Pools pose a threat to wildlife that fall in and can’t climb back out. There are commercially available products such as frog logs or escape ramps that are designed to give frogs, lizards, ducks and small animals a platform from which they can climb out of the pool. Using a pool cover when the pool is not in use can also prevent animals from falling in.
Help in a Pool Emergency
If such equipment isn’t available and an animal is struggling in the pool, use a net, pool skimmer or broom to fish the animal out. For larger animals, such as a cat, dog, raccoon or deer fawn, putting a patio chair in the shallow end of a pool next to the pool ledge can give the animal a place to rest and leverage to climb out. You can also put a partially deflated pool float secured to the pool edge to use as a makeshift ramp or use plywood or 2 x 4 planks if they are easily available. Be careful not to get bitten or scratched.
Once the animal is out of the water, leave it alone so that it can recover. Keep people and pets away from the area until the animal or bird leaves on its own. Watch to make sure it doesn’t fall back into the pool. If the animal is obviously injured, contact a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator for treatment options.
Ducks and Geese
Ducks and geese will use swimming pools. Simply chase them out of the pool by making loud noises until they leave.
Build a Wildlife Pond
If you consistently get wildlife visitors to your pool and you have the space and resources, consider installing a wildlife pond. In addition to providing wildlife with habitat and access to drinking water, which may be a limiting resource locally, they can provide hours of wildlife watching fun for you and your neighbors.