Over the past two years especially, we have seen a significant increase in the raccoon population in Southern Ontario. It is estimated that in the Toronto area alone there are 40-80 raccoons per square km. WOW! Therefore, it stands to reason that the frequency of raccoon/human interactions is also increasing. Depending on the situation you encounter, you will need to call a few different organizations to resolve the specific issue. We will touch on these organizations and their functions below.
When To Call Animal Control
We can approach this topic by separating raccoon encounters into two categories. First is when you encounter raccoons out in the neighborhood. Either in distress, injured or acting erratically. The second scenario is when raccoons are seemingly healthy, but found on your property scouting out a new place to call home.
The first situation is when you should contact animal control. Especially if you see a raccoon out during daylight hours. This is a sure-fire sign something is wrong as they are nocturnal creatures.
If you come across a raccoon in distress, acting strangely or seemingly injured, it's best to call animal control and not a private wildlife prevention company. And DO NOT approach the animal under any circumstances. Unfortunately, private wildlife outfits do not have the resources to respond to these types of requests.
The truth is animal control centers get upwards of 50 000 calls a year for raccoons alone in the Toronto area, therefore more often than not they will only respond if the animal is showing signs of infection, or is posing a threat to the community. This can be frustrating to us animal lovers but it's also understandable considering the logistics involved.
If you suspect the animal has a chance to survive and are not having any luck with your local animal control service, you can attempt to contact a shelter or refuge center on your own. We will provide a list of resources below:
- Toronto Wildlife Centre (Toronto)
- Ontario Wildlife Rescue (Toronto)
- Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge (Jarvis Ontario / Near Brantford)
althavenWildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre (Mt Brydges, ON / Near London ON)
- Bear Creek Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary (Barrie)
When To Call A Wildlife Removal Expert
Your local animal control service will not remove any form of wildlife from your home, basement, attic, barn or roof-top. Their main objective is to protect wildlife from the spread of disease and care for them if they’re injured and out in the open.
If you have wildlife of any kind in an area of your home that needs to be removed, and you want it done humanely, you’ll have to call a professional. Your local wildlife removal and prevention companies have the expertise and training to deal with these situations safely, humanely and efficiently. A word to the wise, it's prudent to ensure your service provider has liability insurance, as well as at heights training and up to date vaccinations for its technicians.
There are times when we work in conjunction with local shelters, the SPCA, the humane society and refugee centers, but our main service is in the prevention of wildlife and pest entries after removing the animal humanely and determining it’s entry point(s).
Keep in mind (especially during springtime) it is crucial to react quickly if you suspect you may have an intrusion. Raccoons are highly motivated and very creative/destructive if they decide they want to enter your attic, shed or garage. Check out the video below:
The Take Home
If you’ve encountered a raccoon you’ll have to decide whether it’s injured or not and who to call thereafter. If it’s injured and out in the open or wild, you’ll want to call your local animal control service.
If it’s in your walls, attic, basement or anywhere else in your home, you’ll want to call a wildlife removal or pest control company who will resolve the animal issue and ensure it doesn’t recur again in the future. Raccoon removal should only be performed by professionals.