Queens residents say diseased raccoons have taken over their block

JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- Neighbors in Queens are furious after they say raccoons have moved into their shared attics and are wreaking havoc in their walls.

Residents say they can hear the critters fighting and scratching every night all because of the abandoned home in the 10400 block of 164th Street.

NewsCopter 7 flew overhead on Tuesday afternoon where it could be seen that the back door was wide open. An overgrown tree in the backyard also appeared to provide a path right up to the roof where there are more openings.

Rhonda Scott said she has repeatedly called the city for help, but says she was told it's her responsibility because they're in her house now.

So she hired a private company to remove the raccoons and paid hundreds of dollars out of her own pocket.

One was caught on Easter and another was caught Tuesday. They are believed to be diseased, but expert John Vazquez does not suspect it to be rabies.

"It's kind of like an Alzheimer's thing, it affects their brains, so it's a distemper," said Vazquez with Hunters Wildlife Removal.

Amry Conliff complains the raccoons have driven out any potential rental income from his home.

"I can't put someone to live in a house when it sounds like it's a fight in the walls," Conliff said. "Who is going to rent property like that?"

It's not clear who owns the abandoned property, but it is clear that no one is fixing it. And even worse -- it's now breeding season.

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