Should I let my dog play with this racoon? Pets and wildlife don’t mix

Should I let my dog play with this racoon? Pets and wildlife don’t mix

No matter where you live in Washington County, you might run into wildlife. It’s important to remember that pets and wild animals shouldn’t mix. Both domestic and wild animals have the potential to seriously injure or kill each other. Diseases and parasites can also be passed between the two groups.


To help ensure the safety of your pet and to protect local wildlife:

  • Keep your dog on a leash no longer than seven feet when out and about. Keep in mind that wild animals can pop up in both rural and urban settings. Watch for signs indicating wild animals are nearby when on trails or in natural areas.
  • Keep cats indoors to protect them from potential predators. Birds and other small creatures will also appreciate being protected from your feline friend.
  • Monitor your pets when they are outside, even in your own yard. This is especially important at dusk and dawn when wildlife are most active. Keep your yard well-lit or use a flashlight to keep an eye on things during your dog’s late night potty breaks. Fences may deter some wildlife, but they do nothing to stop animals that can go over or under them.
  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccination up to date to protect them if they ever have an encounter with a wild animal. Talk with your veterinarian about other recommended vaccinations, as well as external and internal parasite control for your pet.
  • Don’t accidentally lure wild animals to your yard with food, trash or pet waste. The best option is to feed your pet indoors and to keep their food in a sealed container. If you feed your pet outside, clean up after them and remove leftovers as soon as possible. Any trash containers kept outside should close fully and securely. Pet waste can also attract rodents. So, scoop that poop!


Thank you for helping keep the animals in our community safe, whether domestic or wild.


Find more information on this topic and more, please visit

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave in Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email