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Resident says rodent infestation led to her cat’s death

The tenant says that since moving here five years ago, there’s been no shortage of problems to handle, including two major gas leaks, an electrical fire caused by a bathroom leak, and more.

Carmen Grant and Adolfo Carrion

Mar 13, 2023, 11:34 PM

Updated 466 days ago

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A Bronx woman says that the rodent infestation problem has gotten so bad that one of the rodents killed her cat.  
Taleetha Stelight says that since moving to 1898 Harrison Ave. five years ago, there’s been no shortage of problems to handle, including two major gas leaks, an electrical fire caused by a bathroom leak, and more.  
Stelight says she’s dealt with mice problems in the past, but the recent infestation of much larger rats caused her to reach her breaking point. She says she recently woke up one night and found her cat fighting a large rat, and that her 10-month-old pet was no match. 
“My cat is in this urn because she tried to fight a rat,” said Stelight. “She had to be cremated because they killed her.” 
The resident says that she has witnessed other fights between rats and her support dogs in her apartment. She says the huge rodents that have recently plagued her home make it borderline unlivable.  
“When I’m at work, I’m worried,” said Stelight. “What’s happening to them here? Are they home fighting? Are they winning?” 
Stelight says two years ago management patched up several holes in her apartment, but those patch jobs did not keep the rats away. 
As of March 13, 1898 Harrison Ave. has no open violations for vermin infestation from Housing Preservation and Development. The tenant is now planning to take her landlord to court, and her hearing is scheduled for April 17.  
The property management company, Bronx Pro Group LLC, told News 12 the following in a statement:  
"Bronx Pro Group LLC is dedicated to providing quality and safe housing here in the Bronx.  Through our full-time property management team, we work diligently to respond to all repair and service requests made by our residents and provide a 24-hour service line.  We further support tenants with our Residential Services team who facilitates repair requests as well as provides rent arrears assistance and other social service supports.  Bronx Pro Group LLC is aware of and responding to the 311 complaints recently made at 1898 Harrison and we have ordered extermination for the effected apartment.  To our knowledge, the resident has not communicated any gas service requests by telephone or by writing to our office since 2020, which was resolved at that time.  As of today, 1898 Harrison has no open HPD violations for vermin infestation or gas concerns." 


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