Culver City Observer
September 17, 2009
Culver City Animal Services Officer Saves the Day -- and the Squirrels
Upon arriving home in the afternoon on Monday, Labor Day, I saw a note pinned to my door from my upstairs neighbor that there might be a squirrel in my condo fireplace. I thought it was a joke. I live in Lakeside Village with fake fireplaces! So I popped upstairs to my neighbor's condo and, sure enough, a squirrel was sticking its nose out of her fireplace - the part under the fake logs. My neighbor's carpet was already torn away and she was discussing removing the fireplace! It seems that the condo association had reported that the responsibility was the homeowner's - aside from the Common Area issue that chimneys are common area and the squirrel didn't walk in from the balcony...
I called the Culver City Police Department and they indicated that our recourse was to call the County Animal Shelter office - not gonna happen on a holiday, I found out. I walked down to my condo (first floor) and the next thing I saw was a furry face in my fireplace! When I tried to release the creature, he wouldn't go anywhere. I called a professional "trapper" who wanted $300 to set a trap but wouldn't promise capture. And if captured, removal would be more - $100+ fees!
I hunkered down for the evening - by then discovering there were 2 squirrels, not one! Not Chip & Dale. Not Rocket J. Squirrel. Not a cartoon. Furry creatures who, if they got loose in my condo, could get into anything, spread lice/fleas and could bite.
After a sleepless night, I called the Culver City Police Department from work and asked for the Culver City Animal Control Officer. Stephanie answered. I told her the situation. I rushed home to meet Stephanie at my condo.
An hour later, with infinite patience, Stephanie removed the two squirrels with thick gloves and creative intervention and released them back onto the condo grounds from whence they came – and my condo is again a squirrel-free zone!
“What do I owe you,” I asked,” besides my undying gratitude and peace of mind?” “Nothing,” she stated. OMG. Where can I make a donation?
I am so glad I was in favor of our own Culver City Animal Control Officer, enough to go to City Hall meetings and encourage our City Council persons to hire one a few months back! I NEVER expected to need those services but I knew that others would.
The County Animal Shelter indicated that once caught, the squirrels would have been destroyed. I figured it wasn’t their fault that they sneaked into the chimney – I blame Lakeside Village Management for that – so why should they pay the ultimate penalty?
Stephanie was courteous, professional and efficient. She had all the tools required for safety (for herself, us and the critters) and for the job to be done.
I just wanted to publicly report – a job well done – for Stephanie, our Culver City Animal Control Officer! Thank you Culver City and all those supporters, including the Friends of Culver City Animals who made Stephanie’s position possible!