As temperatures rise and drought persists in the panhandle, people are more likely to come into contact with wild animals.
“Wild animals are likely to begin moving into city limits to seek out food, water, and sometimes shelter as drought conditions continue and summer approaches.”
The most effective way to protect yourself, your children, and pets, is to steer clear of those animals altogether.
However, it can be difficult to maintain boundaries as our environment starts to overlap with the environments of those animals.
We spoke with veterinarian and owner of Noah’s Ark Pet Hospital of Amarillo, Dr. Merten Pearson about what to do should you come into contact with a wild animal.
His advice? Don’t attract them in the first place.
“Feed your pet inside. If your pet stays out, sure they need water, but they don’t have to have food out all the time. That’s just an attractant that draws in not just your pet, but everybody else that can scale a fence. Diseases that your pet could pick up, rabies is always possible. If it ever gets into that kind of population, we’re talking a trainwreck.”
Dr. Pearson says animals you should be on the look-out for in your neighborhood include skunks, foxes, coyotes and of course, snakes.
They all tend to move closer to our homes for shelter from the heat.
He also says keeping pets indoors or on a leash when you go out for walks can reduce the number of direct and indirect interactions you have with wild animals. Which in the end; helps to keep everyone safer.
Dr. Pearson says if you anticipate coming into contact with wild animals it’s wise to stay up to date on vaccines to provide another layer of protection as well as keeping outdoor pets current on shots.