Wild Animals as Pets. Raccoon Rehabbing
Now how couldn't you just love a face like that!
Easy! I'll tell you why.
Raccoons are just such wily creatures. As a hobby farm with chickens, they are something to fear... They cause lots of havoc. and can devastate a farm in an evening by killing chickens, stealing eggs, getting into your garbage, and what not. In my personal experience, i've only had to be kept up all night one week because we had a persistent little bugger wanting in the property. And my dogs knew it. Barked and kept that little bandit out. But man, how persistent. One week of all night barking.
But they are just so darn cute. That mask. The ability to wash their food. Their slinky behavior. The coolness of saying I have a raccoon as a pet...It just makes you want one. How couldn't you just love a face like that... They wrap their arms around your neck and purr in your ear... You just melt. You think i could do this. I could keep him and care for him and he and i will be pals.
I don't think people really think it through when they get a pet. for the next 10, 20, or in case of a parrot possibly 30, 40 years that animal is now YOUR responsibility... They just don't foresee the problems. Only the cool aspects of keeping animals. I'm at fault in this too. I have parrots. I have now made a commitment to them for the next 30+ years. For good or for bad. And trust me, it can get pretty bad!!! :) but i'm up for that challenge. Most people aren't.
And here is why i don't think its a good idea to keep wild animals, or exotic animals as pets for average people. Most people don't fathom the amount of work it is to keep this "pet" happy, healthy, and content. They don't realize that cute little piggy is going to be 250lbs one day. Or that cute raccoon most likely will get aggressive. Or the parrot can BITE your finger in half. Or the cute chick poops everywhere. Or even the cute little cat can tear up your leather sofa. We don't foresee the bad. Only the good. And they are only being themselves. They can't help it.
With all animals when they are young, they just steal your heart. They are cute and playful. Intriguing and just love you unconditionally. They latch on and its just hard to let go. To your heart and to you physically. They need a mother. and that is YOU.
BUT THEN one day they grow up!!!...
One day they start to wean, and grow up. THEY go thru "adolescents" and they get into all sorts of trouble. And do all sorts of things of their nature. And i'm not just talking about raccoons here, this can happen to a dog/ cat/ parrot/ goat/ horse/pig/panther/oscealot/ and so on... They all start to become this not so cute, not so cuddly animal any longer. When you've come home from work and your kitten (now cat) has peed on your entire load of laundry. Or your itty bitty piggy is now big enough to knock down or move furniture around the house, or has knocked over your garbage, 3 day old smelly ROTTING garbage all over the house. OR the parrot has just chewed a hole in granny's armoire, or the dog ate the side of your house. Or. Or. Or. Or..... i have lots of these scenarios. :) For me they are antics. For some? nightmares. Deal breakers. Reasons to get rid of these animals.
They just aren't that cute any mor e when these "antics" start. And these aren't one time scenarios they are daily, or weekly episodes that tell you something. That this animal is frustrated, bored, lacks space, needs discipline, diet is off, and so on. And it's all happened to me. And i know what patience i must muster to not kill the dang animal. But really it's not the animals fault.
Yours because you made this commitment to keep and care for an animal. And that is just it, no if's, no and's or no butt's...
I'm not normal. I know it. But chances are YOU are. You have some semblance of style in your home. Or care that your furniture doesn't get ruined. Or care that urine stains wood. Or care that a raccoon has now made your $2000 bed into a nest. Or care that your entire contents of your fridge and freezer are now thawing on the new carpet. Or care that you have HOLES every where you turn in your yard. Or care that the flower bed got eaten. Or care that your car is scratched. And i could go on and on....I don't care so much about this stuff. I enjoy the animal enough to put up with this. Some people aren't able to get past broken doors. Eaten shoes. They don't have the time or the energy to really put into this new "pet".
Some people care about things like this...Normal everyday people care about keeping things clean, in order. And this is where the problems escalate. THIS IS WHY so many animals are sent to shelters, humane societies, dumped in the woods or on the freeway, released into the wild, and so on... Because some NORMAL person just couldn't deal with it anymore. That animal takes up too much time. They made the commitment. But all bets are off when things like this happen. And they do. Daily. With every kind of animal out there.
Isn't he just so cute?
From what i've heard raccoons are quite the challenge. and more so than an average "pet". Firstly, they are wild. One generation in your home doesn't domesticate a wild animal. Nor 2 generations. Probably not even 3 generations. IF dogs are considered "domesticated" animals and we all still have problems dealing with their behaviors, can you imagine what it would be like to have a wild animal living with you, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!! And his?
So please, when you see that cute little squirrel, or raccoon, or even wayward bunny, possom, bird.... please!!! give it to a wildlife resource center. Or find a wildlife rehabber to take it, feed it, but with the intent to let it go back into the wild.
Or when you do make the commitment to keep an animal? really make that commitment to him. Or her.
Because in the end what one is doing by not keeping your part of the bargain is ultimately hurting that animal. Yes! And isn't that the exact opposite of what you had meant to happen by thinking hey i could do this. I can make that commitment. but then you can't.
And there in lies why we have millions of abandoned pets in this country.
Pretty sad, huh?