Pets and Wild Animals

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Animal Safety

As the weather warms, people and their pets will be spending more time outdoors. Please protect yourself, your children, and your pets by practicing the following safety rules:

  1. Remain calm and gentle around animals.
  2. Never approach a strange dog, a dog that is tied up, or confined.
  3. Don’t ever tease a dog with food, toys, sticks or other objects.
  4. When you do approach a dog that you know, don’t pet him/her without first allowing the dog to smell your closed fist.
  5. Never tease or play aggressive games with your pet. It is difficult for an animal to differentiate when this is/is not appropriate.
  6. If you are unsure how your dog will behave around children, do not allow children to pet him/her.
  7. Do not allow a child to pet your dog if he or she seems nervous, aggressive, or has food in his/her hands.
  8. Always maintain adult supervision when pets and children are together. You can never assume your pet will not bite!

Wisconsin State Statues, Section 174, makes it mandatory for pets to be licensed. For questions regarding licensing, please contact the Treasurer’s office at 768-6501.

Any animal bite must be reported to the Oak Creek Police Department.

Remember, pets need vaccines, also. If an animal bites, and is not up to date with rabies vaccination, quarantine at a veterinary facility will be required at the owner’s expense.

Blastomycosis

Are you an owner of a dog or cat? Local veterinary hospitals/clinics have noticed an increased in confirmed cases of Blastomycosis in dogs residing in the area.

Blastomycosis is a systemic fungal infection that affects dogs, cats and humans; however humans generally do not get this disease from their pet. Blastomycosis is found in the soil and environment such as in wooded areas, rivers, streams. Blastomycosis is transmitted through inhaled fungal spores found in the soil.

According to Becky Lundgren, DVM, typically affected areas include eyes, bones, skin, and lymph nodes.

The signs of illness will depend on what organs are infected and may include one or all of the following: loss of appetite, depression, weight loss, fever (103 degrees or higher), coughing, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, enlarged lymph nodes, eye disease, or skin lesions that drain bloody or pus-like material. (K. Hutton, DVM)

Diagnosis consists of bloods tests, X-Rays, urinalysis, cultures or biopsies. Treatment involves various antifungal medications. Please contact your veterinarian if you have further questions.

Leave Wild Babies Alone

Although wild animal babies may sometimes be found alone and appear to be abandoned, they are seldom truly orphaned. Their parents are usually nearby. Cottontail rabbits for instance, have nests resembling a shallow scrape in the ground. Some are in unlikely places such as the middle of a backyard, on a playground or in a garden. It is common for people to find a Cottontail nest and assume that the young bunnies are orphaned. However, the mother rabbit avoids unwanted attention by staying away from the nest during the day and only returns to the nest after dark to feed her young.

Naked babies, or babies of any species that still have their eyes closed, should not be out of their nest. If this is the case, these little wild animals will need human intervention if they are to survive. You are encouraged to call (414) 431-6204 for advice about animals thought to be orphaned. (Article courtesy of Wisconsin Humane Society)

PLEASE DO NOT attempt to rescue, raise or keep wild animals as pets! It is illegal and despite their cuteness, wild animals carry diseases and parasites transmissible to people. There is also a good chance that someone will be bitten or scratched by the animal. If a scratch or bite does occur the animal will be euthanized (killed) and tested for rabies. Please DO NOT put your own safety at risk. For further information you may call the health department at 768-6525, the Wisconsin Humane Society at 414-ANIMALS (414-264-6257) or visit the Wisconsin Humane Society website at www.wihumane.org.