Raccoons: Terrible Pets

Every year between August and November, wildlife rehabilitators start getting dozens of calls: “I’ve been raising this raccoon as a pet and it’s gone crazy.”

Raccoons make great pets until some time between five and twelve months of age. Then, every wild instinct they have will kick in. Maybe they’ll still be friendly at times, but those cute, cuddly moments are interspersed with unpredictable bouts of destructive behavior and aggression. Most raccoons raised as pets ultimately end up being euthanized, either because they find their pets unmanageable or because the animal is seized by law enforcement after it hurts someone. The “lucky” raccoons are released in the wild but, having imprinted on humans, they lack the skills necessary to thrive. Only small fraction of pet raccoons actually get to live out their lives in human families.

Trash pandas deserve so much better. Please respect raccoons as the wild animals they are.

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