Answer: The animal (squirrel, cat, dog?) might be deterred by sprinkling thorny branches across the soil surface, or by spraying a commercially formulated animal repellent or a home made one based on egg and garlic. Spreading wire mesh such as chicken wire over the mulch can also help, as can changing the type of mulch to a heavier nugget type of bark chunks. If it is a cat you may be able to decoy it by providing a more "attractive" pile of sand nearby. If it is someone's pet, you may be able to have the animal kept off your property. There are often leash laws for dogs and cats are certainly safer indoors. If it is a cat, I would suggest you wear gloves when working in that part of the garden since cat feces can carry disease.
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