Raccoons & Wildlife

FOUND A BABY ANIMAL? Please scroll to the bottom of the page for more information. 

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 and trapping of healthy wildlife is prohibited under state law with the exception of certain, special circumstances.  If they are brought to the shelter, per law many 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.

Wildlife Removal Agencies – Philadelphia County

The following individuals are licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission to trap and remove nuisance wildlife. These individuals set their own prices. Some charge by the hour. Others charge by the number of individuals trapped. Make sure you are aware of how charges are calculated prior to requesting assistance. This information is provided as a reference and for the convenience of the public. It does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by ACCT Philly.

Pest Control Professionals, located in 19115 – 215-783-7680
John Teas, located in 19118 – 215-242-5733
Peerless Pest control, located in 19120 – 215-324-4719
BATS Wildlife Control, located in 19124 – 267-250-3656
Kaspar’s Exterminating, located in 19128 – 215-482-8155
Aardvark Pest Management, located in 19136 – 215-333-4442
Steve’s Wildlife Management, located in 19136 – 215-335-9500
Dynamite Pest Control, located in 19139 – 215-474-2700
Wildlife and Pest Control Technologies, located in 19143 – 215-471-7300
James Johnson, located in 19144 – 215-260-4009
A Wild life Pro, LLC – 610-927-7792


The best thing to do is leave the baby alone – the mother is most likely coming back!  For more information, please read the following press release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Mothers of encountered young animals typical found nearby.

HARRISBURG, PA – Whether in their backyards or high on a mountain, it’s almost certain Pennsylvanians will encounter young wildlife this time of year.

While some young animals might appear to be abandoned, usually they are not. It’s likely their mothers are watching over them from somewhere nearby.

So when encountering young deer, birds, raccoons or other young wildlife, the best thing people can do is leave the animals alone.

“Most people want to do what they can to help wildlife, and when they see a young animal that appears to be abandoned, they want to intervene,” said Wayne Laroche, the Game Commission wildlife management director. “What they don’t realize is that, in all likelihood, they’re doing more harm than good.

“Those young animals probably aren’t abandoned at all, meaning that anyone stepping in to try to help not only is taking that youngster away from its mother, but also destroying its chances to grow up as it was intended,” he said.

Adult animals often leave their young while they forage for food, but they don’t go far and they do return. Wildlife also often relies on a natural defensive tactic called the “hider strategy,” where young animals will remain motionless and “hide” in surrounding cover while adults draw the attention of potential predators or other intruders away from their young.

Deer employ this strategy, and fawns sometimes are assumed to be abandoned when, in fact, their mothers are nearby.

The Game Commission urges Pennsylvanians to resist the urge to interfere with young wildlife or remove any wild animal from its natural setting.

Such contact can be harmful to both people and wildlife. Wild animals can lose their natural fear of humans, making it difficult, even impossible, for them to ever again live normally in the wild. And anytime wildlife is handled, there’s always a risk people could contract diseases or parasites such as fleas, ticks and lice.

Wildlife that becomes habituated to humans also can pose a public-safety risk. A few years ago, a yearling, six-point buck attacked and severely injured two people. The investigation into the incident revealed that a neighboring family had illegally taken the deer into their home and fed it as a fawn, and they continued to feed the deer right up until the time of the attack.

It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal.

Under no circumstances will anyone who illegally takes wildlife into captivity be allowed to keep that animal, and under a working agreement with state health officials, any “high risk” rabies vector species confiscated after human contact must be euthanized and tested; it cannot be returned to the wild because the risk of spreading disease is too high.

Animals infected with rabies might not show obvious symptoms, but still might be able to transmit the disease. Though any mammal might carry rabies, the rabies vector species identified in the agreement are: skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes and groundhogs.

People can get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal if they are bitten or scratched, or if the saliva gets into the person’s eyes, mouth or a fresh wound.

Only wildlife rehabilitators, who are licensed by the Game Commission, are permitted to care for injured or orphaned wildlife for the purposes of eventual release back into the wild. For those who find wildlife that truly is in need of assistance, a listing of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators website, www.pawr.com.

If you are unable to identify a wildlife rehabilitator in your area, contact the Game Commission region office that serves the county in which the animal is found so that you can be referred to the appropriate licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Region office contact information can be found through the “Connect with Us” tab on the agency’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov.