Battle over prairie dogs in Aurora

Posted at 10:44 PM, Oct 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-04 00:44:18-04

Homeowners in the Cherry Creek Rancho subdivision in Aurora are in a battle over prairie dogs.

Dozens of the rodents have taken over an empty lot of land located off Parker Road and East Belleview Avenue.

The property owner plans to get rid of them using poison which has neighbors concerned about their own pet's safety.

"Prairie dogs have been there for several years, we drive by and watch them play," said neighbor Vicki Tucci. "As far as I can tell they haven't expanded from the small area they're in."

Homeowners said they didn't know there was a problem until they received an email from the person overseeing the land informing them that a pest control company would be putting poison grains in the prairie dog holes next week.

"Allowing the animal to digest the pellets which then will cause them to die and bleed out," said neighbor Mike Czarnowski.

They were also told to monitor their pets for "approximately one month."

"A lot of the families in this neighborhood take their dogs out and walk them, there's a dog park right behind us," said Czarnowski.

Czarnowski and other neighbors are also concerned the poison could harm other wildlife in the area.

"Hawks, owls and coyotes a lot of different animals rely on them as a food source so they're gonna be in danger," he said.

The owner of the land, Don Bowey, lives in Montana. He told 7NEWS the prairie dogs have started taking over other neighbor's land which is they they're trying to find a solution.

Homeowners would like to see the rodents relocated instead of killed with poison.

"Look for an alternative place for them to go, if it was deemed they have to be gone," said Czarnowski.

Bowey also told 7NEWS he believes the poisoning has been delayed until November, but we haven't been able to confirm that information with the person overseeing the land.