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Category: Animal control

Greenbelt Metro Crime Report, Holiday Schedule, Found Dog

Greenbelt Metro north entrance

Greenbelt Crime Report
Recently WMATA found College Park Metro having the highest number of crime incidents (Greenbelt Metro came 5th). This crime report includes incidents from April last year to last Friday.

City Holiday Schedule
City offices will be closed tomorrow, December 26 and January 2. Refuse and recycling will be collected one day later than normal on both weeks: Monday collections will occur Tuesday, Tuesday collections will occur Wednesday and Wednesday collections will occur on Thursday. Appointments for special trash and brush will only be scheduled for Friday on these holiday weeks. Please call or email Public Works in advance to schedule an appointment (phone 240-487-3590;

Found Dog
A female black lab mix was found near the intersection of Hollywood Rd and 51st Ave on Sat 12/17 and turned over to College Park Animal Control on 12/20. She is microchipped to an owner in Illinois, but the contact information is no longer valid. The dogs was wearing a silver choker with a pink nylon line through it. Please call Animal Control with any additional information on this dogs home. Please call City’s Animal Control’s Vivian Cooper at 240-375-3165

Trail Talk 3: Vacant House, Wild Animal and Code Enforcement

Vacant / foreclosed house - a source of concerns

One of the major complaints I’m hearing during my talks with my neighbors is the issue with the vacant houses and its effect on the quality of life.

Due to deep recession we’re in, our city is having a record number of vacant and foreclosed houses. Many rental houses are staying vacant because of lack of renters, who prefer to rent a cheap apartments instead of relatively expensive houses.

The vacant and foreclosed houses are causing a serious concerns among the neighbors who live next to these houses. A major complaint they have is that the rental houses are not kept in good condition by the landlords and the banks who own these houses. This, they think, is degrading the neighborhood and bringing the property values of the entire neighborhood.

I met a neighbor the other day who says her next door house is foreclosed, but the yards are not kept in good condition. She also suspects some wild animals probably live in the shed located in the backyard. This neighbor said sometime she wakes up in the middle of the night hearing animal sound. She is also afraid of her children at home.

Next day, I called the City, who did a good job in sending the code enforcement also someone from the animal control to take care of the situation.

The issue here I see is that, our City needs to have a better system in reporting and tracking these code enforcement related issues. Though currently, one can search the code violations on city’s website, but there is no online system to report and track these issues. Residents should also report these incidents anonymously, since some of them may be afraid of retaliations afterwards.

Beware, Before You Trap Animals

Animal trapping

The other day I was told by a resident that someone from City’s Animal control came over to his house to do a search of animal trapping. The resident said he was surprised by this “uninvited” visit, and said they couldn’t find any thing “illegal” activity in his backyard.

Regardless of the background, this incident should remind us our responsibilities to know the rules surrounding animal trapping in the city.

First, it is illegal to trap wildlife without a permit it is also a fine of $350.00 for the first offense, also it is illegal to shoot squirrels with a BB gun in residential areas and this carries a fine of $125.00.

Trapping with squirrel trapppers and most wildlife requires a permit from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR). The ACO currently holds a Wildlife Damage Control Operator’s Permit through the MD DNR.  The ACO will trap wildlife at his/her own discretion.  The ACO will not trap wildlife outside unless the animal is posing a direct threat to public safety.

Trapping is often a source of controversy because trapped animals must be either euthanized or relocated.  Moving an animal to a more “wild” area may sound like a good idea, but relocated animals typically have a lower rate of survival due to an inability to find new food sources and den sites.  For more information on trapping read “Think Before You Trap

Many wildlife problems can be dealt with by taking simple measures, usually involving the removal of the wildlife “attractant” such as securing accessible trash cans or doing away with pet food left outside.  Other wildlife problem-solving tactics require trial and error and occasionally must result in the removal of the animal.  The Animal Control Officer can provide you with information and/or literature on how to solve a variety of wildlife problems.

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