If you have an emergency call 911
Do not wait for Animal Control to respond.
The Town of Penfield’s Office of Animal Control enforces the local Animal Control Ordinance “to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons; to protect and preserve public and private property, peace and good order; and to promote the taking of effective and appropriate action when wildlife or animals become a nuisance, destroy property or menace an individual or domestic animal.” (Penfield Town Code Chapter 90 - Animals, Article III - Animal Control Officer)
Animal Control responds to resident calls regarding ordinance violations, lost and found pets, and suspected rabid wildlife. The office loans live traps to residents and provide community education on wildlife and domestic animal safety. Officers also conduct a periodic dog census and assist with New York State licensing.
- Act as a Town Dog Control Officer as provided in the Penfield Dog Ordinance
- Cooperate with New York State and Monroe County wildlife officers, police, and peace officers in dealing with wildlife problems
- Destroy or arrange for the destruction of animals, and in the case of animals with rabies or suspected of being rabid, arrange for the delivery of the destroyed animal's brain to the Monroe County Department of Health
- Take and release wildlife to the wild
- Render assistance to residents of the town whose persons and/or property are threatened by wild animals
- Report cases of cruelty or suspected cruelty to animals to the Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County
- Deliver injured wildlife to a New York State licensed rehabilitator
- Deliver sick wildlife, other than those with rabies or suspected of being rabid, to a duly licensed veterinarian
- Issue appearance tickets for violations of local laws and ordinances and New York State laws pertaining to Animal Control
When to call Animal Control
- To report any violation of the Animal Control Ordinance
- If you suspect a domestic or wild animal has rabies
- To report animal abuse (or call the Humane Society of Greater Rochester Animal Cruelty/Law Enforcement 24-Hour Hotline at (585) 223-6500)
- To report an unleashed dog at large
- To report a lost or found pet
- To borrow a Have-a-Heart trap or request pick-up of an animal caught in a borrowed or privately owned Have a Heart trap
- If you have captured a wild animal in a trap (call for special details regarding skunks). There is a limit of five trapped animals per year.
- To request an educational presentation
When NOT to call Animal Control and options
- To retrieve a wild animal from within your house or other structure.
Although Animal Control cannot remove the animal, please call for a referral to a wildlife nuisance operator or rehabilitator.
- To report a dead animal on a roadway.
Instead, call the Town Highway Department at (585) 340-8710. (The Department of Public Works removes dead animals from town and county roads. New York State DOT removes carcasses from state-owned roads. DPW will contact NYSDOT when necessary.)
- To remove a dead animal from private property.
To dispose of deceased wildlife such as raccoon or possum you may bury it (the hole should be at least three feet deep) or place it in a plastic garbage bag (place bag into a second bag) and place in a trash container. Call Animal Control or NYSDEC with any questions.
Residents may borrow a Havahart® live catch animal trap from Animal Control for one week during the months of April through September. Traps may be picked up and returned to the office by the residents on Saturdays ONLY, from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.
* A fully refundable $25 deposit (cash or check, checks are payable to the Town of Penfield) is required for this service. When an animal is trapped, residents are to call Animal Control; an officer will retrieve the trap and release the animal. If an animal is noticed in a trap after 8:00 PM any given night, please wait until the following day to call the office. In inclement weather, please give proper care to the animal by moving the trap to a sheltered area.
Animal Control will also retrieve privately owned live traps with captured animals, release the animal, and then return the trap to its owner. Privately owned traps MUST contain the owner's full name, address and telephone number permanently attached to the trap.
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Each household is allowed up to five nuisance wildlife pickups per household per trapping season (April through September). IT IS NOT LEGAL FOR GENERAL PUBLIC TO TRANSPORT WILDLIFE IN NEW YORK STATE unless that animal is injured and they are taking that animal directly to a licensed rehabilitator or veterinarian licensed to care for wildlife ONLY.
Animal Control does not manage wildlife unless an animal is sick, injured, or is aggressive. In general, wildlife should be left alone. Issues relating to wildlife should be directed to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at 585-226-5380.
Many residents have observed Penfield’s large deer herd, espcially in mild winters. Evidence of this includes an increase of motor vehicle accidents involving deer, local farmers experiencing crop damage and income loss due to deer, and even your own favorite hostas may be chewed down to a nub thanks to hungry deer.
Why so many deer? The population increase is due in part to recent mild winters, a high birth rate, plenty of available food, and low mortality due to predation and/or hunting.
If you wish to prevent deer from damaging your plants and property, here are a few deer-deterrent methods (commercial and home remedies) for your consideration:
- Place wire fencing around freshly planted trees. Fencing needs to be high enough to keep a deer’s long neck from grabbing new buds and wide enough to keep the deer from the plant—but not so wide that the deer will jump into the enclosure.
- Enclose vegetable gardens with a fence no higher than six feet.
- Hang very fragrant shaved soap in gardens or hang in a ventilated bag.
- Place cracked rotten eggs throughout your garden.
- Distribute creosote throughout gardens.
- Place lots of ground garlic or garlic paste to gardens or plants.
- Hang wind chimes throughout your yard and garden.
- Distribute blood meal in areas you wish to protect; deer hate the odor, but so do humans!
- Plant deer-resistant plants such as sage, peony, poppy, mock orange, and morning glories to name a few.
- Make a mixture of rotten eggs (it helps the mixture stick to plants), water, and Tabasco sauce with high concentrate cayenne pepper and garlic paste. Mix four parts water to one egg and blend with the other ingredients until it is fluid enough to be sprayed, then apply to your plants. Reapply each week and following rain.
If you were to search the Internet for “deer deterrents” you would find close to 1.5 million results! That’s a lot of material to sift through; here are a few top recommended sites to make your quest more efficient:
Officers are frequently out on calls and not in the office. When you call, please leave a message for the on-duty officer, your call will be returned when possible depending on the day's activity level. Leave a message between 10:00 PM and 8:00 AM.
As defined by one dictionary, rabies is “a very serious and often fatal disease that affects animals (such as dogs) and that can be passed on to people if an affected animal bites them."
That is the basic outline; however, there is a more scientific full definition: “An acute disease of the central nervous system that caused by Rhabdovirus (species of virus of the genus lyssavirus) usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal and that has characterized typically by increased salivation, abnormal behavior, and eventual paralysis and death when untreated.” It is also known as hydrophobia or fear of water.
Causes: Rabies is spread by infected saliva that enters the body through a bite or broken skin site. The virus travels from the wound to the brain, where it causes swelling, or inflammation. This inflammation leads to symptoms of the disease. Most rabies cases in people occur in children. Most cases are the result of contact with a raccoon, bat, fox, or skunk. These animals comprise the majority of bite infections in
humans. Unvaccinated dogs and cats can and sometimes do contract the virus and transmit it to humans.
Symptoms: The actual time between infection and when you get sick may range from 10 days to upwards of 7 years. This is called the incubation period. The average incubation period is between 3 to 12 weeks. Symptoms may include drooling, convulsions, exaggerated sensation at the bite site, excitability,
loss of feeling in areas of the body, loss of muscle function, low-grade fever (102 degrees or lower), muscle spasms, numbness or tingling, restlessness, agitation, and swallowing difficulty (drinking causes spasms of the voice box).
What do I do if bitten?
Gather as much information about the animal as possible. Call Animal Control to safely capture the animal (preferably alive), the animal will either be watched for signs of the virus (domestic or livestock), or humanely euthanized with brain tissue undamaged to be submitted for a viable testing subject. Immediately contact a physician who will inspect the wound and properly thoroughly clean it. Most of the Time stitches are not needed for a bite wound. If rabies is suspected from the animal then a series of preventive vaccines given in five doses over a period of 28 days. Most patients will also receive a treatment called human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG), given the day the bite occurs….This should be done immediately especially if there has been bite exposure from a VECTOR SPECIES: BAT, RACCOON, FOX, OR SKUNK. NOTE: if you wake up and there is a bat present in your room, you should assume you had contact, seek treatment, and have the animal tested.
What happens if rabies is left untreated?
Untreated, Rabies can lead to death. It is extremely rare for a human to have an allergic reaction to a vaccine.
How do I avoid getting the rabies virus?
Avoid contact with animals you don’t know, Get vaccinated if your job has a high risk of exposure to VECTOR SPECIES. Watch for signs of abnormal animal behavior: walking around in circles, unusually friendly wildlife, aggressive behavior (standing ground against you), lethargic behavior, thin appearance, excessive drooling, convulsive behavior, tipping over or imbalanced, dragging hind end, slightly skunky odor.
Do all animals that exhibit abnormal behavior have rabies?
Not necessarily. There are other diseases and viruses that have similar symptoms such as Parvovirus in dogs and cats, distemper in raccoons, foxes, coyotes, dogs, and cats. Become familiar with common diseases in animals and look for identifiers to help distinguish them.
My dog killed a raccoon and I think it has rabies. Will he get it and what should I do?
Just because your pet kills an animal that has rabies does not mean your pet will contract the virus. Here is why: most pets today are vaccinated AGAINST the virus. Unless the suspected animal bit your pet, drew blood and had a transfer of saliva with blood, your pet will most likely NOT contract the virus. Coyotes for example, can catch, kill, and consume a rabid animal and NOT contract the virus because they are such expert hunters that they almost never get bitten by a pray animal, therefore the infected saliva does not pass to the coyote.
I have a dead animal on my property next to the road. I think it was sick when hit by a car, what should I do?
Animals die every day. Some are killed by predators, some are killed by cars, some die from being sick, and some simply die of old age. For example, if you come across a deer that was hit by a car or just found dead and there is blood present (or not) use common sense. Utilize proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Wear protective gloves and avoid mucus membrane areas if possible (mouth, nose, eye area). Remember, in order to contract the rabies virus you must be bitten by an infected animal or have blood/saliva transmission through an open wound, broken skin, or mucus membrane opening. Always wear the proper protective equipment when handling any dead animal. Latex gloves (protective eyewear and mask are discretionary).
*Important Note: the species listed are known as VECTOR SPECIES, meaning they have the most recorded cases of the confirmed rabies virus, however, it is a virus for warm-blooded mammals. It is possible for deer, squirrels, woodchucks, and beavers (to name a few) can get the virus. We have a large feral cat population as well so always be alert when around animals you are not familiar with. When in doubt, contact Animal Control.
"Coyotes are an integral part of our natural ecosystem and provide many benefits to New Yorkers," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Coyotes will naturally avoid interacting with people if their fear of people is maintained, but if coyotes learn to associate people with food, conflicts can occur. New Yorkers are encouraged to follow DEC's guidance to prevent coyote problems from occurring."
The Eastern coyote is found in many habitats, from rural farmland and forests to populated suburban and urban areas in New York State. Coyotes are well adapted to suburban and even urban environments, but for the most part will avoid conflicts with people. However, conflicts with people and pets may result, particularly during the spring denning and pupping period. If coyotes learn to associate food, such as garbage or pet food with peoples' homes, they may lose their natural fear of humans, and the potential for close encounters or conflicts increases.
Awareness is key to minimizing potential conflicts. To reduce or prevent conflicts with coyotes, New Yorkers are encouraged to take the following steps:
- Do not feed coyotes. Discourage others from doing so.
- Pet food and garbage attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets. Therefore:
- Do not feed pets outside.
- Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals.
- Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible to coyotes.
- Eliminate the availability of birdseed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes. If you see a coyote near your birdfeeder, clean up waste seed and spillage to remove the attractant.
- Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior: stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, then make loud noises, wave your arms and throw sticks and stones.
- Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
- Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.
- Fenced yards may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
- Remove brush and tall grass from around your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
- Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if you notice coyotes exhibiting "bold" behaviors and having little or no fear of people, or if you see them repeatedly during the daytime in a human-populated area or near residences. Seeing a coyote occasionally throughout the year is not evidence of bold behavior.
- Ask neighbors to follow these same steps.
Residents may post missing or found pets on this website and on Penfield TV. Please complete the form for missing or found pets and drop it off to the Animal Control Office, or mail it to Animal Services, 3100 Atlantic Avenue, Penfield, NY 14526. You may also use the form as a guide and phone in the information to (585) 340-8616. No personal information will be distributed. Animal Control 's role is to gather information and help publicize missing pets through PCTV. Animal Control will try to locate Penfield-owners of found dogs (made possible through licensing dogs). If an owner cannot be found, the dog is held until it can be placed up for adoption.