical attention, please call our hospital for guidance.