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Company helps Scarborough senior solve raccoon problem at no cost

Inside Toronto

By Andrew Palamarchuk | September 20, 2014 View this article as a PDF
© Inside Toronto

Gates Wildlife Control steps in to resolve issue for resident

A Scarborough senior who had a bad experience with a contractor this summer said she's "very, very grateful" after another company stepped in to redo the work at no cost.

Aileen Benn, 97, said she contacted a roofer June 16 to deal with raccoons in the attic of her home in the Birchmount Road and Lawrence Avenue.

"They came immediately and they seemed to be very nice fellows," Benn said. "They went up, and they came down with a picture and they said a lot of damage is being done and it would cost me $864."

Benn's son, who happened to be visiting at the time, paid the money.

But after Benn's son left, the contractor doubled the price. "Then they came down with one raccoon," said Benn, adding the contractor then asked for an additional $432 for catching the animal.

A supervisor then came and asked Benn to sign a document stating that she was satisfied with the job.

"I said I cannot sign the paper because I don't know what you did up there," Benn said. "He said if I pay $600 more, he would animal proof (the house)."

Benn refused to pay the additional $600. ($2,160 was already paid.)

When the problems with the raccoons continued, Benn contacted her local councillor (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre's Michael Thompson) who in turn contacted police and reached out for help.

Gates' Wildlife Control has stepped in, offering to resolve Benn's raccoon problem at no cost.

Earlier this week, the Scarborough-based company removed the roof vent that the raccoons were using to get into the attic and installed a one-way door that allows the animals to exit but not re-enter.

"Then in two days we will return, remove the one-way door, replace the vent and then animal proof it, so the animals cannot manipulate them to get back in, and we'll do that to all the vents on the roof," company president Brad Gates said. "We're quite happy to assist in solving this problem at no charge."

Benn said she's "very, very grateful" for the work.

Thompson hopes this would "restore part of her faith in humanity."

The original contractor Benn called was charged with fraud exceeding $5,000 in August in connection with another incident involving a senior.

© Inside Toronto

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