Home button Contact button
Home Live Work Play

By-Law Enforcement: Wild Animals

deerThe City of Sarnia shares its land with a wide variety of animals that have adapted to our urban environment.


The Private Property Owner’s Responsibility

The private property owner is responsible for wildlife that does not pose a threat to public safety. The City has no legal obligation to be involved with nuisance, abandoned, or injured wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitators in Ontario are authorized by the Ministry of Natural resources to care for wildlife in distress until they can be released back into the wild.


Private property owners who accidentally trap wildlife are required to contact a pest control company or licensed trapper to assist. The municipality does not assist in the relocation or release of trapped or abandon wildlife on private lands.


The City’s Responsibility

The City has a responsibility to protect its land from wildlife that pose a threat to public safety or property, some examples of this may be:

  • Raccoons on public or private land with rabies or distemper.
  • Deer, coyote, and fox which may pose a threat to public safety on public or private land.

raccoonHow to know if a raccoon has distemper? Look for the following signs:

  • Raccoon is active during daylight.
  • Raccoon appears stunned and isn’t moving for hours at a time.
  • Raccoon’s eyes look glazed over.

If you suspect a raccoon may have distemper, contact By-law Enforcement. By-Law Enforcement can help a property owner determine if the raccoon has distemper. If the raccoon does not have distemper, By-law Enforcement is not responsible, and the property owner will be advised to contact a pest control company, licensed trapper, or a wildlife rehabilitator.

Contact information:
Sarnia Animal Control Enforcement: 519-336-5049


Animal Neglect, Cruelty, or Abandonment

Contact OSPCA, Sarnia Humane Society, or Sarnia Police regarding animal neglect, cruelty, or abandonment.

Contact information:
Sarnia Humane Society:  519-344-7064
Sarnia Police: 519-344-8861
OSPCA: 519-310-7722


Tips to Discourage Wildlife on your Property

Wild animals require food, water, and shelter. Follow these tips to keep wildlife away from your property by:

  • Store garbage in plastic containers with locking lids.
  • Store garbage indoors until garbage day.
  • Keep pet food inside your house.
  • Ensure roof vents and chimneys are capped tightly.
  • Repair holes and cracks in the exterior of your house.
  • Block openings under decks, porches, patios, and sheds.


What to do with a Sick or Orphaned Wild Animal

It is very common for well-meaning citizens to mistake an animal as in need of rehabilitation when it is better off being left in its natural environment.

The City does not rehabilitate wild animals. A wild animal that is found sick or orphaned will need the specialized care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator that is recognized by the Ministry of Natural Resources. You cannot keep wildlife in captivity without approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources.


This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 9:41 AM

Printer Friendly Version


Mainly sunny. Increasing cloudiness this morning then 40 percent chance of showers this afternoon. Risk of a thunderstorm this afternoon. High 24. Humidex 29. UV index 7 or high.

Current Conditions



For more information and forecasts, please visit Environment Canada


255 North Christina Street,
Sarnia, ON N7T 7N2
PH#: 519-332-0330
TTY# : 519-332-2664