After reading John Matuszak’s recent article “To trap or not to trap” in the Herald Palladium, I thought some clarification of our interview was needed.
The most important information I told John was omitted from his article. After reading it I think Berrien County Animal Control must have given him our company as a reference just to make us look like we didn’t know what we were talking about. BCAC and I actually have a very long history. Val Grimes inhumanely trapped wildlife illegally for years until my repeated complaints and finally threat to involve the Federal Government forced her to obtain a Michigan Wildlife Control Permit. After my final complaint I called Val and discussed her trapping methods explaining how she (her employees) were inadvertently treating baby animals inhumanely. Val was very nice and acknowledged their mistakes. I thought the issues were resolved and never bothered to investigate it again.
Our company moved from St Joseph to Niles so we could be closer to where most of our Wildlife Control business had evolved to. For every job we perform in Michigan we probably do ten or more in Indiana, so don’t think me pursuing this matter will make any difference to our company what so ever, because it won’t.
After discussing BCAC trapping methods, I also informed Val of the list of bio-hazards associated with wildlife that I as a pet owner, as well as Berrien Co. residents didn’t want our pets exposed to. I explained to her just carrying raccoon in BCAC vehicles exposed pets, adults and children to Raccoon Roundworms which can only be destroyed by heat. BCAC disinfecting protocol is sadly ineffective, and Val knows this. Please don’t make me think the unaccountable “donations” people tell me are asked for or County employee job security are legitimate reasons to expose County residents to such a heinous disease as raccoon roundworms.
In 2012 I wrote a letter to Ms. Reitz who is charge of MI DNR Wildlife Control permits. I site dates, times, names of a long list of incompetent DNR officials who refuse to acknowledge fellow government employees illegal activities. In my opinion it’s a conspiracy if ignorance whom violates humane animal laws and forces Berrien County residents and their pets to suffer undo disease exposer and financial burden. Even as sickening as animal cruelty makes me feel, I have a family to take care of and will not beat my head against the wall complaining to deaf ears.
Although rare, is one case of raccoon roundworms in a Berrien Co. child worth knowingly allowing an incompetent entity to continue their inhumane, illegal activities? The CDC notes of raccoon roundworms:
It is difficult to associate a single case of any infectious disease with a specific site of exposure. BCAC relies upon this difficulty to relieve themselves of legal liability. Even so I want to remind them they are paid by Berrien County tax dollars and owe a duty of care and responsibility to the residents, they are failing at.
My attached letter to Ms. Ritz is proof Lt. Joe Thayer is the one who doesn’t know the difference between trapping and Wildlife Control. He claims no knowledge of complaints. Like I site in the letter there’s a long history of MI Wildlife control operators complaining about illegal, inhumane activities of County Animal Control trying their hands at Wildlife Control. We responsible MI Permit holders were complaining about County activity before Joe was a gleam in MI DNR eyes. He is either friends with Val and refuses to tell BC residents the truth or incompetent to investigate history of the matter. Either way, trapping all non-nuisance animals on the ground, like the county does, is not what County residents need for permanent Wildlife Control, is only an illegal, inhumane attempt for Berrien County Animal Control job security.
Jim Sheffield, Manager,
Awesome Animal Control