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THOUSAND OAKS : Judge Sides With Squirrels’ Advocate

Kathleen Adams, a self-proclaimed squirrels’ advocate who has been sued for allegedly luring the fuzzy rodents into her Thousand Oaks neighborhood, can continue to fill her tree feeders with nuts for now, a judge ruled Friday.

Superior Court Judge John Hunter denied a temporary injunction sought by Adams’ neighbors, Randy and Nancy Hecht, that would have prevented her from feeding the squirrels that roam into her yard from the hills of Wildwood Park.

“I feel great about how things are going,” Adams said Friday. “We’re going to continue to fight this.”

Adams contended that the squirrels are native to the area and that her food did not prompt their frequent visits.

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But the Hechts argued that squirrels lured by Adams have ravaged their lawn, fence and roof, causing $12,000 in damage.

“My clients are going to fight this, not for the money but to stop the infestation,” attorney Leigh Datzker said.

The case moved into some unusual areas of law when Adams’ attorneys said they asked Judge Hunter to rule on the question of squirrel literacy.

“We wanted it to be clear that, even though Ms. Adams has put up signs which say squirrels are welcome, they couldn’t possibly read them,” said Patrick Paul, who is part of the team defending Adams.

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According to Paul, the judge ruled that, because squirrels cannot talk, it cannot be determined if they can read.

The plaintiffs in the case are not laughing.

“My clients see this as a very real threat,” said Datzker. “Even though we did not get this preliminary injunction, we will continue to seek an injunction because the damage and the health risks will persist if we don’t.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for mid-May.


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