Area business targets problem animals
Tracy L. Brady, Hartselle Enquirer
Chris Keenum picks up where pest control companies leave off.
The business card for Keenum's Problem Wildlife Control, Inc. in Hartselle reads, "If it has hair, feathers or scale, we handle it."
"Chris's grandfather removed pests for neighbors and friends as favors for many years," Chris's wife and co-owner of Keenum's PWC, Allison Keenum, said. "As his grandfather got older, he began to refer people to Chris."
Chris told fifth grade science students at Crestline Elementary School during a recent presentation that he helped his grandfather with vertebrae pest control as a young boy and began his own fur trade at the age of 13. An avid hunter and animal enthusiast, Chris's interest in solving human and wildlife conflicts grew along with the need for such a service.
"We don't run around with a shotgun and steel traps," Chris said. "Our business is live catch and release of nuisance animals. We handle an average of 2,000 animals each year."
The Keenums work alongside the Alabama Fish and Game Department and the Alabama State Veterinarian Department to ensure no captured animal contributes to the spread of diseases like rabies, parvo or distemper if released. The business is licensed in Alabama and Tennessee and provides consulting services in Mississippi.
"Many wild animals, like the coyote, are becoming domesticated," Chris said. "They occur more frequently today in residential and business areas because the building of these areas encroaches into their natural environment."
Dressed in wildlife fatigues, Chris showed his student audience skins and skulls of various wild animals. Raccoons, moles, beaver, mink, bobcats, coyotes, fox and opossum are just a few of the many animals he has encountered.
"We don't condone the abuse or mistreatment of an animal," Chris said.
Allison said both she and Chris speak at schools and civic groups to help educate people about wildlife control. However, this demonstration was special because it completed their youngest son Gray's six-week class study of environmental science.
"I once caught a 67 pound beaver," Chris said as his son's classmates expressed their amazement.
Chris explained and demonstrated to students how wild animals affect the environment, their eating habits, how climate affects their food source, anatomy, reproduction, native habitats and possible endangerment.
"I have a very interesting job," Chris told the students with a big grin across his boyish face. "And I learn something new everyday."
Keenum's PWC provides removal of both live and dead animals from residences and businesses alike.
For more information, call 256-462-3919.