September 22, 2003, VANCOUVER - Every year thousands of wild animals are killed, injured or disrupted, often putting the displaced creatures in jeopardy simply because people have allowed their homes and other buildings to fall into disrepair. The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is asking everyone to ensure that their homes, cottages, sheds and other buildings are maintained in good condition so animals cannot take residence in them.
"In order to keep your family safe, innocent animals out of harms way, and your home energy efficient and in good repair it is necessary to ensure that your home is wildlife-proofed," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director.
"Wildlife-proofing your home only takes some common sense, a little time and knowing when to call in professionals for the more difficult jobs," adds Hickey.
According to HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan, keeping our homes in good repair is the least that we can do to ensure that we minimize human-animal conflicts.
"When people and animals are in conflict, the animals lose every time. We have taken much of their habitat. When they turn to find shelter within our buildings we forcefully remove them or even worse know of people who kill them. Wildlife and people can coexist peacefully," states O’Sullivan.
"The end of summer or early fall is a good time to make these repairs," adds O’Sullivan. "Most animals aren’t having their young and those who hibernate haven’t started their winter’s nap yet."
It is vital that the entire home or cottage be made off-limits to wildlife. Some of the areas that are particularly attractive to animals include:
- Chimneys need to have appropriate caps that are effective in keeping animals out but which won’t become clogged or cause a fire. You might contact your local fire department to ensure the appropriate chimney cap is selected and installed properly.
- Roofs are often the place where animals gain access to the home. Where the fascia meets the roof is a common place that if it is not maintained can allow animals access into your house.
- Kitchen and bathroom exhaust vents are areas that are susceptible to unwelcome guests.
- Plumbing vent pipes and roof vents are two more areas that can be targeted by animals.
- Areas beneath homes and decks can become favourite homes for some animals.
- Small holes and cracks are potential access points for small animals like mice and bats.
For more information contact The Humane Society of Canada at 1-800-641-KIND (5463).
CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280
[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
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