If you have a raccoon breaking in to your brownstone (like some folks in Park Slope), then soon you may just be able to call on the city to take care of it. A new bill unveiled today by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley places responsibility on the city to trap raccoons in the five boroughs. All a concerned citizen needs to do is ask! But what will the big bad Department of Health do with the creatures once they're caught? According to the Daily News they'll be encouraged to humanely release them.
Prior to the legislation (which is pending), the DoH would only deal with raccoons if they were injured or sick, and under current guidelines trapped raccoons are euthanized since they may carry rabies. If the animal seemed healthy, the person reporting it was told to hire a trapper on their own dime.
One Ridgewood, Queens woman told the paper of her own backyard raccoon problem, saying, "I have made reports and no one will listen to me. I have two young daughters and I'm afraid. I was told if I called about a coyote, the city would come right away." No matter who takes care of the animals, however, one licensed wildlife rehabilitator warns: "You can't pick up and relocate every animal you see. They are in the city, and you have to learn to live with them. They will have less contact with us if we don't invite them."