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Fall Animal Tips

Deer Management 
Fall is mating season for deer. This usually runs from late September until well into November. Deer are much more active during this time, so exercise caution when driving - particularly in areas where deer are known to be plentiful.

Mating season can also cause deer to be more aggressive than usual. There have been several cases where dogs were attacked by male deer after attempting to chase them. To prevent this from happening, take a quick look around your yard before letting your dog out. If deer are present, making some loud noises should prompt them to leave.

Pest Control 
Animals know that winter is coming. Some of them hibernate, while others are simply looking for a warm place to hide. Making sure your home is tightly sealed will prevent unwelcome visitors. Placing a cap on your chimney will also help to keep wild animals out. Contact a wildlife pest control service if you find that an unwelcome animal has taken up residence in your home.

Dog Licensing 
New year dog licenses usually become available around December 15th of the prior year. Applications for licenses are often taken as early as November 1st. Call the Chester County Treasurer's Office or the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113 for information on dog license availability.

Winter Animal Tips

Ice-Melting Chemicals
Ice melting chemicals may be irritating to your pets, so check their feet for bits of ice melt that may have become lodged between their toes after taking them for a walk - particularly after a snow or ice storm. Wipe your pet's feet with warm water to reduce the possibility of irritation. Check with your local hardware store or pet supply provider to see if they carry special ice melting preparations that are "animal friendly."

Toxic Chemicals
Anti-freeze is toxic to animals, who can be drawn to its sweet smell; if they drink it, the effects can be disastrous. This provides another reason to make sure your car's cooling system is in good condition. Make sure your car does not leak and if you drain the antifreeze from your car, make sure you do not leave any open containers out in the open. There is now a type of antifreeze available that does not have a toxic effect; look for it in your local automobile supply store. If your pet does drink antifreeze, or another harmful substance, call your veterinarian or an animal poison control center. The following are a few hotline numbers and websites for more information about animal poisonings. These hotlines charge a consultation fee.

Outdoor Pet Care
If you own an animal that spends all, or a majority of its time outside, there are several things to remember when the weather turns cold.

Pennsylvania Law requires any animal that spends any length of time outside must have access to clean and sanitary shelter that provides protection from inclement weather, aids in the preservation of its body heat and keeps it dry. Leaving an animal outside without adequate shelter is considered cruelty and carries a fine of up to $300.

When the weather drops below freezing, it is important to ensure your pet's water supply does not freeze. Check water regularly and refresh it frequently. Placing the water supply inside your pet's shelter may help prevent freezing.

In cold weather it is also recommended that you offer your outdoor pet extra food. The extra calories will help the animal maintain strength and stay warm in cold weather.

Holiday Pets
Frequently, the holiday season becomes a time when people consider a new pet for the family. Some important things to remember:

  • Holiday decorations can present a health hazard to a puppy or kitten.
  • New pets require a lot of time and care. All the hustle and bustle of the holiday season may interfere with providing that level of care. This is such a large problem that some humane societies will not permit adoptions during a designated holiday period. If your family is serious about a new pet, plan on adding a new pet after the holiday season. There will be a lot less stress for all involved.

Dog Licensing
Pennsylvania State Dog Laws require that all dogs over the age of three months be licensed in the county where they live on or before January 1 every year. Dog licenses can be purchased at the Brandywine Valley SPCA or you can download the license application.

Completed dog license applications can be mailed to:

Chester County Courthouse
c/o Treasurer's Office
2 North High Street
West Chester, PA 19380

Questions can be directed to the Chester County SPCA at 610-692-6113 or the Chester County Treasurer's Office.

Spring Animal Tips

Wildlife Pests
Spring is the time of year when wildlife becomes very visible and resumes its normal level of activity. It is also mating season for many creatures - their babies will be born later this season. If you discover a wild creature taking up residence somewhere you do not like, there are agencies licensed by the Pennsylvania State Game Commission to do nuisance wildlife trapping and removal. The Tredyffrin Township Police Department does not provide this service.

Sick Wildlife
Spring is also a time when wild animals get into lots of trouble. If you discover a wild animal that is too young to be on its own or appears to be sick or injured, contact the Schuylkill Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic for rescue and treatment.

Pet Health
You should make an appointment with your veterinarian for spring shots and other medications. If your pet is not already on a twelve-month program, you should have your veterinarian test for heartworm and begin a heartworm medication program.

You should also gear up for flea and tick season. Begin applying a good flea and tick preparation to prevent or lessen the impact of the season. There many excellent medications for flea and tick control, along with vaccines for the prevention of Lyme Disease. Talk to your vet for recommendations about what is best for your pet.

You should also check on the status of your rabies vaccination. State Law requires that all pets over three months of age be inoculated against rabies. If you are not sure when your pet was last vaccinated, contact your veterinarian and he or she will be able to tell you when its last vaccination was and when it is due for another one.

Rabies Laws

West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus begins to become a concern in the spring. Patrol your property to determine if there are any areas where mosquitoes can breed and be on the lookout for other signs of West Nile Virus.

If you find a dead bird that has not been there for more than 24 hours and appears to be intact, contact the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6452 or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

Summer Animal Tips


Temperatures in a vehicle can reach 120°F in a matter of minutes - even with the windows partially open. Your pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation when trapped in high temperatures. Here is what you should do if your pet is exposed to high temperatures:

  • Be alert to signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gate, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.
  • If you pet has become overheated, you must lower its body temperature immediately by:
    • moving your pet to the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over its body;
    • apply ice packs or cold towels to your pets head, neck and chest only;
    • let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
  • Take your pet to a veterinarian right away - it could save your pet's life.

Safe Pet Travel
Besides heat stress, you are also endangering your pet to pet theft if you leave it in a car. Thousands of pets are stolen each year from unattended cars.

If you must take your pet in the car, make sure you do safely: cats should ride in pet carriers and dogs should ride in creates or be on a leash. When your pet travels it should where two ID tags - one with its home address and the other with its destination address.

Pet Health
Ongoing treatment to prevent flea and tick infestation is also important during the summer months. Lyme Disease is also a growing concern. Contact your veterinarian to determine a course of treatment.

Heartworm prevention should continue through the summer months to protect your pet from this deadly disease. Since heartworm is transmitted through a mosquito bite, preventative medication should continue to be given as per your veterinarian's specifications.

Wildlife concerns seem to peak in the summer. Remember - Tredyffrin Township is an area with a large and varied wildlife population. Simply seeing a wild animal out and about is not usually a cause for concern. However, if that animal is acting in strange manner - staggering, appearing dazed, unafraid of human presence, or showing physical signs of illness - contact the Tredyffrin Township Police Department at 610-647-1440.

The Police Department does not do nuisance trapping and removal. For problems of that nature, contact a wildlife pest control service.

West Nile Virus
Summer months are the peak period for West Nile Virus concerns. West Nile Virus is transmitted through mosquito bite to birds. The most effective way to minimize this risk is to ensure that there is no place on your property for mosquitoes to breed. See more information below.

West Nile Virus Bird Testing Protocol:

The bird must be dead less than 24 hours. It cannot have any bugs on it or signs of decomposition. The bird must not have any signs of trauma to the body (hit by a car, killed by another animal).

If the bird meets the criteria for West Nile Virus Testing, contact the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6452 or the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

Minimize your risk
Summer months are the peak period for West Nile Virus concerns. West Nile Virus is transmitted through mosquito bite to birds. The most effective way to minimize this risk is to ensure that there is no place on your property for mosquitoes to breed.

  • Check your property for any standing water and drain or fill it in
  • Change the water in birdbaths frequently
  • Dump children's wading pools when not used
  • Drill holes in the bottom of trash cans and recycle bins so water cannot collect in them
  • Check your yard for buckets, tires and other items that can collect water
  • Garden effectively so water does not pool in areas of your property