Abilene Animal Services

Trap Program

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Animal Services Trap Program is focused on prevention of rabies carrier animals coming in contact with companion animals and humans.

Live traps are a humane tool to capture and relocate wild or domestic animals. However, setting a live trap means accepting responsibility for the animal’s well being until the animal has been relocated by an Abilene Animal Services officer.

1. Plan Ahead
  • Research information about the animal you intend to catch.
  • Be sure you will be available to check the trap several times daily.
  • Keep in mind the Animal Shelter’s trapping hours of operations are 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. A trap will not be serviced after 4:30 PM and will not be picked up Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.
2. Get a Trap

Abilene Animal services makes High Risk Rabies carrier traps available for citizens, or individuals may purchase traps from private dealers. To obtain a trap from the center, call the shelter to be put onto the trap waiting list.

3. Set the Stage

The trap will only work if you can get the animal to go into it:

  • Scatter small samples of bait around the trap.
  • Make a food trail that leads to the main course inside the trap.
  • Use suitable bait and a good location to further entice the animal.
4. Location
The location of your trap will greatly determine its effectiveness. For example, cats may be trapped on top of a picnic table, while skunks may be caught underneath a table. Be sure the animal will not by close to any potential danger. Also, find a shady location during summer months, and have a cover for rainy days.
5. Bait the Trap

Use species-specific bait:

  • Place the bait in safe containers. Be careful of sharp edges on canned food.
  • Keep the bait fresh. Be sure ants and other insects do not consume the bait.
  • Place water in the trap along with the food to keep the animal hydrated.
Cat food, fish, catnip, sardines
Dog food, rawhide bones, pork rinds, butcher bones
Apples, carrots, pea pods, lettuce, greens
Corn on the cob, cream corn, sardines, mackerel, over ripe cantaloupe, sweet apples, cat food
Apples, cantaloupe, sardines, cat food
Chicken entrails, fish (canned or fresh), cat food, cantaloupe, sweet apples
Earthworms, insects, grubs
Nuts, sunflower seeds, a mixture of peanut butter and oatmeal with nuts, pecans in shell
Ground Squirrels
Bird seed, nuts, sweet apples
6. Relocation

When you have successfully trapped a high risk animal, report it to the shelter immediately. High Risk Rabies Carriers– Raccoon, Skunk, Fox, and Coyote. All other nuisance animals—cats, opossums, squirrels can be brought to the Animal Shelter during normal operating hours during the week; we do not service traps on weekends.

Any time you trap a wild or domestic animal, you risk the possibility of injury, stress, or death to that animal. Depending on your particular situation, live trapping may not be your best solution. Consider first these suggestions to protect your home from nuisance animals:

  • Place your trash in covered receptacles, and wait until the morning of trash pickup to set it out.
  • Do not feed wild or stray animals.
  • Screen chimneys and vents to prevent attic nesting.
  • Spray fox urine or place ammonia soaked rags near problem areas to deter Armadillos, Opossums, Raccoons, and Skunks.

Also be aware that you will be legally responsible for the animal's health while it is in your care.

Contact 325-698-0085 and ask to be placed on the trap list.

Trap FAQ's

What is the City's Trap Program?
The City’s Trap Program will concentrate on High-risk rabies carriers (Foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and skunks) and some nuisance animals in targeted areas. Citizens will come to the shelter to pick up traps and sign a trap agreement. Animal Service field officers will pick up trapped high risk animals and citizens will bring in their nuisance animals. Citizens can drop off trapped animals for impound between 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Friday excluding observed holidays at 925 S. 25th.
Is there a charge for the Trap Program?
No. Citizens can choose to purchase or borrow their own trap to collect nuisance animals and then bring them to Animal Services or they may contact a service provider to have nuisance animals removed. (Animal Services does not maintain a list of such service providers).
Is there a waiting list?
Yes, Animal Services does expect there to be a waiting list for traps as we have a high number of high risk rabies carrying mammals inside our city limits.
Will my trap at home be serviced?
Yes, any High Risk rabies carrier (Foxes, Skunks, Raccoons, and Coyotes) will be serviced as normal Monday through Friday between 9 AM and 4:30 PM. Traps set on weekends to capture animals will result in a citation being issued and the animal being released on property. No Saturday drop offs are allowed for trapped animals. Nuisance animals such as feral cats, squirrels, opossums, or other small rodents and mammals will require the citizen to bring that animal to Animal Services at 925 S. 25th between 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM Monday through Friday excluding observed holidays. No Saturday drop offs.
How does a humane trap work?
A humane trap is a cage with a door on one end which can be lifted up and set in place with a small hook. The door is connected to a flat metal trip plate on the bottom of the trap. The trap is baited by placing food at the back of the trap, past the trip plate. When an animal enters the trap, the weight of its paw on the trip plate triggers the door to shut behind it. The trip plate is far enough away from the door so that the animal is not harmed.
Will cats be trapped?
Yes, feral cats on a targeted area basis; however domesticated cats will not be trapped by the City of Abilene. There is no ordinance requiring a person to restrain their cat only to have the animal licensed and currently vaccinated with a rabies vaccine.
Will feral dogs be trapped?
Yes, an Animal Services field officer will place a trap in an area where feral dogs have been roaming and attempt to live trap the animal.