Please make sure you animal proof all access points to homes, attics, garages, and sheds, where small to medium size animals can enter.
Here are some helpful tips: seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes. Keep tree branches and shrubs well-trimmed and away from the house. Keep basements, attics and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
City staff do not assist with wildlife in your home. Should you encounter any wildlife in your home or on your property, please contact a wildlife removal company for advice and treatment if needed. Click here to find a wildlife rehabilitator: Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Click here to find out more information from the Province on preventing and managing conflicts with coyotes.
The private property owner is responsible for wildlife that does not pose a threat to public safety. The City has no legal obligation to be involved with nuisance, abandoned, or injured wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitators in Ontario are authorized by the Ministry of Natural resources to care for wildlife (such as birds, turtles, lizards, squirrels, rabbits, owls, hawks) in distress until they can be released back into the wild.
Private property owners who accidentally trap wildlife are required to contact a pest control company or licensed trapper to assist. The City does not assist in the relocation or release of trapped or abandon wildlife on private lands.
Under normal circumstances, the By-law Enforcement will not remove dead animals from private property. Individual landowners are responsible for the cleanup of their own property. In most cases, dead wild animals (such as squirrels, mice, rats, birds) can be safely bagged and set out with regular garbage for collection or buried. Never touch a dead animal with bare hands. Always wear gloves or use a double plastic bag to handle dead animals and wash hands thoroughly after. If you are uncertain of disposal arrangements, contact Customer Service.
For more information about West Nile Virus or dead bird disposal, call the West Nile Virus Information Line at 519-383-3824, toll-free 1-800-667-1839 ext. 3824 or visit lambtonpublichealth.ca.
The City has a responsibility to protect its land from wildlife that pose a threat to public safety or property, some examples of this may be:
- Raccoons on public or private land with rabies or distemper
- Deer, coyote, and fox which may pose a threat to public safety on public or private land.
How to know if a raccoon has distemper? Look for the following signs:
- Raccoon is active during daylight
- Raccoon appears stunned and isn’t moving for hours at a time
- Raccoon’s eyes look glazed over.
If you suspect a raccoon may have distemper, contact By-law Enforcement. By-Law Enforcement can help a property owner determine if the raccoon has distemper. If the raccoon does not have distemper, By-law Enforcement is not responsible, and the property owner will be advised to contact a pest control company, licensed trapper, or a wildlife rehabilitator.
If an animal is found deceased on City property, please call 519-332-0330 ext. 3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the location and type of animal. The proper team will then be contacted to properly dispose of the animal. The City does not remove deceased animals on private property.
Small dead animals (such as squirrels, mice, rats and birds) should be safely bagged and set out with regular garbage for collection. Never touch a dead animal with bare hands. Always wear gloves or use a double plastic bag to handle dead animals and wash hands thoroughly after.
Residents are advised to stay vigilant when enjoying Sarnia’s outdoor trails, parks and beaches as coyote sightings have become more and more common within the City. When coyote sightings increase, many times these sightings are due to humans intentionally or unintentionally providing a food source. Coyotes tend to be more active during certain times of the year such as the spring when they are raising young, or during the winter when they are looking for mates and protecting their territories.
While coyotes, by nature, are wary of humans, they are opportunistic feeders and have been known to prey on small dogs or cats that have been left unattended. As such, residents are reminded to please keep pets under strict control. As coyotes are most active between the hours of dusk and dawn it’s important to ensure pets are not permitted to run at large. Accompany your pets outdoors and ensure they remain on a leash, this will help minimize such encounters.
If you encounter a coyote, do not approach. Coyotes will do their best to avoid human contact, but may attack humans when provoked, sick or injured. Yelling in a firm voice while outdoors “Go away coyote!” banging pots, spraying a water hose, throwing objects towards (not at the coyote) can be effective deterrents to safely move a coyote away. Flashlights and motion activated lights may also help deter coyotes from entering onto your private property.
Tips to Discourage Coyotes on your Property
Coyotes as well as other types of wildlife require food, water, and shelter. Follow these tips to keep wildlife away from your property by:
- Storing garbage in plastic containers with locking lids.
- Storing garbage indoors until garbage day.
- Keeping pet food inside your house.
- Ensuring compost is stored in approved containers.
- Keeping pets indoors when possible or accompanied by a leash.
For information about coyotes or other wildlife please call the local Ministry of Natural Resources district office at 519-773-9241. If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, call 911.
For more information visit www.ontario.ca/LivingwithWildlife
If a coyote is visibly sick/injured and in an area that poses a direct threat to public safety (i.e. parks, trails, streets), contact the City of Sarnia at 519-332-0330 or call 911.
The keeping of certain animals is prohibited or restricted within the City of Sarnia. Please refer to the appropriate sections of the Animal Control By-Law 234 of 1992.
- Burmese Python
- Boa Constrictors
- Indian Python
- Reticulated Python
- Rock Python
- Venomous snakes of any kind
If you’re concerned about the welfare of an animal in Ontario, call the Ontario Animal Protection Call Centre at 1-833-9ANIMAL or 1-833-926-4625. This includes animals that are injured, in pain, suffering or abused, as well as animals that lack proper care, water, food, or shelter.
Based on the location and nature of the incident, the call centre may flag the ticket for further investigation with the appropriate authorities, such as a provincial inspector or the local police.
Learn more about animal neglect/cruelty enforcement at https://www.ontario.ca/animalprotection.
Dogs & Cats
Information on dogs and cats within the animal by-law.