Chicago Animal Care and Control

After Initial Denial, City Aims to Help 100-Year-Old Woman With Attic-Dwelling Animal

The woman's requests for help from Animal Care and Control were originally denied

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A 100-year-old South Side woman has an unwanted roommate in her attic, and after initially being told no when she asked for help, a city agency is now trying to help capture the critter that’s causing all the commotion.

It all started on New Year’s Day for Juanita Blarr, who began to hear noises in her attic on the holiday.

“There was a lot of noise,” she said. “It sounded like he was chewing on something, or throwing around a lawn mower or something.”

After Blarr told her family about the racket, relatives called Chicago Animal Care and Control, but were told since the animal was not in a living space, they wouldn’t be able to come out to assess the situation. The department also said that their officers are normally not permitted to go into attics.

“I just started trying to get help. I told everybody I knew,” she said of the setback.

Community activist Andrew Holmes was one of the people who looked to come to her aid.

“She’s 100 years old and still working,” he said. ‘She should not have to shed a tear over anything.”

After Holmes and NBC 5 attempted to contact Animal Care and Control, the department sent an officer to Blarr’s home to inspect the issue. The officer then set a trap in the attic to try to catch the elusive creature.

It was welcome news for a woman about to celebrate her 101st birthday. She was worried the animal would easily come through an open panel in the ceiling of her pantry, but is now breathing a sigh of relief.

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