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


Skunks are not aggressive and will always try to retreat from a human. They spray people or pets when they are startled. Skunks can cause damage to lawns and gardens and may make homes inside buildings or under porches and patios.

How to keep skunks off your property

Here are some suggestions:

  • Use natural remedies from garden stores to keep skunks from digging up your lawn for grubs, such as nemotodes.
  • Lay down 2.54 cm (one inch) of mesh chicken wire to keep skunks from digging up your lawn.
  • Use flashing lights, motion sensors and loud noise to scare skunks.
  • Block off access points to your garage and other buildings.
  • Fill openings under concrete structures with dirt and remove all brush piles from your property.
  • Secure the area around your deck, shed and crawl space.

What to do if you get sprayed by a skunk

Clean up as soon as you or pet is sprayed to get rid of the smell.

  • Flush your eyes or your pet’s eyes with lots of cold water.
  • Wash your body or your pet’s body with:
    •  acidic substances such as carbolic soap, tomato juice, vinegar and water; or
    • a mix of one liter of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 80 ml of baking soda and 5 ml of liquid soap. This mix should be made in a large, open container. Use all of the mix while it is still bubbling. Wear rubber gloves and lather the mixture on. Leave it for 30 minutes.
  • To keep a dog from shaking the mixture off, wash the dog's body first and then the head.
  • After washing, have a long hot shower.
  • Repeat these steps two or three times until the smell is gone.

What to do with skunks on your property

  • Hire a wildlife agency or trapper to remove skunks from your home.
  • Call Animal Services at 905-574-3433 to report injured or dead skunks.