Animal Services only handles issues related to cats and dogs.
The wildlife that shares our environment is, for the most part, a welcomed and treasured gift. But sometimes, wildlife can be as intrusive as we must seem to them. Though we can’t come to your place
personally, we can help you learn how to co-exist with that wiley coyote or garbage-loving raccoon. Find basic information and direction on where to get more help.
Animal Services is unique to Pinellas County. The FWCC is a State agency. The FWCC deals with all alligator problems and enforces laws against feeding certain wildlife such as sandhill cranes and raccoons. It also responds to all protected, threatened and endangered species such as the scrub jay, great blue heron, brown pelican and manatee to name a few. They are also the fastest way to get help for beached sea mammals such as whales, sea turtles, dolphins and manatees. Their emergency number is (888) 404-3922. The FWCC has a detailed listing of wildlife rehabbers and transporters in Pinellas County who may be able to assist you with the birds and animals listed above.
Nature watching is one of the nation’s fastest-growing hobbies, and it has an active following here in Pinellas County. To get the most from your nature watching experience – whether you see it from your back porch or at a county park, remember:
- When you visit county parks and preserves, you are a visitor in the home of many species. Treat it with the same respect you would show any host.
- Bring your binoculars and get a good view of the native wildlife.
- Bring a camera and film when visiting parks or preserves to capture memories for a lifetime.
Many of the reasons we enjoy our yards are often the same reasons that cause wildlife to feel at home. Our properties supply a quiet environment with plenty of food, water and cover. Take a look at your yard to see if you can make changes that can create a less hospitable place for these animals. Here are some suggestions:
- Feeding or attempting to handle wild animals – no matter how cute or hungry they seem - often results in more harm than good. They can become aggressive when they don’t get their anticipated serving, and may interpret your friendly advances as a threat. No person shall feed any feral or wild animal on park property.
(Chapter 90, Section 6 - Protection and preservation of wildlife
- People food isn’t healthy for animals. Each animal has its own unique diet and disrupting it can lead to all types of health problems.
- If it smells like food (foil, plastic bags, etc.), animals will eat it. Dispose of trash properly.
- Avoid leaving pet food and water sitting out when your pet is not outside.
- Baby animals are cute, but their mothers will protect them aggressively. If you see baby animals, stay away.
- Remove woodpiles and debris to eliminate opossum hiding places. Thin dense vegetation. If you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden, remove all fallen or ripened fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.
- Cover compost piles and avoid composting human food items.
- Trim tree branches and shrubs away from the roof. You can also secure metal flashing around some trees to a height of about three feet to prevent climbing.
- Make sure shed and storage area doors are tightly secured.
- Use deterrent methods to scare animals away.
- To prevent animals from falling into or building a nest in the chimney, install a screened fireplace cap.
- Ensure all gaps and eaves are securely screened. Secure crawl space access screens with heavy-duty construction cloth mesh of at least 18 gauge wire.
- If you do feed birds or squirrels, use feeders that are designed to cut down or prevent food from falling to the ground.
If you’re not sure whether a wild animal is currently under a house or shed, lay a thin layer of white flour in front of the opening, hole or space in question. Check the spot several times during the night. When animal tracks are seen leading away from the spot, you can secure the screen or hole. You may need to repeat this if there is more than one animal.
Return to top