VAUGHAN —; A group of concerned citizens in the City of Vaughan is posting on social media about a growing problem with sick raccoons and a lack of response on the part of the city.
The group claims the raccoons are showing up in growing numbers and appear “drunk” and in many cases “walking and falling over.”
Rose Bono watched as a sick raccoon suffered a slow death over the course of three days behind her office in Vaughan.
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“He’d literally take two steps and fall over, take two more steps and shake his head, take a few more steps, tip over,” she said.
She said she made numerous calls to the city for help and was directed to a third party, which was going to charge her to come and deal with the issue.
“It’s just upsetting to see an animal die over the course of three days, it really broke my heart,” said Bono.
“You see an animal suffer, be it a dog a squirrel —; nobody wants to see it suffer.”
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The issue of sick raccoons has come up before, a few months ago.
Fiona Venedam, supervisor with Toronto Animal Services Enforcement and Mobile Response Unit, told Global News in October the disease is more likely to occur in areas where raccoons are highly concentrated.
She added that the disease doesn’t affect humans.
It appears Vaughan does not have an animal response to deal with this type of problem, according to one wildlife expert.
READ MORE: Sick raccoons acting ‘drunk’ being spotted in Vaughan
“They’re the only ones from our perspective working with all the municipalities that doesn’t have any response whatsoever to wildlife in the community,” said Nathalie Karvonen, Executive Director of the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
But the city appears to finally be taking note.
“We are currently exploring options to find a solution to provide wildlife services that best meet the needs of our community and will be reporting back to Vaughan Council in 2016,” Vaughan bylaw and compliance director Gus Michaels said in a statement to Global News.
READ MORE: Dog fight uncovers Ontario’s first raccoon rabies case since 2006
It would be welcome news for another concerned citizen who, like Rose Bono, watched a sick raccoon die and said despite calls to the City of Vaughan and elsewhere, she couldn’t help the animal.
“Its legs were just kind of like sprawled to the side, its head was twitching, and making noises and just trying to move away but it couldn’t move and it was just kind of looking at us … it was really sad,” says Stephanie Sepia.