Animal Stories - Pet Racoon

Animal-World Information about: Pet Racoon

   Here is a raccoon up past his bedtime! This younster couldn't keep still, climbed all over everybody and was constantly "checking things out"!
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SunChaser - 2010-02-10
Hi Wildlife Rehabiter

I have no argument with what you just said. You spoke to a completely different point than mine - mine was today's perception of urban wild animals and "all the horrendeous risks" associated with them. Making people afraid of animals like raccoons to keep them distanced from them is poor wildlife education. Bad for the animals - and rehabilitation. Good for the state wildlife agencies, tho'!

Doesn't matter if you live 30 minutes from your neighborhood or not, urban wild animals exist. Appreciate them for their importance to our ecosystem, respect them for their survival instincts, keep a distance...we agree there. But again this am I had 3 raccoons come panicked and flying thru the door past me from the barn w/in 2' of me. Yes, I have neighbors nearby. We accept and appreciate wildlife, thankfully.

Poor pet owners, animal abuse, child abuse, over-flowing animal shelters... are a horrible FACT of life. Also fact is that wild animals are not unfeeling, disease-ridden varmints. I am speaking about perception and reality. As a rehabber we NEED the public to start appreciating these animals again, because rehab is already a dying profession.

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  • Robin Thompson - 2010-06-16
    Hi there. I am 46 yrs old and have ALWAYS had a passion for wildlife and it's importance to the eco system. On the other side of me I am the hunter and the fisher, but also will step in the road to rescue a little tarapine from harm. I have raised everything from Sparrow hawks, groundhogs, owls, fawns, raccoons and even wild bunnies with much success, even though I am not a 'professional' rehabber. Here in KY it is illegal for me to possess these critters, even for a short while since I do not hold a license. I live on a farm and find that it is beneficial during the rehab so they can explore and possibly instincts kick in. I find it so wonderful to see a wild critter up close and personal, touch, feel, smell and interact with them. Unfortunately my vet cannot assist me in the ventures. Could you assist me to better myself, my training or how to become a small time, wildlife rehabber? Thank you and thank you to all who assist nature when it is down.
wildliferehabiter - 2010-01-18
Wild raccoons are dangerous and should NEVER be fed by people. One time they will be docile, the next something will upset them and they can do extreme harm, especially to children. They are known to carry rabies and a big boar can kill a 60lb dog in a very short fight. I have a ranch in south central Texas, and while I do not go around killing just because I can, everyone must be very careful of wild raccoons. This very morning a mature sow got very upset with me because I happened to walk between her and her nest in one of my big oak trees. I had no idea she had set up housekeeping. Had not my dog been able to fend her off I would have been forced to shoot her. If you do not live in the area where they are and have never educated yourself, you need to. They can be extremely aggressive and dangerous when they decide to and you will never know when that is. They are NOT cute and cuddly pets. They are wild and should be respected as such. I learned all this by personal experience. I absolutely love animals, but first I respect them for just that...a wild animal that cannot read my mind to know I don't want to harm it. I've seen it too many times, folks move out to the country, make "friends" with the wildlife and then can't understand it when the animals turn on them for "no reason". Animals don't need a reason, that is their nature. Respect it and leave them alone.

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  • stacey - 2010-04-03
    I am a vet tech in Texas and also raising a baby raccoon. I have to totally disagree with your statement that they are dangerous animals. Any animal can be dangerous since the number one biting animal that comes into a vet clinic is a chihuahua. With that said, my raccoon is very sweet.
  • Anonymous - 2010-05-12
    While you make a valid point about wild animals. Creatures just like man, are creatures of habit. When you develop (I reiterate develop) a pattern with an animal such as a raccoon, do not stray from that pattern. Yelling, fast actions will undoubtedly spark a reaction. Flight or Fear is in every animal no matter wild or tame. To simply let animals live in their world and humans in ours is total hypocrisy. We were put on this earth to be stewards, not soldiers to kill any animal that happens to cross our path. I have fed raccoons, possums, even picked up poisonous snakes on occasion. Watch what animals do, They are predictable to a point. If an animal looks agitated then yes, don't try to mess with them. But most animals will behave exactly the same every time when you develop a pattern of when you engage them.
  • Anonymous - 2010-06-09
    Although I agree with 80% of what you have just said...the one thing I would recommend rather than shooting a raccoon because it feels endangered is to turn away very slowly and walk away...once your back is to them, they no longer look at you as a threat. I've noticed raccoons do this amongst each other as well as skunks.
Bud Sakmary - 2009-10-21
I had 2 families come up to the house. First group came around dusk, mom and 3 little one, and the other family, mom,dad and four little ones. I kept dog food out for them every night and to watch them interact with each other was great. They would push each other out of the food tray and would run around the deck. It got to be a nightly thrill just to see them come across the yard and upon the deck. If the food wasn't out yet they would come to the door and look in (we had a glass back door). They would almost beg for food. If I didn't come right out they would lay at the door just like a dog would do. We have a wooded area behind our house that a creek runs through. This past summer we had a heavy rain and the area was flooded and since then they have disappeared. I have kept food out but only a couple of old ones come up and they fight for the food so I've stopped. I'll wait for spring and start again to see if I get another family. My grandkid's got such a thrill out of them, I'm hoping for more next spring. They're almost better than a dog since you do have to worry about them, they take care of themselves. No vet bills and you don't have to get them tags. I sure miss them

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  • Pam Riley - 2010-06-04
    Hi Bud,

    I just loved your story about your little visitors at night. We have such a similar story. We live in Brocton, NY pretty-some-what rural.

    We have our glass doors and our deck and put out cat food and other scraps for them. There is a park a house a-way - I do not know how many acres, probably about 10ish. It has a nice strem, lots of trees...

    we really enjoy them - And, they are such fun and entertaining...

    Yes, we have had families, too.

    But now - I am really concerned about one mama that we have not seen for a while (weeks)...

    She is a repeat visitor - we had her coming for dinner every night and then came back the next (this) year.

    I am hoping that she is somewhere taking care of her babies? Do you know do they do this?

    I have 3 other regulars that I do not see anymore. I am so upset. We heard shooting about 2 weeks ago and I have not seen my regulars??

    Again, about 3 1/2 weeks ago - I drive an hour to work. And these are rural areas - on my way home, I saw 3 in the road and felt bad but happy that they were not our "friends" and when I got home - I found one of ours in the road. I took proper care of him and cried.

    I am so up-set about our mother one (2 seasons) - I never toucher her but we always got close and friendly...

    Do you know any other sites that I can find more info about raccoons. We, like you, really enjoy them and feed them...

    I seem to find some that just travel thru and get food and never see them again. I am getting "so" good that I can distinguish each one.

    thanks for time and consideration.

    Your new friend,

SunChaser - 2010-01-21
"Known to carry rabies"? Yes, any mammal that is not vaccinated can contract rabies. yes, wild animals should be respected as such. But speaking of "overstated risks" and "dangerous" animals, let's shed perspective!

In the US there are barely 1-3 deaths a year from rabies. Red ant bites kill 50 people a year. Horses are extremely "dangerous" animals. I have both, and I teach both (riding and wildlife appreciation).

Balyscaris roundworm, called 'raccoon roundworm' because raccoons have evolved immunity to it, can also be a risk. There are less than 30 cases EVER recorded in humans. Over 100 species can carry it, and the common puppy roundworm blinds several hundred children a year. The moral? Do not eat poop.

The other night, as happens fairly often in the country here, I surpised and momentarily "cornered" raccoons and opossums in our hay barn. Of course I back away, they leave. Any animal (AND human) will fight to protect their offspring, this does not make them "dangerous" in the context used.

Perspective, respect, and COMMON SENSE are what the "superior" species needs to maintain. NOT FEAR.

Wild animals are every bit the sentient beings our cats and dogs are. They have sustained mankind for 1,000's of years. Isn't it time to start returning the favor with a little more patience and respect, especially for all the habitat we have taken away from them.

I have never met an aggressive animal - only a scared one.

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  • Arbra - 2010-06-02
    What would one give a raccoon for food? What kind of rabies shot should be given and what age?
MALLERY - 2010-03-22
I recently took in a coon that is somewhere from 1-2 yrs old. She was raised by people since she was born and now they are tired of having her so she came to my house. She is showing signs of aggression toward the dogs and my husband. The previous owner said that the coon has grown up with dogs and mine are not trying to harm her just smelling her. Is this something that i should be concerned about? I know it is their breeding season and i know she is scared because of the new environment. Just wondering, is there anything I could do to make her more comfortable?

wildliferehabiter - 2010-02-01
SunChaser, with all due respect, I knew someone would fail to see my point. Whether it's fear or whatever that causes any mammal to exhibit aggression, we as the "superior" species (which could be questioned) should first and foremost NOT invite it by "cornering" or even trying to "tame" a wild species. If you live within a 30 minute drive of your neighbor, you don't live in the country, you are simply rural. Too many people don't recognize the signs of fear driven aggression or just plain meanness, which also exists in animals. We have run into so many folks that dump thier pets. Racoons, skunks, and possom as well as dogs and cats, and here lately with the depression of the horse market, horses of all ages and condition. They think that they will either be taken in by a friendly farmer/rancher or will go back to the wild even though they have been raised since a baby by people that wanted an exotic pet. Please, just leave them alone and take responsiblility for your actions when you own any kind of animal. You probably wouldn't believe how many horses and other "pets" we end up having to put down every year because people just don't understand how much it takes to have a pet, any pet, exotic or not. They reach sexual maturity and become agressive, they get tired of the kids pulling their tail, whatever. They get dumped and end up starving or torn up by really wild animals, stomped by a cow, etc. And they DO NOT just naturally know how to take care of themselves when you turn them out. Dogs and cats rarely make it through the first night. They are a meal for the first coyote that hears them crying. Most of the exotics fall prey to the coyotes too. I'm sorry, but most of you just don't know what it is like to truly live out so far that most people don't even know we are here.

Bert Zeller - 2009-11-26
We are staying in a cabin just north of Gatlinburg, TN. After reading the guest book we found that this particular cabin has a nightly visitor, Rocky the Racoon. Sure enough at eight o'clock last night, Rocky appeared as advertised by knocking on the back sliding glass door. We were a little scared at first to open the door, but soon found ourselves feeding him by throwing scraps of food, which soon turned to hand feeding him food. He was so gentle, obviously very use to the guests who stay in this cabin. He laid at the back door until we went to bed. Hoping to see him again tonight. My wife is planning his thanksgiving dinner.

JOANA :) - 2009-11-26
I had 2 pet racoons as a child in my country. Awesome, loving, and intelligent animals! I bottle fed the 2nd. He was a dream! how do I get a baby racoon here?

JOANA :) - 2009-11-26
I had 2 pet racoons in my country and want one now... how do I get a baby racoon ?

wildlife rehabilitator - 2009-09-09
My friend had a pet raccoon which she kept in an outdoor cage. This raccoon lived to be 22 years of age.
Many times younger orphaned raccoons were put into the cage with her and she never bothered any of them.
She was wormed on a yearly basis with strongid T and was healthy throughout her life.