Many homeowners and commercial property owners install chain link fencing to keep animals out. However, sometimes, being the curious creatures they are, animals still try to squeeze their way through chain link fencing. Once stuck, they need help to get out or they will die. If you have chain link fencing on your property, it's a good idea to know what to do should you ever find an animal stuck in your residential or commercial chain link fence. Here's what you need to know.
Treat the animal as if it is rabid
Rabies is a serious disease that can be transmitted to you from the saliva or brain and nervous system tissue of a rabid animal. That means any bite or scratch could expose you to rabies. Coming into contact with urine, tears and breast milk can also expose you to rabies.
You may have seen movies and television shows that showed animals foaming at the mouth when they have rabies. While that can happen, not all animals foam at the mouth when they are infected. The most common symptom of rabies in animals is a change in behavior. However, if you do not know the particular animal that is stuck in your fencing, you may not know what its normal behavior is to make this determination.
Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure if an animal has rabies is through a blood test. For this reason, it is in your best interest to treat the animal as if it has rabies. Do not touch the animal unless you are wearing protective clothing. A pair of thick work gloves can protect you from bites and scratches. Wear a shirt with long sleeves and a pair of long pants. Seek medical attention if you get scratched or bitten.
Carefully free the animal if its a pet
If the animal appears to be a pet and is wearing a collar, try to get close enough to the animal to see the owner's contact information. If so, then place a call to the owner so he or she can come out and help free their pet from your fencing.
While wearing protective gear, use petroleum jelly to lubricate the top of the head or the part of the animal that is the thickest. This may help the animal slide out of the chain link fencing. If that doesn't work, use wire cutters to snip the wires in the chain link fencing to free the animal.
If the animal does not have a collar on or you are unable to free the pet, call your local animal control services.
Call the authorities if the animal is wild
If the animal is wild, call wildlife control for assistance. You can reach this number by calling the local police department. Wildlife are not used to being in contact with humans, so you may have a fight on your hands. If a wild animal is docile, it's a sign that it may be rabid. Remember, the most common symptom of rabies is a change in behavior. It's better to leave the freeing of a wild animal up to the authorities.
If the animal is large, wildlife control will likely need to bring their truck as close as possible to the fence. If the animal is trapped on the side of the fence where there is no vehicle accessibility, the chain link fencing may need to have a hole cut into it so the wildlife officer can control and secure the animal.
Helpful tip: Tie a bright ribbon or material to the damaged fencing. That way, the fencing company will easily find the damage so repairs can be made.