Pelham Gardens home full of raccoons and garbage

The trash and overgrown trees at 2433 Kingsland Ave.
Photos by Jason Cohen

With garbage overflowing in the backyard of a Pelham Gardens home, it is not only an eyesore, but also a hazard, as raccoons live inside and often roam on people’s properties.

The residence located at 2433 Kingsland Ave., has been vacant for about a decade, neighbors told the Bronx Times.

People have made 311 complaints, but nothing has been done. Also, the ASPCA will not come because it is a private home.

There is a visible hole in the side of the roof, which shows where the furry creatures have entered the home.

“They go all over the place,” said Irene Estrada, the female leader of the 80th district, who lives across the street. “They go down the block. They are big raccoons.”

Estrada explained people want to feel safe. Residents shouldn’t have to worry about getting rabies if they are out walking their dog or with their children, she said.

John Delarosa recently moved next door with his 3-year-old daughter and stressed that he cannot let her play in the backyard. To prevent the animals from getting in his trash not only does he have to put lids on, but sprays vinegar on them as well.

He noted that the garbage and overgrown tress are so bad that he cut the trees that were on his property and in the summer the yard is full of mosquitoes.

Neighbor Robert Santiago, who lives two doors down, has resided there for 11 years and witnessed the raccoons on a daily occurrence. He has witnessed them climb the fences and make it unsafe for his grandchildren to be outside when they visit.

The hole in the roof where the raccoons enter

“You just can’t enjoy your yard as much,” he commented. “Once it is around 6 everybody gets inside. You never know what’s going to happen.”

A couple years ago the ASPCA came because a rabid raccoon was in the street, otherwise no one has helped eradicate the problem.

Once it gets warmer the raccoons are out all of the time.

“We don’t want to go through another spring of raccoons,” Estrada said. “Everyone has to be on their toes during the spring and summer.”

Property owner Rebecca Shields did not know about any of the issues. But she has had her own troubles to deal with.

In 2015 her daughter passed away and then in April of 2020 her other daughter died of COVID-19. So, now her granddaughter Laura Kalina is stepping in to help.

“I would like to do something, but the letters and things come to her,” Kalina explained. “We used to go down there every weekend and clean up, but the last time we were there the yard didn’t have any garbage in it.”

She explained that things have been tough with all of the death and the pandemic, but they will do what is needed to resolve the issues. Kalina questioned where the trash in the yard was coming from.

“If nobody lives there how is garbage getting thrown there?” she said.

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