Elderly Couple Sued by City Over Feeding Wildlife

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ELYRIA, Ohio-The City of Elyria is suing a couple in their 80s to stop feeding wildlife that live in a wooded ravine, in their backyard.

The elderly couple feeds deer, raccoon, squirrels, birds and other animals on their property that backs up to a creek.

"They take buckets out and put apples out there. They put them in a stand. They put them on the ground. They have a protein thing where they put corn on, and they put a little bit on one of the fences where they hang a corn cob," Elyria Law Director Terry Schilling said.

A least one neighbor is complaining about the animals, according to the lawsuit.

"(The animals) chew their plants, eat their plants, and they leave their odors," Schilling said.

The couple had no comment on the advice of their attorney, and their attorney did not return our phone calls.

The lawsuit alleges, in part:

"As a direct and proximate result of defendants' actions, the animals being fed have emitted offensive and noxious smells, become injurious to the health, comfort and property of the public, and have caused damage... to the yards, landscaping and plants."

Julie Bowman lives two doors down from the elderly couple.

She has seen wild animals coming around.

"It doesn't bother me at all," Bowman said.

What does bother her is taxpayer money paying for a lawsuit against an elderly couple to force them to stop feeding the animals.

"To me, it seems trivial. The city has better things to do with the money," Bowman said, adding the deer have gotten into her garden.

But next spring, she'll just put a taller fence around it.

"Let them enjoy the animals," Bowman said.

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