Raccoons & Wildlife

Although Philadelphia is a large city, it is not uncommon to observe wildlife walking about on neighborhood streets—even during the daylight hours.

If you are concerned about wildlife near your property, there are several precautions you can take:

  1. Ensure all garbage cans are securely closed with a lid.  Do not leave bags of trash in front of your property or on the sidewalk.  Most wildlife are drawn to the smell of trash and, if they can access it easily, will consider your property a nice place to eat.
  2. Do not put food on the ground for birds or other animals.  If you are feeding birds, make sure you use a commercial bird feeder that wildlife cannot access.  If you are feeding feral cats, always place food in a container and pick it up after a short time.
  3. Repair all holes and openings in your roof, siding, porch, etc.  Wildlife will often gain entry to properties through weak structures and take up residence.
  4. Use Philly311 to contact Philadelphia License and Inspections and report abandoned or dilapidated homes and city code violations in your area that wildlife has inhabited.
  5. Check out information on Raccoon and Skunk deterrents distributed by the Philadelphia Health Department. Raccoon Information
  6. Access the Pennsylvania Game Commission website or the Schuylkill Center website for information on many types of wildlife found in Philadelphia and tips on how to deter these animals from your property.
ACCT Philly will respond to a raccoon/wildlife complaint in the following scenarios:
  1. If the animal is in a common area of the home. For example: the animal is in an area of the home such as the living room or bedroom.  They will not respond if the animal is in the walls, attic, or crawl space of the home.
  2. If the animal appears to be injured or sick. ACCT Philly will attempt to capture a visually verified sick/injured raccoon whether it is inside or outside of a dwelling.
ACCT Philly does not respond to raccoon/wildlife complaints when:
  1. A raccoon is located in the walls, attic, or roof areas of a dwelling (or any other areas that are not common areas). In these circumstances, you can either purchase a humane animal trap from a hardware or pest control retailer (such as Lowe’s or Home Depot), or contact a Licensed Wildlife Control (removal) agency.  ACCT Philly will retrieve a raccoon from your location once it has been trapped for a fee or you may deliver the raccoon to our 111 West Hunting Park Avenue location. *Please note per law that prohibits re-release, all adult raccoon brought to ACCT Philly are euthanized (killed).
  2. Healthy wildlife is found in yards, streets, parks, etc.  These animals should be left alone.  If they are brought to the shelter, per law they CANNOT be relocated-they will be euthanized (killed).  Use the resources provided above to deter these animals from frequenting your neighborhood.
There are 8 species of bats that are common to Pennsylvania.  It is not unusual for residents of Philadelphia to observe bats flying around on summer evenings and sometimes observe them inside of their homes.  If you encounter a bat in your home, do not panic.  Chasing or swatting at the bat only causes it to fly erratically and will needlessly prolong the incident.
Contact ACCT Philly at 267-385-3800 to report a bat flying inside the living space of your home. Confine the bat to as small an area as possible.  If the bat was in a room where someone was asleep or where there were young children present, contact the Division of Disease Control at 215-685-6748 to report the incident.
If you realize that you have bats roosting in the non-living spaces of your home (usually in attics or crawl spaces) you will need to contact a Licensed Wildlife Control (removal) agency.  You can find more information on the Pennsylvania Game Commission website or the Schuylkill Center website  on what to do when you encounter roosting bats.