Hello from ACO O'Reilly! Springtime in Weston.
So…this is my first blog entry as the Animal Control Officer here in Weston. Firstly, I would like to thank our residents for all the warm welcomes whether it be while I am out on the trails or the simple waves as I drive around the neighborhoods.
It is April and spring has arrived. This begins the ‘busy’ season for all things animals.
In Weston and all over we share our world and coexist with the furry and feathered wild ones. Most wildlife is on a similar breeding schedule and some have already or will soon have little ones. The daytime activity of animals that prefer to work the night shift will be commonplace. There will be an increased food demand with their growing families and the parents will be working overtime.
Wild animals are great at caring for their young so as cute and helpless as the young ones may appear their best chance at survival is with their parents. There is a plethora of animals and scenarios that we encounter this time of year so if you find yourself faces with one, I encourage some quick research before interfering. We are lucky to have access to great resources, which are available online and listed by species to help guide us.
I have been an Animal Control Officer for many years and still am by no means, and will never be, an expert on every species of bird, mammal, or reptile. One of the fun aspects of the job is that I am constantly learning depending on what kind of animal I encounter whether it be domestic or wild. I too am routinely reaching out for help in making decisions on what to do, if anything, for the animal I am dealing with.
MassWildllife oversees our wildlife population and sets rules and regulations. Its website is comprehensive and includes fact sheets of various species. Certain species of animals can cause fear amongst us but when we educate ourselves and understand the animals we share the world with, we fear less and accept more.
If you are dealing with a bothersome animal that may be living in your attic or under your porch, I encourage you to seek out humane options. Simple exclusionary measures are more often than not successful on their own. There always is confusion on what role local Animal Control Officers play when it comes to wildlife. We can only handle wild animals that need help whether it be because of illness, suffering from injury, or are trapped or in danger in some way. We do not and cannot trap, remove, euthanize or interfere with healthy wildlife.