When outside with your dog, be aware that your dog may be an attractant to animals like coyotes or cougars that may view it as a threat or prey. You should also be sure to keep your dog clear of other wildlife such as porcupines, deer, raccoons, and rattlesnakes. Dogs off leash can disturb ground nesting birds and chase, injure or kill small mammals and deer. Please follow these rules when outside with your dog:
If you have an encounter with aggressive wildlife, please alert the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife office near you. If the encounter occurs after hours or on the weekend, please call your local animal control officer, police department or county sheriff’s office, who can contact a conservation officer to handle the situation.
Contrary to popular belief, cats hunting wildlife is not “natural.” Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and were brought here by European settlers. They are not “native” wildlife and therefore when they kill native species, they are disrupting the ecosystem.
House cats, due to their predatory nature, do pose a threat to wildlife populations such as songbirds and small mammals. Free-roaming house cats can be an attractant to bring wildlife, like coyotes, into a neighborhood. The cats themselves are often at risk of being preyed upon by larger predators like coyotes, foxes, raccoons, cougars, skunks, raptors and domestic dogs. The human safety risk is higher once wild animals find a food source close to urban areas. Cats can also contract diseases, such as rabies, from coming in contact with wildlife.
To protect our pets and wildlife, here are some tips to turn an outdoor cat into a happy indoor cat:
Note: If behavioral problems arise once a cat is denied access outdoors, they can usually be attributed to boredom. Be patient and review the steps you took to keep the cat indoors. Talking with your veterinarian or a cat behavior specialist can be helpful.