What’s Possible for Possums, Best for Beavers, and Good for Gophers
In a blog I posted earlier this year, I wrote that: The work of The HSUS is grounded on a couple of core principles: animals have the capacity to suffer, and we humans have the capacity to help them. We hold all the power over animals, and our choices and conduct have enormous consequences for them. And it’s hardly some far-off or abstract concern, since they live in our communities, as pets and wild neighbors, and they are enmeshed in so many sectors of our economy and society, whether in food production, fashion, science or wildlife management.
Those aren’t just words, but a call to action. At The HSUS, one of the important steps we’ve taken to provide a better outcome for wild animals in our neighborhoods is to expand our Humane Wildlife Services program. This is a fee-for-service business founded in 2007 to provide homeowners, businesses, municipalities, and communities with humane solutions to conflicts with wildlife.
John Griffin/The HSUS
Humane Wildlife Services solves wildlife conflicts
effectively and humanely.
The idea was to provide a more enlightened and forward-looking approach to the work being carried out largely by the so-called “nuisance wildlife control” industry, which has a strong hold on strategies and commerce in this sector. Businesses in this field vary in size and ethics, but the dominant mindset is to trap and kill or to trap and relocate. Most companies do not search for or try to reunite dependent young, and many do not close up entry points or otherwise solve wildlife problems at their source. Both animals and humans end up losers – and for animals, often fatally so. And while many of these businesses market themselves as humane, they overstate threats posed by wildlife in our proximity, they sometimes mislead homeowners about the nature of the problems they face and the available solutions, and they too often mischaracterize what the law allows regarding their disposition.
Unfortunately, homeowners and businesses often believe that lethal conflict resolution to, say, a wild animal nesting nearby or in a home, is the only option they have.
Humane Wildlife Services is proving that a better approach is possible and preferable – not only sparing animals and solving the concerns of property owners, but instilling in neighborhoods a fresh appreciation of the wonders of the wild animals among us.
Our goal is to show that humane methods are not only more effective, but commercially viable. Animals can be evicted from “human-built environments,” parent animals can be reunited with their dependent young, and structures can be wildlife-proofed to prevent future conflicts. Those who have availed themselves of our services attest to getting amazing insight into the ways of nature as part of the deal.
That’s what I call a success story in the evolving development of the humane economy.
Whether it is a squirrel living in an attic, a raccoon in a chimney, a beaver damming a road culvert or geese loafing at the local marina, these conflicts can be successfully resolved without killing.
Take a look at our most recent raccoon video that exemplifies our approach and some of our innovative use of cameras and reuniting protocols that led to a humane and effective solution for one of our customers. We hope it’s an approach that will continue to spread throughout the country, and be taken up by local humane organizations and other providers over time.
See more of HWS on the job on the HWS YouTube channel!