Couple Fined $1000 For Illegally Possessing A Racoon In New York
As cool as you think it would be, you can't own your own raccoon. And if you are like these people, you aren't doing a good job at hiding it.
Back in early June, the Environmental Conservation Police got an urgent call from the Erie County Department of Health. They received a report of a potentially rabid racoon in a pet store. But it wasn't hiding out back or in the ceiling, someone intentionally brought it into the store.
According to the report from the county, a woman and her boyfriend brought the animal into the pet store to get food and supplies. Once the couple left the store, the employee immediately contacted the authorities.
Racoons are considered a dangerous animal in New York State, as they are a popular rabies vector species. Once a person or animal is infected with rabies, there is no effective treatment.
Based off of information received from the pet store, the ECO's were able to track down the raccoon's owners to Attica, New York in Wyoming County. The raccoon was taken in and sent for rabies testing. Thankfully, the results came back negative.
As for the owners, they were charged for unlawfully possessing the raccoon. Each of them now face a $500 fine.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation urges everyone to leave wild animals alone and in their habitat. Not only is owning a wild animal illegal, but also very dangerous. Contracting rabies is detrimental to your health and can lead to death.