Health & Welfare FAQ's for Wild Animals

What services does animal control provide in Mountainside?

  • Rescues injured and stray animals.
  • Rescues injured wildlife. Reunites lost pets with their owners.
  • Enforces local and state animal laws including the investigation of dog bites and animal attacks, animal welfare checks and nuisance complaints

What should a resident do if they see a fox or coyote?
Just seeing a fox, or even possibly a coyote, is not by itself cause for concern. Over the past few years these animal populations have grown and can be found throughout NJ. It is important to remember that both fox and coyote have adapted to live quite well in the suburbs and even alongside humans. It is also important to remember that these animals are normally not aggressive. There are things that residents can do to make their property less appealing to these animals.

  • Do not feed wild animals
  • Ensure all trash is placed in a receptacle with a tight fitting lid
  • Do not leave food for pets outdoors
  • Ensure all bird feeders are maintained and tidy (you may even consider using a block suet)
  • Ensure your yard is clean with trimmed hedges and cut grass
  • Install a motion sensor light in your yard

If a raccoon is spotted out during the day, should residents be concerned?
No. The idea that raccoons are completely nocturnal is inaccurate. Raccoons often look for food during the day, especially during the fall and spring.

When should a resident become concerned?
Anytime an animal appears sick, aggressive or injured residents should call the local police department who will contact animal control. If an animal has not moved from certain location or has been circling an area for a while animal control should also be contacted.

What should a resident do if they encounter an animal that is aggressive or appears to be rabid?
After an encounter with aggressive or possibly rabid animal residents should immediately notify the police. If possible, try to keep an eye on the animal so the police know where to find it when they arrive.

Is the rabies virus still found in NJ?
Yes, unfortunately, there is still rabies in NJ. You can protect your pets and your family by ensuring that all dogs and cats, even those that never go outdoors, are licensed with the Borough and currently vaccinated against rabies. Licensing your pets is not only the law but it is also a way of protecting your pet against rabies. You can license your pet by contacting the Borough at 908-232-2400.

With warmer weather approaching, what happens if a resident finds a bat in his or her house?
Bats can sometimes carry the rabies virus. Anytime a bat is found in a living space animal control or the police should be called. If possible, bat should be collected for rabies testing so do not let it out the window or cause injury to its head. It is also important to remember to cap your chimney appropriately.

Are you allowed to feed wild animals in Mountainside?
No. Mountainside has several local ordinances that prohibit the feeding of wild animals. These local laws include the feeding of stray cats. Additionally, New Jersey law states that anytime a resident feeds a stray cat, they become the legal owner of that cat or cats.