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Animal Control Vs. Wildlife Removal Services

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether or not you may need animal control services or wildlife removal services. We will discuss the differences between them and who you should call for certain situations. 

What is Animal Control?

Animal control is a governmental organization that deals with dangerous and misplaced animals. Some reasons people will call animal control for are lost dogs and cats, rabid wildlife or dead animals in public settings. Animal control works primarily with domestic animals like cats and dogs and farm animals, but will also work with any type of animal if it is believed they have rabies.  Animal control is run by the local government and most counties, if they are big enough, have one. Some of the most common issues or reasons animal control is called is because of animal abuse, catching strays or dog attacks to other animals or even people. Animal control can also be a general term for a service that deals with animals and most people might not know that there is actually a difference between animal control in their county and private wildlife removal services.

What is wildlife removal?

Wildlife removal companies are called when the task is above the scope of work for animal control. For instance, when an animal dies on your property, animal control will not assist in the situation because it is not on public property. Animal control will only respond to wild animals that are in your living space but not in the attic or crawl space of your house. The major difference between the two services is, since animal control is funded by the government, your taxpayer dollars pay the fees associated with the services. Wildlife removal services, however, are paid by the homeowner. Wildlife removal companies will help if there are animals in your home and if they are causing damage to your property and home. 

Animal control is governed by animal control officers who are trained police officers who are skilled to work with animals and the removal of them from properties. When it comes to wildlife removal, they are skilled technicians through their company. They are licensed through the state much like animal control officers. They are thorough in their work and will make sure the job is completed efficiently and effectively. Animal control can be contacted through the non-emergency police of your county. Private wildlife removal companies will need to be contracted and found on your own. Very often, the two resources can be confused, especially when there is limited knowledge about what each service does and does not do. 

What does animal control do in Northern Virginia?

Animal control will capture and impound dangerous or stray animals, including domestic pets. They will work to investigate animal cruelty cases, enforce licensing laws, provide testimony in court cases and rescue trapped animals. In Northern Virginia, animal control provides safety and welfare to the members of the community and ensures animals will not hurt them or other animals. Because animal control is part of the police department, they are actual police officers known as animal control officers. Some local animal control is contracted out to the humane society such as Arlington and D.C. Some jurisdictions are calling their animal control departments “animal protection police.”

What do private wildlife removal companies do in Northern Virginia?

Private wildlife removal companies will work with nuisance animals in small quantities. They will only work with wild animals and no domestic animals. They will work to trap animals and remove them from your property. Some companies take more care for the treatment of the animals, but according to Virginia law, they must obey the mandates set in place by the state. They will do exclusion work to maintain properties and ensure animals will have a hard time returning to your property. Summit Wildlife Removal with work with a variety of wild animals ranging from snakes to birds and raccoons and squirrels. Our skilled technicians are trained in delivering the best quality service. People who do wildlife removal are known as wildlife technicians or animal removal technicians. 

When should I call animal control?

You should call animal control when you have a domestic animal situation that is possibly dangerous to you or others. If you see a pet wandering around or you see a wounded, abused or possibly sick animal, it is best to call animal control. Animal control will work to find the owners of the animal, if it is missing or they will protect the animal in abusive circumstances.

When should I call a private wildlife removal service?

You should call a private wildlife removal service when animal control will not handle your situation. For example, if you have bats in your attic, you would have to hire a private removal service to take care of the job. Because animal control is funded by the government, they can only take care of animals that are on state or county maintained properties. Animal control will not go inside homes to remove wild animals unless they have rabies or some other zoonotic disease that presents harm or a threat to the residents. 

How can I contact animal control?

Because animal control is part of the police department for your county, the best way to contact them is through your local non-emergency police. The officer will be dispatched just like any other situation that requires a police officer to be present. Private wildlife removal companies however will not be referred to you by animal control, instead you will have to locate the company using your own resources. Sometimes when you contact a private wildlife removal company, such as ours, they might refer you to animal control if they cannot handle the situation or if they legally cannot deal with the situation. For example domestic or farm animals, animal control is legally, the only resource allowed to take care of those types of animals.

For wildlife removal in Fairfax, Arlington or Alexandria and other parts of Northern Virginia, contact Summit Wildlife Removal. Whether you have raccoons in your attic or squirrels in your chimney, bats in your insulation or snakes in your basement, contact Summit today to schedule your estimate for animal removal.

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