Osceola County still has many large, rural areas that are filled with wildlife. Unfortunately, that wildlife sometimes has interactions with humans in both rural and urban areas that can cause injury or worse. Animal Services is here to help, when possible. When we cannot help, we can provide you with resources that can help you solve your problem.
To avoid a problem; the first rule is do not feed any wildlife such as alligators, raccoons, possums, hogs or bears as it is illegal to do so. As a matter of fact, under Osceola County code, it is a violation to leave food out at night for wildlife; section 4.31(h). Click here to see that ordinance.
Residents are advised to never approach or try to handle any wildlife. While all wildlife can be dangerous, hogs can be quite aggressive and pose a grave risk. Other wildlife may be exposed to rabies, a deadly ailment that can be transferred to humans through contact.
Injured or orphaned wildlife:
If you find a wild animal that is injured, or a baby animal who is orphaned, there are several organizations that will take in and rehabilitate that animal. Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge and Education Center will care for small, native Florida wildlife.
If the injured animal is large, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission should be contacted. The FWC report wildlife incident hotline is: 888-404-3922, or #fwc. You can also email FWC at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always stay back from the injured animal; do not approach.
For all injured or orphaned birds of prey, please contact the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey.
If you happen to find an injured aquatic animal, otter, wading bird, and saltwater turtles or tortoises, contact Sea World’s Animal Rescue program.
Animal Services will respond to calls about nuisance gators up to four feet in length.
Any nuisance gator larger than that should be referred to the Florida Wildlife Commission or a certified trapper. Please see the links on the right for more information.
Hogs and pigs:
Animal Services is not equipped to handle wild hogs and pigs due to the extreme danger to our staff in doing so. When these animals become a nuisance, it is recommended that a trapper be called to take care of this problem. See the trappers link.
Feral cats, or community cats should be left alone, when possible. Please do not separate mothers from their kittens.
When they become a nuisance or a concern, please call or contact Best Friends Animal Society Osceola as they are our partners who deal with feral cats.
Animal Services has several specially trained officers that will respond to and pick up venomous snakes. We cannot respond to calls about snakes on the outside of the home as this is quite common in Florida. Generally, we will respond to snakes in the home or another enclosed space. If you cannot observe the animal, we do not have the authority to search your home on any other enclosed space to locate a snake.
Many of Florida’s indigenous snake species are poisonous, including coral snakes, eastern diamondback rattlers and water moccasins, or cotton mouth snakes. If you don’t know for certain that a snake is non-venomous, assume that it is. Click here for detailed information about Florida’s venomous snakes. This is a printable pdf.