Cousins from Toledo and old college roommate from Des Moines are not the only unwelcome guests with whom Cape Codders must contend. Raccoons who take up residence in chimneys, and skunks who seek shelter in cozy crawl spaces can turn the most dedicated animal lover into hand-wringing, hair-tearing inhospitable host.
Kevin Perry of Marstons Mills has made it a business to help solve the problem of these unwanted four-legged guest. Thirty years ago he started his company, Perry Le Pews Wildlife Management Company because ” I saw a need that no one was filling.” At the time, Perry was working for the Animal Rescue League in Brewster. The League only handles domestic animals but its office kept getting calls from frantic homeowners who needed help with skunks and raccoons that were making themselves at home.
Perry Le Pews is the only Cape company that deals strictly with skunks and raccoons, and that doesn’t use chemicals. Perry has designed a spray proof trap; through its use both he and the animal are protected but it’s the animal about which he is most concerned. He has gone the extra distance to make sure frightened raccoons and skunks are removed with a minimum of trauma. “I calm the animal – talk to it and let in know I’m there ,” he says. He spent an entire night at one home waiting to remove the last baby raccoon from a chimney. “Chimney are a death trap for animals,” he says. Perry has a Patent on a chimney cap that is animal proof, safe and easy to install and removable for chimney cleaning. He says an added benefit of his invention is that the cap reduces creosote buildup by about 35 percent. Animals protection and problem prevention are the biggest part of Perry’s business. Since the state law requires that any animal removed from private property be put to sleep, Perry recommends that homeowners animal proof their property. He gives estimates, advice and will do the work himself if a client requests. He often tries to convince his clients to undertake on- the- spot animal proofing and then let the animals go in their yard with food,shelter and water. so he won’t have to take the skunk and raccoon away and destroy them. “that’s the hardest part of the job for those that don’t have our system,” he says.
“Cape Cod is being over-built,” says Perry. “We’re digging up the animals’ natural habitat, and they are moving into residential areas. We’re trying to learn to get along with them in a humane way.”
Written by Claudia Mahoney, Cape Cod Life Magazine.