UPDATE: Property Manager Denies PETA Claims Squirrels Trapped in St. Cloud Home’s Soffit
This story was updated June 9th with comments from the property manager denying the PETA Action Alert.
PETA ISSUES ACTION ALERT
The animal rights nonprofit organization, "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" (PETA) has issued an action alert alleging the owners of a St. Cloud property has endangered squirrels, trapped in the soffit of a house up for sale.
But the property manager for that home on Seventh Avenue South in St. Cloud disputes the claims, saying they are false.
The action alert on the PETA.com website says a family of squirrels has been reportedly trapped inside the soffit of a vacant rental property located on 7th Avenue South in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
The PETA.com article says the hole in which the squirrels entered has been boarded over. The squirrels had apparently used this hole as their home before the hole had been covered.
PETA alleges once property management was contacted and informed that the animals were trapped, a layer of wire mesh was added over the boards covering the hole, to ensure the squirrels would have no way to escape.
MOTHER SQUIRREL BEHAVIOR
The PETA action alert says the video below shows a squirrel frantically trying to chew her way in. This behavior is common in mother squirrels when they are separated from their babies.
PETA says the trapped squirrels could be freed if the property owners would allow it, and they could use other means to keep the squirrels from returning. The article claims the squirrels have been trapped for days and are in desperate need of being free, or they would die.
The article says squirrels will vacate on their own by using humane deterrents like strobe lights or by introducing loud radios into the soffit. Once they leave, the necessary repairs can be made to the property so they cannot re-enter.
PROPERTY OWNER DENIES STORY
However, after we published the initial story on this, the property manager contacted us and denied they trapped squirrels in the soffit and said the PETA action alert the story was based on was "totally inaccurate."
Ralphie's Real Estate Company property manager Gregory Steadman questioned why would they trap squirrels -- especially in a vacant house they're trying to sell?
Steadman says they have techiques to chase out squirrels if they ever get into soffits, gutters and the like.
Steadman says he's received several calls from PETA -- and after our article about PETA's action alert -- several calls from people who read our story.