- October 16th, 2015 How Torontonians can co-exist with their furry neighbours, even raccoons
- October 16th, 2015 How Torontonians can co-exist with raccoons
- July 22nd, 2015 Durham Region - Humane ways to avoid conflict with wildlife in Durham
- July 15th, 2015 Yahoo News - City dwellers must co-exist with urban wildlife, experts say
- Jun 11th, 2015 City News - Owl rescued from being stuck in soccer net
- May 14th, 2015 Toronto Star - Humans not raccoons are the problem
- April 6th, 2015 CTV - Tips for keeping your home critter free
- April 6th, 2015 Global News - Toronto considering raccoon-resistant green bins
- April 6th, 2015 Newstalk 1010 - Raccoon-proof green bins & expanded blue bins on this week's city agenda
- September 20th, 2014 Inside Toronto - Company helps Scarborough senior solve raccoon problem at no cost
- August 18th, 2014 National Post - Rob Ford makes a new enemy, says he has been in 'standoffs' with fearless raccoons outside his home
- September 26, 2013 PCT Magazine - Humane Urban Wildlife Management: What Does it Really Mean?
- July 25th, 2013 The Star - Racoons: Everything you always wanted to know about them but were too busy cleaning up their mess to ask
- March 8th, 2013 The Star - Trapped Cat Survives Between Floor and Ceiling For 11 Days
- Winter 2012 Condominium Manager Magazine - Protecting Your Green Image
- December 12th, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Choose a Wildlife Control Company Carefully
- October 1st, 2011 The National Post - Toronto's flourishing fauna
- September 23rd, 2011 The Toronto Star - Wildlife vs. the city: Can't we get along?
- August 21st, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Nuisance Wildlife and Municipal Animal Services
- June 8th, 2011 The Grid - All creatures great and small
- May 20, 2011 Toronto Sun - Three albino baby raccoons found
- February 10th, 2011 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - The Reprecussions of Live Trapping Wildlife
- November 17th, 2010 Eye Weekly - Pop-up possums! Everything you need to know about Toronto's newest immigrants
- September 28th, 2010 AAA Gates' Wildlife Control - Humane Bat Removal
- October 2010 Green Condos - A Guide for Choosing an Ethical and Humane Wildlife Control Company
- Summer 2010 Toronto Life Magazine - Gates' Wildlife Control Voted Best in the City
- July 2nd, 2010 Globe and Mail - The 'Wild West' of wildlife control
- June 15th, 2010 ACMO Tech - Solving Wildlife Problems: Challenges Confronting Property Managers
- May 6th, 2010 The Record - Raccoon in attic led to Kitchener blaze
- February 2nd, 2010 The Toronto Star - City's Coyotes Popping Up Again
- January 14th, 2010 Newmarket Era - Lone coyote roaming around Glenway club
- May 11th, 2009 City TV News - Wildlife Crew Finds Rare Albino Raccoon At Contruction Site
- March 30th, 2009 City TV News - Creature Comforts How To Stop Wildlife From Invading Your Property
- February 24th, 2009 The Toronto Star - Coyote attacks prompt city to take action
- April 24th, 2008 City TV News - Raccoon Fatally Injured After Leg Caught In Barbaric Trap
- August 20th, 2007 City TV News - Raccoon Sways Lamp Post, Crowd
The 'Wild West' of Wildlife Control
Experience with a rotting raccon underscores lack of regulation in field
The Globe and MailBy Ann Hui
When the smell began keeping her up at night and the flies began to take over her house, Yolanda Yang knew that something had gone terribly wrong.
Three months earlier in early February, When Ms. Yang began hearing thudding noises in her Richmond Hill home, she called a wildlife removal company to get rid of what she believed to be a raccoon in the attic. The company set up a one-way door for the creature to escape through, and steel screens on the vents to her roof. The raccoon would on its owm she was told.
Still, she kept hearing the thudding. At her request, the company returned four times over the next three months, even reinstalling the one-way door, but the noise didn't stpo. She went on vacation for a month, only to return in early May to the flies and the smell. She knew the animal was dead.
After contacting the company again, the technician deemed the work "solid" and said there was no smell. But almost a month later, when the situtation became unbearable, she called a different company. Brad Gates, the owner of AAA Gates Wildlife Control, was the one who found the raccoon inside the wall of her house.
"I can probably say it had been dead for two months," Mr. Gates said. "It didn't have any flesh on its body."
Ms. Yang said she wonders if the original company, AAA All Seasons Wildlife, every actually entered the attic during the visits. A spokesman for the company, who would indentify himself only as "Peter" and declined to give a last name, said the company does check areas before and after setting up oneway doors.
"We've been there five times," he said. "Every time she's called, we've gone back. But I mean, if we check our work, all our work is intact, she says there's a smell, our guy doesn't smell anything, he's got nothing to go on."
When told about the dead raccoon, he said it might have been dead all along, or even a different raccoon, because Ms. Yang refused additional preventive measures. He also defended the company's F-rating from the Better Business Bureau in mid-June, saying, "We always respond to their complaints, but there's only so much you can do to satisfy people."
Meanwhile, Ms. Yang has been trying to find answers, but incidents like hers are especially difficult because the wildlife removal industry, for the most part, is unregulated. There is no licence required for wildlife removal agents, nor is any training or qualification necessary so long as companies follow OSPCA guidelines and do not kill the animals.
This has led to many practices ranging from "bad, just because they don't know what they're doing, to outright curel," said Nathalie Karvonen, executive director of the Toronto Wildlife Centre. Ms. Karvonen, along with a group of industry players, has been lobbying the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for stricter regulations, but so far to little avail.
John Dungavell, a wildlife policy adviser with the ministry, said the goverment is reviewing recommendations for licensing, but that "licensing is not necessarily the panacea to all the problems." He said that training agents and informing the public about proper practices are just as important.
But Mr. Gates, who said he does five or six jobs a week for customers dissatisfied with the work of previous companies, said more still needs to be done. "The government isn't in a position to license us, so there isn't any formal training," he said. "So everybody is kind of forced to learn by trial."