If you have a wild animal in your garage and you call Animal Control, and get a recording, who should you call next?
That happened to one of our viewers, so 13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet set out to find the answer in this week's Get Answers.
"I was completely frustrated, I mean what are you supposed to do," explains Pat Taylor.
Sixty-five-year-old Taylor says she looked out her back door and saw a fox in her garage. "It was right at the door coming into my kitchen, and we made all kind of noise there. And it wasn't scared of anything."
Because it seemed sluggish, she thought the fox may be rabid and she began her call for help. One that would turn into many.
"Maybe it would be easier to tell you who I didn't call." says Taylor.
First she called the Houston County Animal Control's office and she got a recording asking her to leave a message.
She says she considered a possible rabid fox in her garage an emergency so she called the Sheriff's Department. "And he told me I'm sorry we can't come we don't deal with wild animals. What am I supposed to do?" explains Taylor.
She says the officer told her to call the Department of Natural Resources. "I called them, they also had a recording telling me to call back during normal business hours. I didn't need help during normal business hours. I needed help right then." says Taylor.
So who should you call if you're in Taylor's position?
According to Dale Newberry, Supervisor at Houston County's Animal Control, their office is open from eight to five on weekdays, but their staff of three are rarely in the office and spend all day on patrol.
That's why when you call their office you get a recording, but Newberry says they check their messages several times a day.
He says if it's an emergency, like you encounter a vicious animal, call 9-1-1. And Newberry says they "very rarely pick up wildlife. The Department of Natural Resources handles anything longer than four feet."
13WMAZ called Bobby Bond, Senior Wildlife Biologist with the Department of Natural Resources' Fort Valley Office, and he said that there isn't a free service for trapping wild animals, like the fox Taylor found in her garage.
Bond says they'll help find you a trapper, but it will cost you. Taylor says she couldn't afford a trapper, so her sons helped remove the fox from her garage.
So while your tax money funds the county animal shelter, it doesn't cover wild animals over four feet long.
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