After President Donald Trump took aim at the city of Baltimore, calling Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings’ district “a disgusting, rat and rodent-infested mess,” animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals jumped on Trump’s own son-in-law Jared Kushner and his flawed track record as a landlord in the city while advocating for humane ways to deal with rodent problems.
PETA, in a statement, said Kushner owns several local apartment buildings where residents complain that rats run rampant. Just steps from Baltimore’s City Hall, the billboard says there’s a difference between a “rich pest,” pictured with the likeness of Kushner, and a “poor fella just trying to survive on crumbs.”
“Smart, social, resourceful rats who are just trying to eke out an existence suffer when entitled landlords neglect humane rodent-control measures,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. “PETA encourages building managers to evict unwanted tiny tenants using only effective, nonlethal methods.”
Kushner is the owner of more than a dozen apartments buildings in the Baltimore area, according to the Washington Post. His builders have been cited for more than 200 code violations over the past two years, including maggots, mold and mice, according to the Post.
Kusnher Companies and its affiliates also own an estimated 9,000 rental properties and 7,200 in Baltimore County alone, according to the Baltimore Sun, which also said the company had $3,500 in unpaid fines in November 2017.
A recent study from RentHop found that Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago are all more rodent-infested than Baltimore.