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Wildlife Ways
Vicky Carder

Raccoon Update and Hate Mail

Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013, at 7:43 AM
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  • Anyone who has to resort to profanity and name calling in a discussion usually lacks the intelligence and ability to communicate in real dialogue. It is probably best to ignore those individuals because no matter what you say, they will never understand. I agree though about wild animals, it is best to leave them in their natural environment and not make them into pets. There are plenty of dogs and cats at the animal shelter that could use a good and loving home without having to search for wild animals.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 10:37 AM
  • People are going to hate, that is just a part of life. I won't worry about people who are not smart enough to understand that wild animals belong in the wild.

    The only person who signed this animal's death warrant was Mr. Brown. It doesn't matter what religion he comes from or his background. He is not a wildlife rehabilitator, therefore, he should have called the TWRA himself. I do not see Mr. Brown as "helping" this animal. He is doing it to satisfy himself, not the raccoon. If he had the best interest of the animal at heart, he wouldn't be feeding it Pepsi or treating it as if it was a dog/cat.

    -- Posted by PrpleHze on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 10:49 AM
  • I have not seen the videos nor will I seek them out, so I am not actually referring to this particular incident when I say that some well meaning folks may not know what the laws are and may think they are doing right by the animal.

    Yes, I know that ignorance of the law is no defense, at least in a court of law and apparently not in the realm of public opinion but I do not recall a course in Elementary or High School that addresses what to do in the case of finding a seemingly helpless wild animal.

    Do I know it? Yes, but I am not sure I can tell you where I learned it. Maybe it is because we are always concerned about wildlife, nature and life in general.

    I DO know the frustration of being told where to get help for abandoned cats, dogs and even some wild animals but when we actually made the calls to get help, the help seemed to vaporize.

    We called a local animal rescue group three times a few years ago about a family of cats dropped in the woods about 300 yards from our driveway. We got lip service but that was about it.

    We ended up caring for them for over a year before we were able to catch them and bring the remnants to our home and thus our semi-feral cat family was born.

    Why not just drop them off at a rescue location? Because we like to KNOW what will happen to them, not HOPE. We never seemed to be able to get a firm answer. Not that I need to know who will adopt them, but I would like to know they will not be euthanized.

    Now I know these folks are barraged with drop-offs, but just tell me that they don't have any room. Don't go on in the paper or other forums about how they take every animal in, then stonewall someone who calls before dropping off.

    OK, I am getting hotter and hotter so I best be happy that I got some of it out and let it go. No need for anyone to answer me because when I get this way, it is best that I take a break from the post, so I won't be coming back to it.

    Blood pressure, don't ya know?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 11:47 AM
  • Thank you all for your positive feedback! It makes me feel so much better.

    Some of the e-mail wasn't signed with a real name, but I think one of them came from Mark Brown.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 11:57 AM
  • There is a difference between domesticated animals being dropped off and one that is wild and found in the woods. Not too long ago (a month or two) we found the stray kittens. After noticing that mom wasn't coming back (and still hasn't), we took them in. But, knowing that we could not take care of them, I contacted the shelter which replied that they could not take them. That is why I got on here and Freecycle to find a home. Which thankfully, a wonderful woman and her family who foster for the Humane Society stepped up and was willing to take them in. But, there is a difference between a feral/semi-feral cat and a raccoon, a deer, a buffalo, or even wolves. These are wild animals and must remain so.

    IF, Mr. Brown contacted TWRA and they refused to come and get the animal and he couldn't find absolutely no other resource of help, then and only then, would it be okay to help the animal. But again, helping the animal means to help heal it and sent it back into the wild.

    -- Posted by PrpleHze on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 12:06 PM
  • I have found a baby squirrel and took her in, bottle fed her and let he decide whether she wanted to stay inside with us or go free outside.

    we really enjoyed having her around but she needed to be with her fellow critters.

    We have helped ground hogs and other creatures, but as for keeping a wild creature no i don't thinks so.

    -- Posted by 4fabfelinez on Tue, Aug 20, 2013, at 9:06 PM
  • I really don't see the problem. It is OK/lawful to harvest a raccoon for fur, or even for consumption. Why not for companionship? The well being of the animal seems to be the issue. Well, the animal cannot express his own desire, unless of course he is completely free to come and go as he pleases, which he should be. God placed all animals under man's dominion and while I am certain that man's intervention into the animals lives can certainly be detrimental to their well being, especially in cases of endangered species, I highly doubt the possession of a raccoon constitutes a threat to the survival of the species or the balance of nature of which man is a part.

    I believe the real issue is not the well being of the animal, or the natural balance, but control:)

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Aug 21, 2013, at 6:18 AM
  • I agree with you Liveforlight,...seems to me a raccoon with a steady diet and love is much better off then being a nuisance getting in my trash cans and dodging vehicles on the road and risking rabies out in the wild....I would understand if it was a wolf or coyote, but raccoons are overpopulated easily domesticated while young and are in danger more from humans and the wild then the harm that an individual could give...if you ask me. I think those entities trying to get involved with someones racoon pet should maybe overlook it...true their may be laws about it, and God forbid someone break one but I'm sure there's much more important things to do then worry about someone getting a little joy out of a racoon, then causing controversy and giving someone a hard time....it just screams jealousy and boredom to me.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 9:45 AM
  • Liveforlight - one of the main issues is the safety of humans. A long time ago I would have agreed with you. After founding and directing a large wildlife rehabilitation hospital, I quickly learned about the many diseaes that wildlife carry and/or contract. Many of these diseases are "zoonotic" - which means they can be transmitted to people.

    Mark Brown chose to put his videos on-line for the entertainment and amusement of whoever wanted to see them. Wildlife resource officers do monitor situations like this, and take action.

    For whatever reason he had in posting the videos - he is responsible for what happened.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 9:54 AM
  • chefgrape - thanks for weighing in. Do you know how much children love these entertaining videos about animals? There is no way to tell how many kids saw these videos. They were viewed on-line across the world (no joke).

    Suppose a child stumbles across a raccoon? The child thinks about what a great pet this would be to dance and shower with. And suppose that raccoon happens to carry the rabies virus. Before the kid gets home the raccoon has licked him. His parents may send the raccoon back where it came from, but many people are not aware that animals can CARRY the virus and never show a symptom.

    Sound far-fetched? You would not believe how many times I dealt with these situations. You would not believe how unaware people are.

    Case in point - I was with the facility for more than 15 years. In that time I personally spoke with 5 women who were breast-feeding baby rabbits. I dealt with a case where a woman was sleeping with baby bobcats in her bed. And these are just the adults!!!

    I love, love animals. But the safety of humans must come first.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 10:01 AM
  • I am sorry but there are too many dogs and cats in animal shelters that need a loving home to go to without having to go out and get wild animals as pets.

    Also the TWRA sole job is to manage the state's fish and wildlife and their habitats, as well as having the responsibility for all wildlife-related law enforcement activities. They are not doing it just because they are "jealous and bored" . . . it is their JOB.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 10:23 AM
  • Oh I agree....most children are or should be supervised by adults, and are taught not approach a wild animal but we still have idiots amongst us...so i do agree with the hypotheticals,and I believe those who have worked with animals know a lot more then me about them for sure...but, people are posting everything that is different online these days and for the whole world to see..including lewd and lascivious acts that children seriously don't need to place in their minds must less adults...but I still think this guy with a pet racoon is harmless compared to the important things folks could focus on...as a boy I had many wild critters from time to time,,,from turtles, frogs, mice, snakes, spiders...a squirrel or two....and my grandmother had a pet groundhog for years....I fed an opossum with my outdoor cats for awhile also....I just think its been blown all outta whack and can't see what all the fuss is about..if that guy wants to play with raccoon for awhile...let him with out the stress of others....it's not taking any food off my plate.....but that's me....I do hear ya tho!.....maybe I'm to busy thinking about my own entertainment and what's for dinner and world peace to worry about what this guy is doing with a critter.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 1:25 PM
  • I hadn't really thought about the potential for diseases being transmitted from wild animals to humans. I still don't really see that as very good reason, because the law still provides for hunting, trapping, skinning, and eating wild animals. I would assume these activities also have the potential for transmitting diseases to humans. It would seem the effort would be better spent on educating people about these diseases.

    Regarding Mr. Browns video, I agree he is responsible for what happened. Personally, I don't see what harm it has done. Perhaps he was ignorant of the law, but who is the victim? The Raccoon being exploited? It would have been perfectly legal to kill and skin the raccoon and post the video. So, why not dance or shower with it?

    I have a lot of respect for the TWRA and know many of their officers, all fine people. There just seems to be a measure of education and common sense missing in some of these regulations.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Aug 22, 2013, at 8:14 PM
  • While I may not agree - I DO understand the different points of view everyone has.

    This is a very interesting discussion, and I appreciate everyone's comments.

    At least you aren't cussing at me and calling me names!! LOL

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Fri, Aug 23, 2013, at 8:51 AM
  • Although I may not agree with the laws or particular reasoning behind the laws, it is still best to know and abide by them. If they need to be changed, then there are avenues for that, or at least there were.

    I think there is work to be done in educating the public about disease transmission between humans and wild, or domestic, animals. That in itself, would likely curb most peoples desire to possess them.

    Cussing and calling names doesn't achieve anything good.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Aug 24, 2013, at 11:29 AM
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