More than 5,600 animal rescues make 2022 busiest year on record in Mississauga


Published May 3, 2023 at 10:55 am

This cat was rescued from a Mississauga house fire in 2022. It was returned to good health and then reunited with its family. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

Mississauga Animal Services workers responded to 5,627 animal rescue calls last year, making it the busiest year on record in the city.

The record number of calls in 2022 slightly topped the number of animal distress calls responded to in 2021, when 5,594 calls were taken. In 2020, City of Mississauga Animal Services crews responded to 4,459 calls.

So far this year, a City spokesperson said in an email to, there have been 1,430 calls through April 30. The spokesperson added that the busiest time of year for rescues, of both wild animals and domesticated, is between April and September.

From catching a raccoon in mid-air after the critter had leapt from a Hwy. 407 guard rail some 40 feet above the valley below to providing life-saving treatment to a cat rescued from a house fire, Mississauga Animal Services workers responded to all kinds of calls in 2022.

This raccoon jumped from the Hwy. 407 guard rail to the valley 40 feet below, but was caught in a net mid-air by an Animal Services worker. The animal was unharmed.

On a more creepy and startling note, one call had them responding to a mysterious package that had been delivered to the wrong address in Mississauga. The package contained a live anaconda and four caimans, which are like small alligators.

City officials note that many types of wildlife call Mississauga home–from raccoons, skunks and coyotes to beavers, swans and snapping turtles, and many more creatures in between.

As essential workers, Animal Services teams are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to animal-related concerns, both domestic and wildlife.

City officials say increased wildlife activity, growing populations and greater urban density are contributing to the rise in emergency calls.

Four caimans (small alligators) and an anaconda were found inside a mysterious package sent to a wrong address in Mississauga. 

Among the more notable calls Animal Services crews responded to in 2022:

  • a red fox with mange trapped between yard equipment inside a shed. It was removed and sent to a wildlife centre
  • a large number of orphaned baby wildlife. They were sent to wildlife rehabilitation centres where they are cared for until old enough to be released
  • a raccoon on Hwy. 407 sitting on the guard rail that then jumped off the 40-foot-tall bridge. Officers were able to catch the raccoon mid-jump with a net and safely release him into a wooded area
  • a skunk with a rat trap on his leg, unable to move or remove the trap. The officer removed the trap and drove the skunk to a rehabilitation centre, where he receive treatment for his leg injury
  • a box with a baby raccoon left near the woods that was illegally relocated. The officer traced the address left on the package to find the accused and baby raccoon’s origin
  • a family of geese relocated from the roof of the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. The officers captured the two parents and goslings, relocating them to the pond in front of the building
  • a coyote suffering from mange in the winter was captured by officers and sent to rehab
  • Animal Services met with Mississauga firefighters to assist with a cat found in a house fire. The cat was placed on oxygen and then rushed to the vet, where it was reunited with its owner
  • Animal Services responded to a mysterious package delivered to the wrong address in Mississauga. The package contained a live anaconda and four caimans. The reptiles were sent to a rehabilitation centre and received medical treatment

This family of geese was found on the roof of a building at the University of Toronto Mississauga. They were safely relocated to a nearby pond.

Officials note that in accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, animals returned to the wild need to be released within one kilometre of where they were found.

City officials say education is also a key element of the Animal Services team’s work.

“Helping residents and pet owners understand the best ways to care for their furry loved ones and co-exist with the wildlife just beyond their backyards” is crucial, they say.

Residents who see or encounter an injured, distressed animal or lost pet are urged to call Mississauga Animal Services at 905-896-5858. Calls are taken 24 hours a day.

This coyote was suffering from mange when Animal Services workers found it and sent it for rehab. (All photos: City of Mississauga)

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising