SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A woman accused of dumping hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds of birdseed is speaking out.
Neighbors and business owners in San Francisco's Glen Park neighborhood say she is linked to a growing rat problem.
Photo after photo shows big piles of birdseed dumped on streets, sidewalks, and in parking lots.
The so-called "Birdseed Lady" Liliana Chevarria Bouvet didn't want to be on camera. But she reached out to ABC7, saying she wanted to be heard.
"I am not denying that I had birdseed. But I'm denying that I had done it recently," said Chevarria. "I'm a very compassionate woman. I love animals. I love nature."
It has become a huge headache for business owners like Janet Tarlov of Canyon Market. She is president of Glen Park Merchants Association. Tarlov has spent a lot of time cleaning up the piles.
"Usually 15 to 30 pounds a time. And I had to do this multiple times a day," said Tarlov.
Over the past two years, some say the piles of birdseed have led to lots of bird poop and a growing rat problem.
It even led a popular grocery store to shut down temporarily.
But the Birdseed Lady disagrees.
"There are other people who are feeding the birds," said Chevarria.
Chevarria sent pictures of an individual she believes scattered seeds in the area.
Last week, authorities sent Chevarria a letter stating:
"You have been notified that such behavior is unlawful but you have continued to regularly dump birdseed."
The letter also states, "You must immediately cease and desist dumping birdseed anywhere in San Francisco."
On Wednesday, police spotted Chevarria in the act and cited her.
On Friday, police tell ABC7 News "It seems like its compulsive ritualistic behavior."
We asked Chevarria about that.
Suzanne Phan: They say you are still doing it -- even as of this week. Is that true or not true?
Liliana Chevarria Bouvet: It's not true. It must be somebody else."
Some people who work and live in Glen Park say Chevarria needs to stop. And they say she may need mental health help.
The San Francisco Dept. of Health released a statement earlier this week that Chevarria "has been and is currently connected to health services."
"I am not a criminal. I am used as a scapegoat. There are many people who love animals. They don't end up being a scapegoat, because they don't have a store closing because of the rats," said Chevarria.
We reached out to the grocery store owner who had to deal with the rodent problem.
The owner disagrees with Chevarria and has filed complaints with the health department and police department. She trusts that city agencies will handle it.
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