Monday, March 4. 2019
Having had the opportunity to raise a variety of species when I was young provided me with a deep respect for the lives of all animals.
When I started my business in 1984 the concept of being “humane” didn’t exist in the realm of wildlife control. It was my mission 35 years ago to develop techniques that would not jeopardize the well-being of the species we dealt with. While I am not one to blow my own horn, it is my honest opinion that my company has directly influenced and shaped the direction that wildlife control has taken over the years. An example of this lies in a measurable shift away from inhumane trapping / relocation and more towards the use of one-way doors and release on-site methods.
Gates Wildlife worked hard to develop techniques that were scientifically sound and combined these with a strict “follow-up” protocol to ensure that all removals go according to plan. Wildlife rehabilitators, Municipal Animal Services, Humane Societies, the media and most importantly our customers embraced our humane approach. The wildlife control industry quickly recognized that promoting their company as being “humane” was good for business.
It is unfortunate that many of these companies are not willing to invest the time or the money that it would it would truly take to be committed to the humane concept. Using specifically designed heated reunion boxes rather than “makeshift” unheated cardboard boxes, following up in a timely manner on one-way door installations and ensuring that the mother raccoon has successfully retrieved her babies from the reunion boxes, would go a long way towards practicing what they preach.
The attached picture shows a competitors unheated cardboard box on the left and our composite heated reunion box on the right. I was called out by the homeowner two days after our competitor placed the babies in this cardboard box. The homeowner was still hearing the mother raccoon in the attic and the previous company refused to return. The one-way-door had failed, locking the mother inside the attic. The babies were unable to stay warm inside the unheated cardboard box and died of exposure due to the cold outside temperatures.
This extremely unfortunate situation could have easily been avoided. If only the company in question had promptly followed up on the work in progress and utilized a proper heated reunion box. They would have discovered that the mother raccoon was trapped inside the attic, made corrections to the one-way door and the use of the heated reunion box would have prevented the babies form being exposed to the elements.
When looking to hire a wildlife removal company please ensure they will follow-up on the work in progress in short order and that they have heated reunion boxes at their disposal.
By Brad Gates, B.Sc.
Brad Gates is the owner and president of AAA Gates Wildlife Control. He has over 35 years experience in the humane wildlife removal and prevention industry.