Wildlife Issues

Learn about the
Belvedere Deer Issue


The Marin Humane Society Animal Services Department handles all calls involving sick, injured, dead or rabies-suspect wildlife. Please call 415.883.4621 to report wildlife in distress.

Information on wildlife co-existence
Living with Raccoons
Living with Opossums
Living with Deer
Living with Skunk
Living with Snakes
Living with Mountain Lions
Living with Coyotes

Great local wildlife resources
Audubon Canyon Ranch
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
The Marine Mammal Center

Additional resources
Humane Society of the United States: Coyote Hazing: Guidelines for Discouraging Neighborhood Coyotes

Information on zoonotic diseases (including West Nile Virus)
Familiarity with zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted from animals to humans) is important for everyone, regardless of whether you have animals. It is important to understand the symptoms, and why and how certain diseases are transferred from animals to humans. Whether you are an avid hiker, cat enthusiast or have a green thumb, zoonotic diseases can be contracted in a variety of ways.
Some common Zoonotic Diseases include: 

  • Rabies
  • West Nile Virus
  • Leptosperosis
  • Salmonella
  • E coli
  • Monkeypox
  • Mad Cow
  • Newcastle
  • Mange
  • Psittacosis
For more information on zoonotic diseases, including West Nile Virus, please visit the links listed below:

Belvedere Deer

Recently, the deer population on Belvedere Island has become a topic of some debate. A small group of residents proposes paying a company to sterilize the female deer however the Marin Humane Society and WildCare strongly oppose this option.

We outlined the reasons for our opposition in a recent article which appeared in the Marin Independent Journal:

“First, the population of deer in Belvedere has not grown - it has remained the same for many years. Second, the use of chemical control (darting an animal with tranquilizers) is something reserved for critical or dangerous situations. Marin Humane almost never utilizes this method because there is an inherent risk to both the animal and the people around it. Deer in particular are extremely sensitive and can literally die from the shock of being darted and handled. Or if the dart doesn’t work effectively, you can have a deer putting itself – and humans – in danger. Third, the plan calls for performing serious surgery in a resident’s garage with no clear plan for how the does would be cared for and monitored after they undergo such a procedure. The sterilization plan, in other words, is an extreme and premature option for such a small deer population in a suburban neighborhood. Other alternatives and solutions are safer to implement.”

If you're a Belvedere resident and you agree with our position, please let your councilmember know you support the MHS/WildCare position outlined above.

As the only humane society serving the county, MHS is involved in many issues involving both animals and people in Marin, including how to peacefully coexist with wildlife that shares our community.


Marin Humane Society

171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato, CA 94949
Phone 415.883.4621

Copyright 2011