Even those of us who live in the big cities know that having a skunk take up residence close to home can be a smelly experience. Seriously. There is a GIGANTIC city park not even two miles from where this writer sits known to be infested. (Drove through one night with the windows open. WHEW!) One small family in Denver had such a wild neighbor, and after going through the trouble to live trap the wee beastie, they found out that the critter was their problem in more ways than one.
After hours on the phone, [one couple] found out once you trap the skunk, no agency will take it.
“I could pay somebody to come out and remove it,” Kari said. “Or I could find out ways to humanely kill it. I don’t want to kill it.”
She called several agencies, including pest control companies.
“They told me that being as we trapped it that it was our problem,” she said. “The city wasn’t going to come get it, the Humane Society, nobody was going to come get it that they would charge us. It was going to be $295.”
The reason being is that skunks are primary carriers of rabies, so just catching and releasing the creatures isn’t exactly an option for the strict law-abiding citizen. There are federal regulations and permits involved. To make matters more mind-boggling, this incident took place in Denver, and the family was told they could kill the animal if it was a danger to them, but they couldn’t shoot a bow and arrow or a gun to do it.
This particular story has a happy ending as the family did find a pest removal company to come and get the creature. However, as usual, laws and regulations written by multiple levels of government made a simple skunk eviction a not so easy task. We can all relate to not wanting creatures around that are smelly and destructive, but why the state and federal governments would have a problem with relocating rabies carriers is another issue. (Isn’t that the sort of thing that would be worth spending our tax dollars to do for the common good?)