NewsNational News


Brooklyn raccoon invasion panics residents, pets

Posted at 3:19 PM, Oct 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-16 15:21:19-04

BROOKLYN, NY (WCBS) – A lot of folks in Brooklyn's Clinton Hill neighborhood are on alert after a brazen series of invasions by masked, four-legged critters.

"They are adorable, but not in your backyard," Clinton Hill resident Susan DeBrango explained.

She snapped photos of the raccoons trying to bust inside her home and said one of them had the nerve to stand up on its hind legs and hiss at her.

Barbara Mattocks, also had a close encounter with one of the animals on her front stoop.

"I don't want that feeling ever again! I was petrified," Mattocks said.

The raccoons are definitely getting more brazen on Washington Avenue. They have been spotted rummaging through trash and running right up to neighbors. Not to mention leaving some pets in the neighborhood

In fact, a 3-year-old Maltese named snowball, who used to love to play outside, is now a prisoner in his own home, according to his owner.

"He refuses to go out in the yard," Mattocks said.

Neighbors said they called 311, but were told the city will not respond unless the raccoons appear disoriented and potentially rabid.

Neighbors chipped in for the services of a humane trapper, but in three weeks of setting out cat food in cages not a single raccoon was caught.

Raccoon Experts are not surprised.

"In terms of trying to trap them once they've been trapped once they'll know not to go in that trap again," Liberty Science Center's Rich Weddle said.

Weddle said raccoons can spread rabies and distemper, which is a concern for dogs -- not to mention parasites, fleas and ticks.

"Some child or some person is going to have to get attacked -- maybe somebody's pet," Mattocks said. "Why does it have to come to that.")

DeBrango is organizing a public meeting on Oct. 17, calling it a raccoon summit.

The meeting will spread the word about securing trashcan lids, bringing in cat, dog and bird food and making home repairs to cut off cozy places for raccoons to sleep.