I've found a Raccoon, Fox, coyote, or skunk...
what do I do?
Please consult with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officer, or animal control officer before intervening!
Under Colorado law, it is illegal to possess any species of wildlife without a license. This is where licensed rehabilitators like us come in! In addition to being licensed to take care of wildlife, we have the ability to provide injured and orphaned wildlife with the best nutrition, appropriate medical care, and are usually able to pair them with their own kind so they can thrive and learn proper behaviors for their species.
It is legal, however, for the general public to capture an injured wild animal and transport it to a willing veterinarian, CPW, or licensed rehabilitator.
RABies vector Species
Though all mammals can potentially carry rabies, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and skunks are considered to be "rabies vector species" because they are more likely to have rabies than other animals. If one of these animals bites or scratches a person while they are capturing or rescuing it, it must be tested for rabies. The only way to test for rabies involves euthanizing the animal. While the risk of rabies in Western Colorado is low, it is a significant and deadly disease that requires precaution.
If you need to rescue a raccoon, fox, or coyote, please follow these precautions to protect your health and prevent the animal from later having to be euthanized:
- Avoid handling the animal if at all possible by using nets, carriers, or live traps to capture them.
- Always wear thick gloves if you must handle the animal.
- Do not let baby raccoons, foxes, or coyotes lick you.
- Do not try to feed baby animals - get them to a rehabilitator as soon as you can.
- Contact PSSWF for advice prior to capturing any of these animals.
Unfortunately, PSSWF is not licensed to rehabilitate skunks.
Help save my life!
I know I look cute, but if I need rescue, please help save my life by avoiding touching me! Don't let your bare skin come into contact with me, especially with my saliva or other secretions.
If you have raccoons or skunks living in your attic or other place, try putting ammonia soaked rags in the area. The ammonia will usually convince the animal it wants to live somewhere else!
Arrowhead Vet Hospital (PSSWF sat. in Fruita)
Garfield County Animal Control Dispatch
Pitkin County Animal Control Dispatch
CPW - Canyon Creek Office
CPW - Grand Junction Office
CPW - Meeker Office
CPW - Hot Sulphur Springs Office