Alert: Raccoon strain rabies is circulating in our raccoon & skunk populations

The overall risk remains low to the general public but there are measures you can take to minimize your risk:

  • Stay away from any wild life and unknown or stray animals to prevent any contact and possible exposures
  • Report potential exposures due to animal bites or scratches to public health by calling 905-546-2489. Wash wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention
  • If you believe you were in contact with a sick raccoon, or if you see other sick raccoons, skunks or other wildlife report it to the City of Hamilton at 905-546-2489.
  • For questions or concerns about the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry baiting program please call 1-888-574-6656
  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies, and keep vaccines up to date. Visit one of our local low cost rabies vaccination clinics.
  • Learn more about the City’s Responsible Animal Ownership By-law
  • For more information on rabies in Ontario visit www.ontario.ca/page/rabies


Raccoons are most active at night; however, sometimes they will look for food during the day. They cause damage to roofs, garages, gardens and lawns.

Keeping raccoons off your property

Here are some suggestions:

  • Pick fruit from trees and plants as soon as it ripens.
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered when you are not using it.
  • Trim tree branches that overhang your roof.
  • Check your roof vents, gables and eaves to make sure screens haven’t been torn away.
  • Secure your chimney cap.
  • Repair holes in walls or screens.

What to do with raccoons on your property

Here are some tips for dealing with raccoons:

  • Install one way gates in the openings animals leave from so they cannot re-enter. Do not permanently block the entrance until you are sure you don’t have any raccoons.
  • Never separate a mother raccoon from her young.
  • Get rid of raccoons in fall after their young have left the den.
  • Let raccoons in your chimney move out on their own. After eight to ten weeks, the female and young will leave and not come back.
  • Hire a wildlife agency or trapper to remove raccoons from your home.
  • Call Animal Services at 905-574-3433 to report injured or dead raccoons.