Simple Steps You Can Take Today to Protect Urban Wildlife

  •  Keep cats indoors to prevent them from being injured and to protect birds, which are their most common prey after mice.
  • Cap your chimneys to prevent birds and small mammals from becoming trapped.
  • If animals are living in your garage or on your property, anything that prevents a mother from caring for her young will only cause suffering. Most species of native wildlife have their young from early spring (March) to early fall (SeptemberOctober). Since the family will typically live there for only a few weeks, it’s better to wait until they vacate in early fall and then take action to prevent other animals from residing there again.
  • To prevent animals from returning to attics, eaves and crawl spaces, place ammonia-soaked rags near nesting areas, or place a radio turned to a high volume in the area.
  • Tamper-proof your garbage cans. Cover all outdoor trash bins to prevent wildlife from being attracted to your yard, and to protect animals from injuries resulting from discarded food containers (such as peanut butter jars becoming trapped on raccoon’s heads, or yogurt containers on skunk’s heads.)
  • Check porches, decks, sheds, and garages for holes or weak areas and seal them off. Regularly check the roof and eaves and block all holes using galvanized sheet metal. Keep garage and shed doors shut at night. If an animal goes into a garage or shed, simply leave the door open for a few hours after dark and the animal will eventually leave.
  • Keep tree branches trimmed to prevent wildlife from accessing your roof.

There are also ways to protect wildlife away from home. For instance, when at the beach, be sure to dispose of all containers, food wrappers and other trash before you leave. Sea turtles and other marine life will often eat plastic bags, causing severe (and often fatal) blockages in their digestive tracts. They can also become entangled in packaging such as plastic six-pack rings. Avoid losing Frisbees, aerobies (a type of flying disc with the center cut out) and other beach toys in the water to prevent sea life from becoming caught in them. Be sure to also bring in any loose fishing lines and lures from ponds and other fishing areas.

If you see an animal in distress, please call the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston at 617-426-9170.

Help the ARL of Boston’s Rescue Services team continue to perform life-saving rescues of pets and wildlife by making a donation today.