Rodents force relocation of North Port daycare

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014 3:47 pm

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- YMCA child care workers in North Port are scrambling after rats have infiltrated their daycare. It's happened over the past week at the Child Development Center there.

Officials say they're not taking any chances and are now moving out.

North Port YMCA CEO Randy Dunn says the problem at the center began a few days before the 4th of July. That's when some droppings were discovered. "We immediately called three pest control companies."

He says they also started sanitizing, scrubbing, and scouring. "We bleached this entire facility. Every little block and toy."

Traps were set and some culprits were captured, allowing them to be ready for Monday morning. “At the advice of the pest control company, we determined we could in fact open that morning."

Later that day though, more droppings -- then a sighting.

The pest company returned. "They did find a rodent," says Dunn.

With no guarantee the pest problem was squashed, Dunn says enough was enough. "Nobody could give us 110% insurance, so I made the decision we would go ahead and close down."

The YMCA left the rental property on Thursday, as employees moved to the facilities at their North Port branch. "We are moving everything. We started at 6 o'clock this morning. About 20 people have come from all over the association to help out," says child care coordinator Tiffany Alix.

They’re quickly getting license concerns taken care of and are now ready to go Friday morning. "It is going to be so much better, the way we have set it all up for the kids. We have gotten all new toys and equipment. It is going to be really good for them," says Alix.

"I am just very proud of the staff and the people involved in here and the commitment they have to the kids," says Dunn.

Dunn says he understands the inconvenience it's been for parents having to make alternate plans for the three days they've been closed, but it was something they simply couldn't mess around with. "You can't take a chance. These 'Y' kids are very, very important. They are number one on our priority list."

So if you have a child who is in the program, do not send them to the facility on U.S. 41. You can drop them off at the YMCA at Dallas White Park.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • mhenning posted at 7:07 pm on Sun, Jul 13, 2014.

    mhenning Posts: 1

    This story is not entirely true. The YMCA had to relocate because their lease ended May 31st and they didn't renew it. The owner of the building contacted them on June 19th to let them know that a new daycare is moving into that building and that they needed to leave. During our walk through of the facility we noticed the rat feces, broken sinks and filthy conditions. We reported it to the owner who notified Mr. Dunn. Mr. Dunn is not being completely honest with the newspapers or North Port. They were aware of the rat infestation and chose to ignore it, only upon learning that a competing daycare would be taking over the building did Mr. Dunn take it upon himself to smear the reputation of the building to protect the YMCA from losing any children in their daycare. I'm very glad that Mr. Dunn removed those children from their facility to finally clean it as it was not safe. Unfortunately, he chose to do it only after being faced with exposure of the conditions from a competitor. Shame on Mr. Dunn.

  • tompalm posted at 5:36 pm on Thu, Jul 10, 2014.

    tompalm Posts: 1

    We are the future Day Care academy, that will be moving in to the building on U.S. 41. It seems your facts are just a little fuzzy, Several weeks ago while inspecting the facility, we couldn't help notice how uncleanly things seemed to be kept , We also observed rat droppings on the premises. Immediately upon our return we notified the owner who then notified the YMCA. Neither the Owner of the building or the building itself is the issue, rats are not migratory animals they are opportunist they occupy only areas that contain accessible food sources. This would leave one to believe that the problem lies with the occupants.. Just would seem to make more sense. Hopefully the YMCA will take notice and keep there new facility cleaner in the future.[smile] Just Saying



Send your photos & videos to and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.