We’ve received several calls from animal control, pest control companies, and veterinarians asking us if we can accept “nuisance” raccoons— typically removed from attics— for rehabilitation. Well-meaning people often drop families of raccoons off at those locations, expecting that they will be successfully rehabilitated and then released at a mythical location called Somewhere Else.
Unfortunately, in 100% of these cases, the raccoons were killed.
Not only does For Fox Sake not have the resources or space to take in “nuisance” animals, but doing so is strictly forbidden under state law— as is relocating a “nuisance” raccoon under any circumstances whatsoever. That’s because of serious concerns about the spread of diseases like canine distemper, raccoon roundworm, and rabies, which may have no symptoms at the time the animal is relocated.
Even if you were to ignore regulations and relocate the raccoons yourself, that will never end well for the animals, and euthanasia is preferable. Relocated raccoons, especially mothers with kits, don’t have safe dens or nest sites and will quickly be killed by rivals or out-competed for food.
What’s a home owner to do? You don’t have to live with an attic full of trash pandas, but you can choose kinder alternatives. Raccoons normally respond consistently to “hazing” with bright lights and loud noise. A mother may take a few days to relocate her young, but she will leave.
If you do need to trap a raccoon to remove her, be sure to hire a professional, who can ensure that any babies have been safely removed and reunited with Mom— otherwise she will destroy your roofing trying to get back in, and her babies will die a painful death. A professional can also help you make sure that the entry points are completely closed to keep future unwanted guests out.
Please don’t put us— or your veterinarian— in the position of helplessly being forced to euthanize a whole family of innocent animals because you thought that live-trapping would end well. Choose kindness.