Wild, Wild Life, Part 3: Home & Neighborhood

Wild, Wild Life, Part 3: Home & Neighborhood

Photo: Dennis Murphy/Flickr Creative Commons

Part Three of a Three-Part Series by District 6 neighbors Dave Marshall and Nancy Bain
How to respond to foxes in your neighborhood – suggestions from the Austin Animal Center
Here is some information from Adrienne Clark, Animal Protection Officer–Wildlife, Austin Animal Center. Adrienne encourages people to contact her via email when they have concerns about wildlife in their surroundings.
As Austin grows, our interactions with wildlife increase. Foxes are our lifelong neighbors, adept at living in marginalized space. To keep foxes and other wildlife wild, we can follow a few, simple preventative measures:

  • Always keep trash and compost in a secure bin
  • Keep your barbecue grill clean
  • Keep the area under your fruit and nut trees free of droppings (foxes and coyotes are omnivores)
  • Avoid feeding pets outdoors (if you must do so, feed during the daytime and remove the uneaten food as soon as your pet has finished)
  • For outdoor pets such as chickens, rabbits, and guinea pigs, supervise or build a sturdy structure
  • Address brush, rock, or construction material piles around your yard. Such piles can create a refuge for smaller animals, including insects, which are part of a fox’s varied diet

To discourage foxes from associating people with safety or food, remove the food sources around your yard and engage in hazing procedures if you see a fox on your property during daylight hours. To haze, be big and loud: Wave your arms, shout, use noisemakers, and throw non-edible objects in its direction (but not at it), or spray the animal with a hose. It shouldn’t take much for the animal to get the memo – just be persistent and maintain eye contact. Hazing reinforces the animal’s natural wariness without harming them. Do not haze if a fox is sick, injured, with kits, or is out at twilight hours or night.
Pet safety
Keep small pets inside when possible and monitor them while outside. While walking dogs, use a secure, 4-6 foot leash and do not let dogs explore vegetation that you can’t see through. It is advised that pets be fed indoors. If pets must be fed outdoors, feed during the daytime, and remove food as soon as your pet is finished.
Learn about exclusion and pet safety at this Humane Society link.
Learn about Coyotes in Central Texas at this link.
For questions, call: 512-978-0514.
For immediate assistance, call 311.
If you have an injured animal, domestic or wild, call 311, ask for Animal Emergency Dispatch.
The Emergency Animal Hospital of NW Austin near 183 & Oak Knoll, also accepts domestic and wild animals.
Call: 512-331-6121.

Texas Parks and Wildlife and Huston-Tillotson University are collaborating on a study to learn more about the coyotes moving into the city limits.
For further assistance contact an Animal Protection Officer at the Austin Animal Center.
Explore ATXD6.org for Parts 1 & 2 of our Wild Wild Life Series!