At the direction of Mayor Andrew Przybylo, Police Chief Dean Strzelecki, and the Village of Niles Police Department implemented a new Animal Control Policy developed to increase animal control presence and access. Under this new policy, Animal Control Officer Peter Babikan returns to patrolling the streets, responding to animal calls, and visiting homes.
Mayor Przybylo stated, “I applaud the return of Officer Babikan to the streets as Animal Control Officer. Having him serve in an active role assisting residents with animal control problems is simply good government.”
Animal Control Officer Peter Babikan will be available to assist with wildlife issues, traps, skunks, stray dogs, and stray cats. “Specific issues will remain the responsibility of the homeowner, such as removal of animals from a home in nonemergency situations,” stated Police Chief Dean Strzelecki.
The Niles Police Department will always respond to emergency situations involving animals, even if Animal Control Officer Babikan is not available. If you have any questions on Animal Control, do not hesitate to call the Niles Police Department at 847-588-6500.
Animal Control Guidelines for Residents
Wildlife Issues: Wildlife issues on private property are taken on a case by case basis. The Niles Police Department will respond to wildlife issues where the animal is in the public way and/or poses a safety risk. Most wildlife issues can be resolved by using non-trapping methods and the Animal Control Officer provides informational handouts to all Niles residents regarding their issue and ways to non-lethally resolve it.
The resident is advised as to how to get the animal(s) to leave on their own and also how to do the necessary animal proofing of the affected areas so that no animals can gain access in the future. It is stressed to the property owner that the animal proofing is very important to be done or else removing the animal is not necessary. Trapping and removal of animals is used as an absolute last resort, when all other options have been exhausted. The Animal Control Officer will trap animals that have found a home on your property with certain guidelines that the homeowner needs to follow.
Injured animals in the public way are humanely removed and euthanized once out of the public’s view, when applicable. Residents calling about injured animals on private property are typically referred to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington due to the Niles Police Department’s inability to properly care for injured animals and not being licensed to do so.
Wildlife Traps: Wildlife traps are loaned out, as mentioned above, when all other options have been exhausted. The Village of Niles will not set traps on roofs or in attics due to safety reasons. A trap is loaned out, if, for example, a squirrel is running loose in the basement of a home or has just one entry point into/under a structure.
Traps are not meant to be set for an animal that is just passing thru a resident’s yard because it is very difficult to catch the targeted animal in this situation. Trapping and removal of animals is a temporary solution because once you remove an animal from an area, a new one will move in and replace it in a short period of time. Trapping is not meant for population control.
Skunks: The skunk population in Niles is no different than in most other communities in that it is most affected by the weather. For example, two years ago we had a mild winter which caused opossums, raccoons, and skunks (who are normally more dormant during hard winters) to be more active earlier in the year. Instead of them “hibernating” they were now foraging for food.
This mild weather also allowed the animals to start reproducing earlier in the year, which in turn led to larger litters or more of them. Skunks are by no means an aggressive animal and pose very little threat other than the fact that they will spray to protect themselves or their young. Most skunk issues can be resolved non-lethally. When a skunk is caught in a trap, it must be euthanized according to State Law.
Stray Dogs: When a stray dog is picked up, an incident call is generated. The dog is placed into the kennel until either an owner can be notified or the holding period (72 hours) passes. The dog will be scanned for a microchip in order to possibly identify an owner(s). The animal’s information must be entered into the Lost / Found Animal book kept at the front desk or search the book to see if someone has reported the dog lost. If no owner comes forward, strays are taken to either Heartland Animal Shelter in Northbrook or Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.
Stray Cats: A cat is free-roaming but has a collar and tags will be picked up by the Niles Police Department and housed in the kennel for 72 hours. The cat will be scanned for a microchip in order to possibly identify an owner. The animal’s information must be entered into the Lost / Found Animal book kept at the front desk. If no owner comes forward, strays are taken to either Heartland Animal Shelter in Northbrook or Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.