Wild animals take over abandoned homes; neighbors want help

By Erica Quednau | equednau@wcia.com

Published 06/25 2014 04:10PM

Updated 06/25 2014 05:12PM

FARMER CITY -- A DeWitt County town is dealing with some unfriendly neighbors and they're telling city leaders they want them gone. Wild animals are living in vacant homes, including possum and raccoons. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau hears from neighbors.

They may look "cute" but the animals are scary. One woman says she and her kids were stuck in their car for 30 minutes while a raccoon stood between them and their home.

"Myself and my kids, we're out here, summertime, quite a bit."

It's where you'll find many families this summer, but some unfriendly creatures are taking the fun out of it in Farmer City.

"It's very unsafe for the children."

Shanna Bennett is talking about the possum, raccoons and rabbits living in these homes. Two vacant ones sit just feet from where she lives.

"Well, it's been quite a few years it's been going on. We've even tried to put live traps over there trying to catch them and stuff and, yeah."

But, it's not working, so Shanna and her neighbors are now letting their city leaders know.

"We think that it should be the owner of the property's expense to take care of that."

Mayor Michael Jenkins says he's heard the complaints and, like Shanna, doesn't want a messy town, so he's doing some cleanup. Any house which is reported gets a warning. If nothing's done, then a fine will be issued.

"We're just scared for the children. They're an eyesore for all of us. We'd just like the problem taken care of."

The mayor has a Facebook page to help hear people's complaints and ideas. If you know of a house which is overgrown or overrun by critters, he wants you to let him know.

For more information, click here.

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