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Should Chicago's Rats Be Killed Or Protected?

By Justin Breen | September 23, 2016 5:34am
 A rat that was rescued by PETA.
A rat that was rescued by PETA.
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Courtesy of PETA

CHICAGO — City residents don't mince words when it comes to Chicago's rat problem.

Asked whether city officials should try to protect rats — as PETA insisted in a DNAinfo story published Thursday — or eradicate them via dry ice, Chicagoans responded in droves on Neighborhood Square.

"Meljohnson" wrote on Neighborhood Square, DNAinfo's commenting site about the dry ice approach: "There are better ways to address this problem, then by making these animals suffer."

"Rats are just like any other animals, like your dog or cat, who feel pain. People should be more mindful to clean up after themselves and not leave so much garbage lying around, which attracts the hungry animals," wrote "Meljohnson."

"rosezazensky" concurred, noting: "Like all God's creatures, they should be dealt with in the most humane fashion possible. Remember we will be judged on how we treated the 'least' of our brethren - 4 leggers included."

User "Likeitis" said ending construction for a time might mitigate the problem: "The rat population is out of balance. There are few to no natural predators for them out there and we keep destroying their habitats. A 'natural' solution might be to stop all new major demolition and construction for 5 years or more and no changes to the river areas either.

"If you want them to stay out of populated areas, give them back their habitats. They aren't going to go away on their own."

Many users, like "okkayo," disagreed: "You've got to be kidding! This city is being overrun and anything we can do to address that is positive. They are disease ridden pests."

"Nrthsdr" said his dog contracted leptospirosis, an infection from rat urine.

"We had rats in our small city yard where our dog is let out to do her business. The infection caused one of her kidneys to become enlarged and could have killed her. Luckily, we caught it soon enough and she's doing well. I personally have eliminated 4 rats from my property. Rats are vermin, period. They don't need protection," said "Nrthsdr."

The poster added, "More than likely, the people at PETA expressing this ridiculous viewpoint don't live in big city neighborhoods that are infested with rats. If they did, they would advocate for eradication like those us us who DO live in the city."

User "CQRV11" saw both sides of the coin: "While I am all for dry icing away, PETA makes good points. In particular, the food supply is the problem. Dumpsters left open are like buffets for rats."

And "Terenzio" had quite an idea: "Maybe the Pied Piper of Hamlin is available."

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