Follow SFACC’s irascible crusader and protector of all animals: Officer Edith on Twitter!

A Raccoon Rescue Story…

Sometimes, raccoons get stuck or injured and SFACC is there to help!  All’s well that ends well! The San Francisco Fire Department and SFACC came to the rescue of this young raccoon who got stuck during his highwire act; a Wallenda he is not… Animal Control Officer Kent took him in, checked him out, and released him back to the wild. We hope the little raccoon learned not to pursue any more thrill-seeking activities.

If you see an animal that is injured, sick, in distress, or loose in traffic, call the San Francisco Animal Care & Control dispatch number at (415) 554-9400 between 6:00 am and 1:00 am. 

I found an injured or orphaned baby animal, now what?

SFACC’s partner, Wildcare, in Marin has a Living with Wildlife Hotline (415-456-SAVE) with operators answering phone calls about baby wildlife of many species. Every year hundreds of tiny featherless birds fall or are blown from their nests, or are found following an ill-timed tree trimming. Baby mammals need help when something happens to Mom, they get separated from their den, or their nest is destroyed.

So how do you know if a baby wild animal needs help? And what do you do to keep him safe until you can call SFACC or get him to WildCare? Click to find out…

Myth: Raccoons wash their food in water before eating. Fact: Raccoons dip their hands in water to get a better sensory feel of their food (their eyesight isn’t great).

Raccoon washing hands in bucket






It’s baby bird season! If you find a baby bird, please refer to this handy chart. We’re grateful for our partnerships with Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA and WildCare for taking in birds from SF ACC for rehab and release. Visit SFROMP more information and tips.


Our Animal Control Officers often pick up injured birds including pigeons, prey birds, and sea birds which are sent to rehabilitation facilities. This little bird is a falcon that was picked up in San Francisco – notice the sharp beak and talons! Fun fact: Falcons have superb eyesight and can see almost 8x more clearly than humans! Their sharp eyesight combined with their sharp beak and talons allow falcons to be fantastic hunters. Falcons typically nest on very high rooftops. Check out this nesting pair via the Peregrine cam on the U.C. Berkeley campanile.


Nearly everyone has seen squirrels burying food, but you may actually be seeing pretend burying! Squirrels have been observed “deceptive caching” which means they pretend to dig a hole and bury their nut but don’t actually put their nut in the hole. This helps to deter thieves. Pretty smart! Squirrels have great memories that allow them to later recover nuts they’ve previously buried, and any uncollected nuts turn into trees!

San Francisco Rescued Orphan Mammal Program is the only nonprofit rescue organization in San Francisco that helps provide care to the City’s injured and orphaned wild mammals with the goal of returning a healthy individual back to the wild for independence. SFROMP works with SFACC to help rehabilitate orphan baby squirrels like this one. Check out their website for a wealth of info, including how to tell if a baby bird or animal is orphaned.

Credit: One Tamalpais.Flickr

Although the annual pupping season typically begins in the spring, defensive coyote behavior towards dogs may begin earlier. Keep cats indoors and dogs on leash in areas known to have coyotes. Visit our website to report sightings:

Check out this Coyote Map showing the movements of one Presidio GPS-collared coyote in a 24-hr period. (Courtesy of the Presidio Trust). That’s a lot of movement!

A note about the Presidio Trust Coyote Research: With the assistance of urban wildlife managers and researchers across the country – including the National Park Service, United States Geological Survey, U.C. Davis, and the United States Department of Agriculture – the Presidio Trust has developed a monitoring program using modern technology to improve the management of coyotes within the Presidio. Our monitoring program began in spring 2016 and involves humanely capturing, tagging, health screening, and attaching temporary GPS collars to resident coyotes in the Presidio.

From the files of @OfficerEdith…”This gorgeous hawk has a lot of thanks to give after Officer Canez rescued her, checked her for injuries and sent her off to rehab. She’ll be terrorizing squirrels in no time (the hawk, not officer Canez, obviously).”

If you see an animal in distress, call ACC at (415) 554-9400. We’ll get them care and send them to rehab for recovery and release. If you find a baby squirrel or bird, and aren’t sure what to do, call us or SFROMP at 415-350-WILD (9453). Our San Rafael partner, Wildcare, has great tips for knowing whether an animal needs help and whether to intervene…or not. 

(c) Carl Olsen

Co-existing with coyotes

There have been numerous sightings of coyotes around San Francisco. Many neighborhoods are experiencing a high number of observations as young coyotes disperse.

Important safety precautions:
1. Keep cats indoors.
2. Walk your dog on a 6-ft. leash.
3. Avoid areas known to have coyote activity, especially during breeding and pupping season.
4. Stick to trails and open paths. If a coyote approaches you and your dog: Pick up your dog and leave the area. Do not run.
5. Coyotes will observe and sometimes follow dogs on walks, out of curiosity, not aggression. If the coyote is too close for comfort, haze. Stomp your feet, yell, blow a whistle; anything to startle the coyote away and keep them naturally wary of humans.
6. Avoid walking your dog at sunrise and sunset hours. Coyotes are naturally active during the day, though urban coyotes usually switch to nocturnal behavior.
7. Never feed a coyote. If you are aware that someone is feeding coyotes, please call Animal Care & Control. 
8. Call Animal Control @ 415-554-9400 if a coyote is being aggressive or is in distress. 
9. Report observations on the SFACC website. Read More…