Spring reminders from Penfield Animal Control

Wildlife activity picks up in the spring

In our semi-urban/rural environment, it's commonplace to find recently born deer fawns nestled up in your yard, bushes, and even on a deck or porch. People often assume the fawn has been abandoned, but the mother is usually not more than a hundred yards or so away. If you find a fawn in your yard, examine how they are positioned. If it is in a tight curled position, that is normal; mom is not far away and will typically be back to feed and reposition them in another area. If the fawn is lying on its side with its legs extended, the fawn is in distress and needs assistance. 

In spring, foxes and Coyotes also have their pups (also called kits for foxes and cubs for coyotes). Both animals are omnivores, meaning they will eat anything, including bird seed, grass seed, rodents, birds, berries, nuts, and small pets if given the chance. This does not make the animal bad; rather, it is normal behavior to survive. Always be vigilant with your small pets, especially if you have indoor/outdoor cats.

During this time, we also see animals such as woodchucks (groundhogs), skunks, and opossums come out of hibernation. When they do, they can be disorientated for sometimes up to 10 days or more, and it may appear like the animal is sick. 

Bats typically return in spring as well. If you find a bat in your house, try opening a window for an active flying bat to guide it out of the home. Do not scream or make loud noises, as it may disorient them and confuse them further. Our Animal Control Department does not enter houses to remove wildlife; please get in touch with an area wildlife removal specialist if you need assistance.

If you have concerns about wildlife behavior, please get in touch with Animal Control to evaluate the situation. Please contact us immediately should you suspect an animal to be sick or have questions about rabies or other neurological disorders.

Fisher sightings in the area

Recently, there has been an increase in sightings of an animal that is relatively new to our area, the Fisher. Typically seen in New York State's northern portion, the Fisher appears to be moving south and west. They are weasel-like animals, approximately 8-12 pounds, and can be up to 45 inches long with a dark coat of medium-length brown fur. They have unusual vocalization, which can be disturbing if heard at night, including a hissing, growling, and high-pitched scream that some say is like the sound of a child. The animals do not pose a threat to humans, but please be aware that the animal has not been commonly spotted in the past.

Nuisance wildlife removal

One of the biggest challenges facing Animal Control in the spring is trapping nuisance wildlife. We begin issuing traps to residents starting the first Saturday in April and continue through the last weekend in September.

Penfield Animal Control trap loaning information:

  • Traps are issued/ returned on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at our office located at 1587 Jackson Road. There is a $25.00 refundable deposit for the trap issued (one trap at a time); a check payable to the Town of Penfield or cash will be accepted.
  • Trapping agreements must be signed when receiving a trap. Up to five nuisance wildlife pick-ups per household per trapping season

In recent years, the use of privately owned traps has increased. Many residents are unaware that transporting wildlife without a permit is a violation of New York State Conservation Law. 

If you use a personal trap to remove nuisance wildlife, the trap must have your name, address, and phone number permanently attached to it to be legal. Always contact Animal Control to remove the animal, as we are licensed and trained to do so.

By working together and being aware of our surroundings, we can all coexist in our community. We are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact Penfield Animal Control at (585) 340-8616 or animalcontrol@penfield.org with questions or concerns.

Officer Steve Shicker,
Penfield Animal Control