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Philadelphia Lawmakers Move Ahead With Legislation Making Raccoons a Health Dept. Problem

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The latest wrestling match between Philadelphia City Council and the mayor involves raccoons, those pesky creatures that some of the lawmakers say are constantly going through residents’ trash and attics (see related story).

City Council members say they’re increasingly getting complaints about urban raccoons that they say are terrorizing homeowners in some parts of Philadelphia.

“People are very frustrated, because they don’t know what to do about that,” says 9th District councilwoman Marian Tasco.

Currently, homeowners are responsible to hire someone to trap the critters. But the Nutter administration has been resisting a bill that would put more responsibility on the health department to deal with wayward raccoons.

At a hearing, Councilman Jim Kenney questioned Brian Abernathy of the managing director’s office.

(Kenney:)  “Is the issue that you don’t have the resources to do that, or you just don’t want them euthanized?”

(Abernathy:)  “Both.”

And Abnernathy says this is the domain of state wildlife officials, not the city.

Despite the admininstration’s concerns, the bill was approved this afternoon in committee and now goes to the full Council for a vote.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

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  • DFW

    I hear what you all are saying. But, until you have to walk in a home owner in Philadelphia’s shoes, you cant only imagine. I spotted a raccoon entering my home’s front porch roof and promptly contacted the City’s 311 number andwas informed that it is the home owner’s respomsiblity. I then contacted the SPCA, and was told that their animal control unit does not deal with wild animals, I should buy a trap, catch the raccoon and they would pick it up uhhhh? catch it in a trap? me?
    Instread, I spent a good amount of money to have my porch roof taken down, a new one installed a well as new siding. I did all of this because there are children living next door to me with a vacant lot which I maintain between our homes. My biggest concern was for the children, they could get bitten by a rabid raccon. City and State Government needs to stop bickering as usual over whose responsibility it is and do something about the problem sooner rather than later. I am not for killing them, relocate them to their own environment. I thank God that I had the funds to handle the situtation with my front porch. But, what about the city residentswho can not afford to so. I do however agree with the thought that our urban areas are breeding grounds for animal that are not normally found in our areas. We all need to step up and keep our neighborhoods cleaner. On my block, it is a joint effort between myself and my neighbors to do so. Our block is clean and neat. Some of our citizen are just plain filthy. The throw trash and garbage from their car windows( I Live on a main highway Haverford Avenue), they throw
    fast food wrapers on the ground in neighborhood they don’t even live in, and we wonder why we are over run with raccons. By the way, I evicted the raccon from my home, and he has now taken up residence in the proprty at the corner of my block I have not seen the raccon in ovfer a week. Perhaps he has found another home to destroy.

  • Hater

    Something definitely has to be done about these coons. They are totally out of control and breed faster than they are killed. Spay or neuter all coons or they will eventually over run every city in America. They need to be put back in the wild where they belong as they obviously can not coexist with humans.

    • Jean

      That”s quite an over-reacton to a mostly harmless animal. They can and do coexist, pretty much everywhere they are found. Killing animals just because we think they’re annoying is ridiculous. Live and let live. The animals were here first, and they are much nicer to us than we are to them.

      • Whose the real Problem?

        I agree. We build over their habitats and then say they’re a problem.

  • Lisa

    Agreed, Linda. And, “terrorizing” ? Really??

    • Todd McDonald

      There are small groups of raccoons serving as al Qaeda sleeper cells. Next time you see a raccoon report the sighting to Homeland Security as a suspicious incident. They will thank you for being a patriot.

  • Linda D Bryant

    A few years ago there was a Possum in my neighborhood.

    Raccoons and Possum are not urban animals. They only come around
    searching for food or garbage that has been thrown on the street and in
    vacant lots.

    We all need to keep our neighborhoods cleaner, then we would not be seeing these critters!!!

    • POSSUM, The "Other White Meat"

      I have an awesome recipe for my Granny’s “Possum Belly Stew”…….it goes great with some Goat Tripe!!! mmm mmm mmm!!!

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