Chain link fencing is often used by homeowners as a way to keep their pets safely confined to the property. Some homeowners choose chain link fencing to keep wild animals out of their yards. However, chain link fencing can be dangerous should the pet or a wild animal get caught in the mesh of the fencing or while attempting to dig underneath the fence. If you have chain link fencing surrounding your yard, here's what to do if your pet or another animal ever gets stuck in the fencing.
Someone's Pet—Protect Yourself
Animals that are trapped may bite and scratch while trying to escape an entanglement with chain link fencing, which can clearly make it difficult for you to help them. You'll want to wear protective clothing and thick gloves. Shirt sleeves and pant legs should be long and made of thick material.
However, if the pet's behavior has changed, it's better to be safe than sorry and assume that the pet has contracted rabies. If a rabid animal bites or scratches you, or you become exposed to their urine, saliva, or tears, rabies could be transmitted to you. There is no way to tell by looking at an animal if it is in the beginning stages of the disease because the popular notion of foaming at the mouth typically occurs later in the progression of rabies.
Work slowly and carefully to remove the pet. You may need wire cutters to cut through the mesh depending on how badly the pet is stuck. Call an emergency animal clinic to advise them that you will be on your way with the animal as soon as you free it from the fencing. The animal will need to be examined to determine whether or not it is injured and tested for rabies.
A Wild Animal—Call Wildlife Control
If it's a wild animal, such as a possum or a fawn, call wildlife control for assistance. If you can't easily find this number for your location, simply call the non-emergency number for the police department and they can either transfer your call or have the wildlife control officer return your call.
Do not attempt to remove a wild animal, especially if it is calm as calmness is not normal behavior for wild animals, which could suggest that the animal is rabid. Patiently wait for the wildlife control officer to arrive. Keep a watchful eye on the animal in the meantime as prey animals that are stuck can be an easy dinner for predatory animals.