I hear a lot of people tell me about how they trap raccoons or groundhogs or foxes or skunks or squirrels in live-traps and then relocate them to a new area to be let go. The reason for relocation is because they tell me they feel "bad" for the animal and don't want to kill it but they also don't want it eating their garbage or chickens or getting into their attics. Well, guess what? That animal you just relocated from your property is now at someone else's property causing them the same problems it caused you.
Relocating a raccoon 12
miles down the road does not break its habit of getting into people's garbage
cans. It's just going to find new garbage to get into. Then it is going to be
live-trapped again and relocated back 12 miles to your property! It's a never
ending cycle. That raccoon will have baby coons which it will teach to eat
garbage. Those babies will get trapped and relocated to a new place where they
will breed and teach their kids to eat garbage. Eventually the whole stinking
area is full of raccoons who get into garbage cans because you felt "bad" for
the animal and wouldn't shoot it.
If you do not break the cycle by
euthanizing the problem varmints, they will continue to be problems. Don't ever
assume that just because you drove 12 miles into the "wilderness" on what seems
to be an uninhabited road that you aren't just dumping your problem varmints
into someone's backyard. They WILL find a way to continue to eat garbage or
chickens or get into attics unless you put a permanent end to them. Animals are
very smart and once they find an easy meal ticket or a nice place to live, they
will try to find that again even if relocated. Once they know the things that
human habitation offer, like food and shelter, they will continue to seek out
humans and continue to be a nuisance.
This is the reason nuisance bears
often get euthanized. Once they learn to cause a problem, they never ever forget
it. Bears are a lot harder to trap and relocate, plus they can cause fatal
damage to humans, so euthanasia is the only option. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels,
foxes and woodchucks, on the other hand, rarely cause fatalities. They do cause
property damage, livestock losses, and can hurt people/pets. Is this no less a
reason to foist this harmful animal on someone else?
Keep in mind too
that all of these animals can carry rabies. Rabies is on the rise with more
cases reported in this area each year. It can be fatal to you or your pets to
have rabies carrying varmints around your property. Rabies is not a fun disease
and is fatal in any animal that contracts it who isn't vaccinated or immediately
treated. Treatment is a long process involving several series of shots. Those
shots make your whole body ache to the bone. They are not something someone
wants to do voluntarily. The vaccine is available for your pets and livestock.
It does need to be updated every couple of years. If your pets or livestock come
in contact with a rabid animal and you can't prove that they are up to date on
their rabies vaccinations then you must put your them down whether or not they
actually have rabies. Since rabies is so dangerous, the Health Department does
not fool around. All potentially infected animals must be euthanized. My
brother's dog was put down because the dog didn't get his rabies booster
vaccination on time and then killed a potentially rabid skunk. My brother
cleaned up the dead skunk. My brother had to get treated for rabies and the dog
had to be euthanized because both of them were potentially exposed to rabies due
to the skunk. My only comfort is in hoping that the skunk was a native of that
area and not one that had been live-trapped and relocated by
Please don't relocate nuisance animals from your property. If
you are going to trap them, please be responsible and euthanize them.