Raccoons Destroy Woman's Special Memories - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Raccoons Destroy Woman's Special Memories

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"They don't carry insurance, and there's nothing that they can do," says Debra Dillon.

It's that time of the year when animals like raccoons are looking for new homes.

And they can chew their way into any type of building.

From a home to a storage unit.

And while some things can be replaced.

Others can't.

It's a place where Debra Dillon's memories were stored.

Now few of those memories are left.

"People say you have your memories, but part of those memories are material things," says Dillon.

She spent much of the last month throwing away clothes, dishes, and toys. Items left from two parents and a younger brother who've passed on. Most of it destroyed by raccoons.

"It may not mean anything to anyone else, a little T-shirt, that he wore when he was three, but it meant the world to me."

Dillon says it's not the first time she's had to sort through a life. When her mother was dying of lung cancer she boxed up her mother's memories for her.

"My life is like 31 boxes, and I sat there with her, and we went through all of those boxes to just see her life."

And that's what makes this so difficult. Dillon will never hold many of these memories again.

"My mom's passed away, she's not going to come back and make another quilt, my grandma's not, her antique chair is gone, they chewed the leg all off."

She's dropped off four loads in the dumpster. She estimates about 80 percent of her locker.

Some of the three pickup loads she saved will be put into a new storage unit.

But the rest will be burned.

"I can cry over it again, it sounds silly."

One of the best ways to prevent losing irreplaceable belongings in storage is to check on them at least once a month.

Make sure the doors and building are tight to each other to prevent small animals from getting inside.

And ask the facility what kind of insurance they provide.

They'll often have more types of disasters covered because of the nature of their business.

Much more so than a standard homeowners or renter's policy.

The owner of the storage locker says he doesn't provide any type of protection from loss.

But he's willing to pay 250 of the 400 dollars Dillon asked for because she had been a good tenant over the last 10 years.