Wildlife & Rabies Control
Animal Control Officers can respond to limited wildlife calls, if the animal is inside a residence or business. Examples include raccoons, opossums, injured birds and small injured animals.
If a small, healthy animal is loose in your home, you will need to contact an exterminator. The smallest traps Animal Control has available are designed for cats and will not work on squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs or rats.
Controlling Coyotes in the City Limits
Eradication of coyotes is impossible. Western states have tried to eradicate coyotes for 100 years but have been unsuccessful. As a result, we must learn to live with and control coyotes.
An important control method involves food kept outside your home:
- Don't leave pet food out all the time. Only put out food at feeding times and take it up when pets have finished eating.
- Keep trash up and haul it off where coyotes can't get to it. This will not only control coyotes, but also varmints and bears.
- Don't throw out food scraps. Scraps attract all types of unwanted varmints and animals.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has no season or limits on coyotes. Coyotes may be killed anytime day or night (with restrictions) outside the Greenville city limits but this control measure is prohibited inside the city limits.
The SCDNR has depredation permits that can be issued to trap coyotes to help control the population. Leg hold traps must be set by a knowledgeable trapper and coyotes trapped with a depredation permit must be destroyed before being moved. The drawback to a leg hold trap is that it can't distinguish animals and anything that walks into one will be trapped.
Are Coyotes Dangerous?
Coyotes typically are not dangerous. No one in South Carolina has ever been hurt or injured by a coyote and there have been very few injuries nationwide. While coyotes can contract rabies, raccoons, skunks and foxes pose a higher rabies risk.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Rabies Control Section is responsible for the quarantine of animals that have bitten. Greenville City Animal Control does assist DHEC when an animal has bitten someone in the city limits, but only when the incident is a violation of city ordinance. Dogs can either be quarantined at the City of Greenville facility or at the owner's veterinary clinic at their own expense. If the animal is quarantined at the City's facility, there will be a fee of $10 a day per animal.