PHOTO: Raccoons Wreak Total Havoc on NYPD Tow Pound

by Jonathan Howard

While the NYPD is out dealing with the usual duties of patrolling the streets, some visitors came by a tow lot. In the Bronx, raccoons have taken over an NYPD impound and have workers weary. The pack of raccoons have been caught in the act and seem right at home.

Over at the Mott Haven pound, workers have dealt with the critters day by day. Meanwhile, the cats in the area have been beaten up and runoff. While it doesn’t seem like a big deal, the cats provide a service. New York City can easily fill up with rats and mice in places like the impound lot. Without those cats, the rats and raccoons will take over.

There are plenty of cars to hide under and the environment seems ideal for the animals. Unlike possums, raccoons are highly vulnerable to carrying rabies. Workers at the NYPD lot, as well as their union reps, are concerned people will be attacked. Even those trying to pick up their vehicles are terrorized.

Six of the unwanted wild animals have taken up a shelter right on the handicap ramp to the office building. Not even passing humans can get them to move off the path. In a short video of the pesky creatures shared with the New York Post, one worker says, “I’m letting you know if I get attacked by one — oh, I’m suing the whole f***ing department!” while speaking to a co-worker.

Next Steps to NYPD Raccoon Problem

While there have always been raccoons in the area, the numbers have increased in recent years. According to workers at the NYPD tow pound the issue has not been handled well. NYPD put cages on-site in order to catch the raccoons in past years. This year, they have refused to put the cages on-site. They site the fact that workers have been feeding the stray cats.

However, the cats are necessary in order to ward off other critters. But since the workers feed the cats, they are now blamed for attracting the raccoons. Without cages or traps set up to intervene, workers are on their own. Staff at the tow pound have expressed concern.

“It’s been scary for us and the motorists,” one worker said, “Sometimes when [the raccoons] see you they run away, but sometimes they don’t. I’m afraid some have rabies.” As for the cats, some fought valiantly. However, those cats also paid the ultimate price and were killed by the raccoons.

In regards to rabies, there have been 15 confirmed cases of animals being rabies-positive in NYC. Of those 15, 12 have been raccoons. However, the Health Department says that none of those cases are from the pound. Still, the possibility remains and workers are weary. According to an NYPD spokesperson, the leadership at the lot is “aware of the condition” and there is work being done to address the situation.