Halloween 2016: San Rafael animal organization provides safety tips for animals

This year an octopus design was declared the winner by aquarium guests. (Courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium)


SAN RAFAEL (BCN) — As Bay Area residents prepare to celebrate Halloween this upcoming weekend, a North Bay animal advocacy group is reminding residents of ways they can prevent animals from being spooked during the holiday.

According to WildCare, a San Rafael-based non-profit organization, which also runs the Wildlife Hospital, outdoor Halloween decorations and littered candy could result in potentially scary situations for animals.

Decorations such as fake spider webs made of entangling fibers could cause an animal to get trapped, as they may not be able to break free from it. In 2012, a western screech owl was taken to the Wildlife Hospital after it had gotten caught in a fake spider web.

The owl was eventually able to make a full recovery, WildCare officials said.

Additionally, decorations with loops or closed circles should be avoided, as animals can put their head through the loop or circle and choke.

Also, decorations with small, dangling edible parts should be eliminated, as well as hanging strings of lights, which can snag the antlers of male deer, WildCare officials said.

Halloween partygoers are also advised to avoid leaving candy out where an animal can find it and to dispose of all candy wrappers. Carved pumpkins should also be disposed of past Halloween, as it can attract unwanted animals, according to WildCare officials.

Furthermore, drivers as well as tick-or-treaters on foot should be cautious of animals hiding in bushes from the unusual nighttime festivities, WildCare officials said.

Residents who find an animal in need of help are encouraged to call WildCare’s 24-hour hotline at (415) 456-7283.

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