Malvern's rural location provides abundant wildlife. Nature lovers will be delighted with the deer, rabbit, fox, and songbirds that frequent Malvern's combination of wooded and open areas and 15-acre lake. Additionally, Coyotes and Black Bear are occasionally spotted.
Of the three bear species (black, brown, and polar bears) in North America, only the black bear lives in Virginia. Shy and secretive, the sighting of a bear is a rare treat for most Virginians. However, bears are found throughout most of the Commonwealth, and encounters between bears and people are increasing. Don't deliberately feed the Bears or unknowingly provide food from bird feeders, pet food containers, or garbage cans. Bears will abandon natural food sources for human foods and garbage! Wild bears quickly become conditioned to handouts and will teach their cubs to do the same.
By far, however, deer are our most noticeable visitors. Whether you think them a pleasure or pest, deer are part of the community. You will have to learn to live with them since the Malvern By-laws do not allow hunting within the subdivision and past attempts to allow hunting of any type in the community have failed.
Please Don't Feed The Deer! Under Virginia Administrative Code, 4VAC 15-40-285, it is unlawful to feed or attract deer from September 1 through the first Saturday in January.
Pets are a big part of family life. Neither our By-laws or Madison County have "leash laws" but licensing of dogs and rabies vaccination of dogs and domestic cats is required.
While there are no leash laws for licensed pets, it is recommend that Malvern residents either leash or fence in their dogs. First, it is a courtesy to your neighbors - did you know complaints of roaming dogs is second only to complaints of speeders? Second, controlling your pets prevents injury/death from other animals and cars, and helps prevent the spread of disease.
Madison County has had documented reports of rabies and, recently, the potentially deadly disease leptospirosis has been reported by Malvern residents.
Leptospirosis, like rabies, affects both humans and animals. Here is a summary:
"Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure of food or water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin."
The disease is not known to be spread from person to person. While cats can be infected, they rarely show signs of disease. The disease is much more of a problem in dogs, people, and livestock. There are vaccines available, but usually only for one or two of the more common strains.
So, be a good neighbor and a responsible and safe pet owner. Keep your pets leashed or fenced.