Chicago's Plan for Its Rat Problem Is So Crazy It Might Work!

Chicago's Plan for Its Rat Problem Is So Crazy It Might Work!

Feral felines are getting the job done.

Published March 24, 2016

A rat running wild in a major city is nothing new, but residents of Chicago are growing fearful that the demolition of a hospital in Lincoln Park will result in an overwhelming amount of rats added to the population.

In April, the city's Children’s Memorial Hospital will be demolished, causing many of the neighborhood inhabitants to fear an increase in the number of rats. Many residents have turned to the Treehouse Humane Society Cats at Work program, which releases feral cat colonies into neighborhoods with serious rat problems.

Paul Nickerson, the cat coordinator for the program, has reportedly been getting up to six cat colony requests a week, which has resulted in a two- to four-week waitlist.

Several residents have praised the program for having impeccable results in fixing their rodent problems.

A Lakeview resident has said that she use to have rats running through her yard so often that it gave her nightmares. After she ordered the cats, she noticed an immediate difference. “It's been five years. We never see a rat,” she said.

Although the hospital has yet to be torn down, the property has been completely vacant for years and the developer for the hospital, Bill McCaffrey, says that he doesn’t expect there to be a serious increase in the rat population. 

(Photo: 13/Dimitri Vervitsiotis/Ocean/Corbis)

Written by Rachel Herron


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