Euthanized raccoons are causing a war between neighbors in Colonial Place

Posted at 8:43 PM, Aug 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-04 20:43:07-04

Norfolk, Va. - Euthanized animals are causing a war between neighbors in Colonial Place.

Cathie Hilton is upset with the two neighbors who live directly behind her.

The two men admit to setting of trap and catching dozen of animals over the last several years – mostly raccoons, but also cats, opossums, and a rat.

“I have had enough,” said Hilton.

Brent Hepner is one of the men trapping the animals.

“When it gets really bad we’ll trap them. When it’s not really bad, we won’t,” said Hepner.

Hepner says in the past there has been an infestation of raccoons in his backyard.

He said between late April and late May of this year alone, he and his next door neighborhood trapped 14 raccoons and a rat.

He calls the animals a nuisance, fears disease, and said they’ve caused thousands of dollars in property damage.

"They chew up all kinds of property. They destroy anything in your backyard. They tear up your garage. They get in your backyard and tore up a bunch of awnings," said Hepner.

Meanwhile, Hilton welcomes the animals and has designed her backyard to invite them in.

She hates the idea of her neighbors trapping them.

"We would be woken up in the middle of the night hearing animals crying, growling, thrashing around in cages,” said Hilton.

Hepner said he doesn’t like the idea of the animals being euthanized but says they are a problem.

“They leave their feces all over the place,” said Hepner.

City of Norfolk leaders say the men are allowed to trap as many animals as they want and must turn them over to animal control who will then euthanize them.

“It hurts my heart. They’ve got to stop hurting these mothers and taking them from the babies," said Hilton.

“Common sense tells you that if there are that many raccoons in one place they are there for a reason,” said Hepner .

He thinks someone is feeding the animals.

Hilton said the raccoons eat berries and nuts in her backyard, but she said she doesn't hand feed them anymore. She admits she fed them in the past not realizing she wasn't supposed to do so.

Both sides say they’re frustrated and fed up with the situation.