Drought Conditions May Force Texoma Wildlife Into Neighborhoods

The drought that is sweeping through Texoma might be bringing some furry intruders into your backyard.

The city of Wichita Falls Animal Services Center is seeing an increase in wildlife looking for water and vegetation in residential neighborhoods.

Animal services officials say with this extreme heat they have even gotten calls about wildlife sneaking inside peoples homes, animals looking for a drink and a place to cool off.

Texoma wildlife is looking for food and shelter in this drought and that shelter might be in your backyard.

Katrena Mitchell, Wichita Falls Animal Services Administrator, says "out in the country, stock and ponds, irrigation ditches, they are all dry and so these animals are trying to just live."

Wildlife need water and food right now more than ever and the lack of it is what has them roaming around within city limits.

Katrena Mitchell comments, "we're seeing them more and more in town in peoples backyards because of the drought. We're watering our yards, we're watering our flower beds, gardens, trying to keep those alive."

Wichita Falls resident Shauna Larocque says the only wildlife she's seen in her yard are rabbits, but she does not mind them at all.

Shauna is lucky, but Wichita Falls Animal Services Center is keeping busy with calls regarding not so cute and friendly wildlife.

They have had an increase of calls and they are rounding up so many different animals.  Mainly skunks, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, snakes, and bats.

Animals Services workers want residents to know that if they leave any water or food out wildlife may be near and to be careful.

Mitchell says, "you just never know how they are going to react. They do all carry diseases and so you want to be as safe as possible."

And being safe means being smart.  Animal Control says if you have a family pet do not leave food or water outside overnight.

Animal control typically does not trap wild animals unless they are acting aggressive.

Contact the Wichita Falls Animal Services Center so you can explore options with the agency if you have any animal problems in your neighborhood.

You can contact the Wichita Falls Animal Services Center at  (940) 761-8894 or Animal Control at (940) 761-7824.

Click Here to find out more information about the Wichita Falls Animal Services Center.

Recommended steps that you can take to keep wildlife off of your yards are to take away any food, shelter, or water.

If you water your lawn make sure to get rid of any standing water.  If you have any pets, do not leave any food or water set out overnight.  Make sure to keep all your doors of your home closed at all times.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6