Vernon Hills' Wildlife Policy Favors Education over Traps
Spencer, Mark, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Mark Spencer Daily Herald Staff Writer
Vernon Hills relies heavily on public education in new police department guidelines for fielding residents' complaints about wild animals reported as a nuisance or danger.
The new policy aims to teach people how to live with wildlife, leaving the use of animal trappers and relocators as a last resort in cases of sick or vicious animals.
"People have gotten so far removed from nature that they don't understand it," said Gillian Haggerty of the Vernon Hills Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee. "They just need to understand that people and animals can coexist."
Village residents who request a trap for a nuisance animal will now be forced to wait three days, during which time they will receive educational information to review.
Animals that are doing damage to property, or are determined to be sick, injured or vicious will be addressed immediately.
Vernon Hills police Chief Gary Kupsak said the new policy will not dramatically change the way community service officers respond to animal complaints.
"If it's just a nuisance complaint we're going to start with education," Kupsak said.
The village board agreed to purchase five copies of the "Wild Neighbors: The Humane Approach to Living with Wildlife," published by the Humane Society of the United States. …