CLEVELAND - Jackie Ladson takes pride in keeping her Cleveland home neat and well kept, but she reports rodents are now invading her neighborhood.
Ladson said a group of groundhogs and other creatures are up on her front porch nearly every day. She said the varmints have some of the neighborhood children worried about their safety.
"They're coming on the porches, they're in the driveways, they're under the cars, they're in the bushes," Ladson said. "The children in the neighborhood are scared to play in their yards."
Ladson told NewsChannel5 she's called city building inspectors, the health department and even tried to drive the animals off of her property, but with no results.
"That's it. These groundhogs are not afraid. That's what's so scary," Ladson said. Ladson blames the growing problem on other property owners on her street.
She showed 5 On Your Side several homes nearby that are littered with trash, debris, high weeds and overgrown landscaping. She reports she's talked to some of her neighbors about the problems, but so far, they've failed to clean up their properties.
"I feel horrible about it because when me and my husband first moved here, we did not have this type of situation," Ladson said. "People took pride, people took pride in where they live."
NewsChannel5 contacted the Cleveland Division of Animal Control Services and it responded immediately. It pledged to have animal control officers out to Ladson's neighborhood in the coming days.
Animal Control Chief John Baird issued the following statement in response to our story:
"Residents with animal nuisance issues should contact Animal Control at 216.664.3069.
"Residents have two options to resolve the issue. The first would be to trap the animal yourself. Traps are available to rent from the City at $20 dollars. The City will then remove the animal at no cost.
"The second option is to be put on a waitlist to have the City trap and remove the animal. The waiting period is currently 6 – 8 weeks due to high volume of requests."
Baird confirmed unkempt properties have caused his waiting list for wildlife removal to balloon to more than 700 people.
Residents dealing with a nuisance property can contact their city health department or building department to report the problem. Residents can also contact city hall or their council member if they can't get their neighbor to clean up their property on their own.