Weather change brings an increase in road kill to Lawton - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Weather change brings an increase in road kill to Lawton

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Spring is just around the corner, however, this weather change brings more road kill to Lawton.
Wildlife officials say the reason behind this is simply breeding.


Raccoons, possums, and skunks are among the most prominent in our area, roaming around and making their way onto the roads.


That means an increase in the workload for Lawton Animal Welfare, which is responsible for the proper pickup and disposal of these animals in the city limits.

On average, Lawton  Animal Welfare receives five calls per day from people reporting roadkill.

Workers field those calls in their office from seven in the morning until eight at night.


Their dispatch then assigns animal officers to pick up the carcasses in the order of importance, size, and location, which sometimes means they'll head out to a scene in the middle of the night.

Supervisor of the animal shelter, Roy Rodrick, said after collecting the dead animals off the road, animal welfare officers store them in an aluminum box to transport them back to the animal shelter.
 

"We have a truck that we put the animals in and one of our staff takes them out to the landfill and they're buried to keep the bacteria and disease from spreading,” said Rodrick.

He said bacteria is the most important issue when dealing with road kill.

"They are a health hazard because of the bacteria and disease that build up on them,” said Rodrick. “It ends up washing into your storm water and it runs downstream."

Along with wild animals, cats and dogs are also among those found dead on the road.

Animal welfare officers are able to use a scanner to see if they have a microchip to notify owners they have their animals.

Rodrick said finding different carcasses presents another issue.

"When we get out, we are out there by ourselves and we have to watch traffic to make sure we don't get hit and nobody has an accident,” said Rodrick. “It's a big factor that we are concerned with."

Sergeant Timothy Jenkins of Lawton Police Department said they receive calls from Lawton animal welfare to block the roads as well as drivers noticing animals in the road.

He said it's important for drivers to remember safety first.

"If they see an animal in the road and can safely stop and let that animal cross they should do that,” said Jenkins. “Obviously, if you are on a busy highway or something like that to stop at a reasonable time. Just make sure you can get over if you can but, let that animal get across the road because if you hit the animal it could cause more accidents and we don't want that either. So, if you are able to see an animal come across the road, let it go by."


Rodrick encourages drivers to stay alert and contact the animal welfare office at (580) 581-3272 or (580) 581-3271? if they notice any road kill.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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