Hawkeye News & Bulletins
Homeowner plans anti-raccoon rally
TORONTO - Jack Fava doesn’t condone violence to raccoons, but he is fed up with the damage they leave behind.
Fava owns a house on Symington Ave., two blocks from where two baby raccoons were beaten to death and another severely injured Wednesday in an incident that has seen a homeowner charged.
Since Fava moved into his home in 1998, the dark-eyed bandits have been destroying his property.
“I doubt that gentleman woke up one morning and decided he was going to beat raccoons, but I could see him coming to the end of his rope,” he said. “People are fed up and know they’re on their own. I don’t think that incident was isolated — I think we’ll see more.”
A pair of the wild animals, which burrowed their way under Fava’s home from his neighbours, decided to make his crawl space home, tearing off the plastic insulation in the process.
He chopped down the antenna that runs up the side of his home because the raccoons were using it as a ladder and jumping like ninjas from roof to roof.
A family — mama and six of her kits — continue to leave droppings on the roof of his shed.
“My concern is there are raccoon droppings on that shed and I understand there’s a lot of bacteria,” he said. “I have kids and you worry. I keep my cats inside. Not only did I have to pay $250 to get them out of (the crawl space), but now I have to pay for the repairs for the insulation.”
Fava, 49, plans to hold an “anti-raccoon” rally on Rankin Cres. at 1 p.m. Saturday to lobby the city to help residents with the nuisance wildlife.
“I phoned the city and other levels of government to see what kind of help I could get and they told me it was part of the urban living and I thought that was pretty much a cop-out,” he said.
“I think they should take more responsibility — if we get large quantities of droppings, they should clean it up and help with trapping costs.”
The city, however, said it has no jurisdiction because raccoons fall under the province’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The best it can do is recommend trappers and remind homeowners not to leave out any food sources.
“People can make sure they’re raccoon-proof by having a cap on their chimney, keep their garbage in a closed container, preferably locked up in a garage, making sure raccoons can’t get to a fish pond,” said Fiona Venedam, supervisor of animal services. “The (lack of) food source will force raccoons back into their natural habitat.”
Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources said the best way to deal with raccoons is “at the source,” meaning the municipal level. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act doesn’t protect raccoons and people can kill them humanely if the animals harm property, ministry spokesman Jolanta Kowalski said.
“Hitting them with a shovel is not humane,” she said.
Under the act, raccoons can be captured but then must be let go a kilometre from where they were found.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said with the city trying to dig its way out from under $774 million debt, raccoons are definitely not a priority, even though he acknowledges they are a pain and often his constituents call his office with complaints.
Dan Frankian, owner of Hawkeye animal removal service in Toronto, said he is one of a handful of people licenced under the ministry to euthanize raccoons after capture. He said by the time people call him, they’ve tried everything.
“At some point, you can’t Fort Knox the entire house,” he said. “They’ve put in one-way doors and all the wiring and they still come back. If he’s still back in the house you’ve done all the humane things and for example, if it’s a female with babies, what are your ethical responsibilities at that point? And the government says you bring in a trapper.”