Wildlife & Community Cats
Any free-roaming cat seen outdoors could be considered a community cat. Some may have owners that allow them to wander outdoors but many appear to be unowned, stray or feral. Some community cats are friendly, but truly feral cats would be unable to adjust to living indoors.
To save these cats, the Florida Keys SPCA encourages, promotes and assists the implementation of trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs in our communities. TNR involves trapping, sterilizing, vaccinating and returning these cats to the locations where they were originally found. This strategy not only reduces the population over time by preventing breeding, it also helps keep the cats safe and healthy.
The Florida Keys SPCA also supports and assists setting up managed cat colonies in our communities. Florida Keys SPCA staff and volunteers make every attempt to socialize them well enough to become family pets. Only when the above efforts are unsuccessful, we have no alternative but to humanely euthanize them.
Most of the reasons wildlife enter our property is to find resources to survive. Here are a few tips on how to keep wildlife at bay:
- Never feed wildlife. Once wildlife become accustomed to a handout it will be difficult to deter them.
- Keep garbage cans secured so that wildlife cannot enter.
- Outside pet food should be taken in every night. A wildlife animal does not understand it is not for them.
- Removing plants that are a natural attractant to wildlife.
- Install motion detected water sprays.
If precautions are taken, most wildlife will not pose a threat or need to be removed from the property.
Nuisance wildlife, as defined in Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) 68A-9.010, refers to an animal or animals exhibiting behavior that:
- Causes (or is about to cause) property damage.
- Presents a threat to public safety.
- Causes an annoyance within, under or upon a building.
When removing animals from your property, it is inhumane to release them in another location where the animal is unfamiliar with the area and can be illegal.
Removing Wildlife should always be a last resort.
When removing an animal from your property, consider the following:
- A trap may be rented for a $75 deposit from the Florida Keys SPCA.
- You may only trap on your own property.
- When trapping a community cat and surrendering it to the FKSPCA we will have a 5 day stray hold before the cat becomes property of the FKSPCA.
- When trapping wildlife, a native species may be released at the discretion of the FKSPCA.
- When trapping a non native species such as iguanas or muscovy ducks, that animal will be humanely euthanized by the FKSPCA.
Bufo Toads (or Cane Toads) can be extremely lethal to your pets at home. They are commonly found in yards, around buildings or near canals and ponds. Bufo toads breed year-round in standing water, streams, canals and ditches. The FWC encourages landowners to kill Bufo toads on their own property whenever possible because of how poisonous they are.