Animal Incidents / Nuisance Wildlife

Any direct physical contact with an unknown animal, especially if it results in a bite or scratch, could have serious health consequences. In fact, wild animals -- alive or dead -- can spread disease and may pose potential physical hazards. Contact includes exposure of a person's eyes, nose, mouth and non-intact skin (cut, scratched, burned, etc.) to animal blood or saliva. It also includes a bite, scratch or kick from a wild animal. 

A.    Reporting Procedures

In the event of physical contact with an unknown or wild animal, call the University Police Department and the University Health Services Department immediately. The Director of Health Services or his/her designee will formally report the incident to the New Haven Health Department and the State Department of Public Health, as required by law.

B.    Notification Procedures

Professional staff members in the University Department of Health Services are trained to triage the incident on campus. 

The Chief of Police or his/her designee shall notify the Director of Health Services, who as Incident Commander, will notify the Vice President for Student and University Affairs. The Vice President for Student and University Affairs shall notify the President, and if the case involves a residential student, the Director of Housing and Residence Life.

Formal notifications to all students, faculty and staff of such an incident shall be accord with the Communications Plan (See Section 4), after consultation with the Director of Health Services and the Vice President for Student and University Affairs. 

The following campus notification systems may be activated in case of an incident involving an animal or wildlife:

  • Telephone Tree (initiated by each Vice President and/or designee)
  • Email Message
  • Text Messaging
  • WeatherChek (203) 392-SNOW (7669)
  • University Police Department Public Address System (in vehicles)
  • Essential Personnel providing direction on safety precautions and procedures 

C.    Notification Procedures for Other Agencies

The Chief of Police shall notify the following, as needed:

  • New Haven Animal Control Officer (203) 500-8570
  • Hamden Animal Control Officer (203) 230-4080
  • New Haven Police Department (203) 946-6316 
  • Hamden Police Department (203) 230-4000
  • New Haven Fire Department (203) 946-6316
  • Hamden Fire Department (203) 230-4000
  • State Department of Agriculture, State Animal Control Officer  (860) 713-2506
  • State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)  (860) 424-3333 (24-hour line)
  • New Haven Health Department (203) 946-8182
  • State Department of Public Health at (860) 509-8000 (24-hour line)

D.    Guidelines for Protection/Minimization of Impact

In case of a bite or other injury caused by a venomous animal (black widow spider, brown recluse spider, rattlesnake, etc.) or an allergic reaction to an insect or animal bite, the incident should be reported immediately to the University Police Department by dialing 911 or by calling (203) 392-5375. In case of wandering loose animals/wildlife on campus, the University Police Department should also be contacted. 

E.    Individual and Group Safety Information

The following tips can help prevent people from being injured, or to minimize the injury, by an animal and/or other wildlife:

  • Do not come into contact with it.
  • Be prepared to give your name, location and if possible, the species or type of animal/wildlife involved.
  • Tell others to vacate the area if a dangerous animal may still be nearby.
  • Help the victim immobilize the bite area and make the victim as comfortable as possible until medical or other assistance arrives.
  • If a wild animal, such as a bat or a raccoon, is inside of a building, try to isolate it in a room by closing doors behind it and keeping others away.