Editorial: Prevention worth more than a pound of cure

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 16, 2004

Sometimes it’s important to remember who was here first.

Some homeowners consider their neighbors &045; skunks and woodchucks &045; to be nuisances.

There’s the smell, the dug-up mess in the backyard, the upturned garbage can. And the homeowners have requested that the city remove the animals.

Email newsletter signup

But after some deliberation, the city has correctly decided not to remove them, unless the animals are dangerous or suspected of carrying diseases.

Rather than destroy them, people need to leave them be.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the animals are more visible since it’s been a wet year. Ground-dwellers sometimes get flooded out.

If people are having troubles with nuisances animals, prevention is the first step. The best way to get rid of nuisance animals is to remove attractions such as long grass, potential shelter areas and food.

Residents should also make efforts to seal up trash or put it out first thing in the morning, so animals aren’t drawn to the area.

Fences or repellent sprays that contain scents or flavors which are undesirable to the animals, such as hot pepper spray, may also be helpful.

Whatever the problem, residents should not take matters into their own hands and go after the animal with a gun. It’s dangerous and against city ordinance to shoot a firearm &045; even a pellet gun &045; within city limits. It could prove life-threatening for human neighbors as well.

So sit back and enjoy the neighbors Mother Nature has provided for all of us.

And remember, they were probably here first.