Local News

Dec 31, 2013 7:25 PM

Opossums Now More Your Problem

CORPUS CHRISTI - Police Chief Floyd Simpson told KRIS 6 News today the city will continue to pick up opossums or other stray animals only if it's been trapped in one of their rental units.

L.A. Zdansky opossum-proofed his home many years ago. He said today if the city stops picking up animals people trap in their own devices, there is a simple solution.

"Stop trapping," he said "Just don't buy a trap. Put up with it." "But for me, they're gonna get trapped in my yard."

Until now the process has been pretty simple: if you trap an opossum in your own trap one or two calls to the city and someone picks it up.

But starting tomorrow if you trap it and it's not in one of the city's rented units the problem could be yours for a couple of days.

Police Chief Floyd Simpson has animal control under his responsibilities now.

The city has twenty traps for rent and Simpson said people should not think the city simply has stopped picking up trapped animals.

"Again, this is not a 'We're not going to come pick up the trap' stance that we're taking," he said "But we're saying these traps are available at animal control, there is a $10 fee and that if you can't afford that, we're willing to talk to you about that."

Fifteen animal control officers are responsible for handling almost five thousand trapped animal calls each year.

They try to get there the same day but it's not always the case.

"We want to get it that day but it's just not an emergency," Simpson said. "We don't want the trap to stay there two or three days and I understand there may be instances where that's occurred. (But) that's an anomaly."

Simply put, your opossum, isn't really the city's highest priority.

We did a little more digging and found that animal control officers are themselves a dwindling species. There were 25 of them back in 2010.

Now there are only 15 who handle calls. That's about the same number of full time staff for the city's marina. Despite the smaller staff, animal control handled 22,000 calls this past year.

Three things you can do to keep opossums at bay, according to the city:

  • Don't feed them, or leave meals outside for your pets
  • Dip a tennis ball in ammonia and place it in open spaces where they may enter the home
  • Place mothballs around the base of your home or other points of entry

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