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Raising Orphaned Raccoons

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Raising Orphaned Raccoons

Postby TidbitandHope » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:11 am

Hiya!!! My name is Ashley, and I am from Indiana. I have checked this site out several times and have found it helpful! Growing up, I have always had a passion to help injured, abandoned animals in any way I could. I have taken on puppies, kittens, bunnies, baby birds (found I am not skilled in this!), and opossums. In all my life I have only had one close encounter with a baby raccoon, when a friend of mine was caring for a rehabber's coon for a couple days. They complained quickly that it was too much a handful, and was glad to give it back. I never thought I'd had another opportunity to come in contact with another baby coon (and I didn't realize so many people actually had them as pets and bred them!). In May, I happened to be scrolling through Face Book, when I was surprised by a post I saw by my fiance's brother and sister-in-law. A baby coon had been found in their apartment driveway, and they witnessed it nearly get run over by a neighbor! They retrieved the coon, but left it overnight in a safer, nearby spot hoping momma would come for it. However, she didn't come for it, and they took it to our country vet whose has been willing to work with wildlife because he's got a compassionate heart! He told them it was approx. 6-7 weeks and told them basic care and asked for them to do research, as well as dewormed him. They had a major issue against them taking on the challenges of a coon, not only were they in a small apartment with 4 cats, but they also had plans to leave in a few days time to stay in Florida for a week long vacation. Many people were jumping onto their post begging to take the lil guy, which caused me to think someone else was sure to be given the opportunity, but I was thrilled that they called to ask me! I told them I had to ask my mom's permission first(thankfully she said yes!), and I was grateful that they knew I'd be willing to help and compassionate towards the lil guy, even to the point I was best choice in their minds. Early the next day, I picked the lil guy up and had him hanging out on my shoulders on the way back home. He was glad to have contact with another living thing and was so calm! I showed him to my mom and introduced him to my cat, Ellie May (who is also a rescue that was found meowing in someone's dryer vent when she was a tiny thing). I later walked him over to my younger brother's place to let him see the coon. While I was there, I got a call from my fiance's brother saying that while he and his wife were gone, their neighbors found the nest after a 2nd coon had fallen from the tree. I rushed back to their place to find two elderly men with a dog and a lady standing near a closed cardboard box with a bucket on top. I asked if they had a coon, and they asked if I was the one coming for it (obviously)... In the opened box, I saw they had tried to give her store bought cows milk which they said they tried "dunking her face in it", which worried me. As I reached for the baby in the box, the men were concerned and said I needed gloves. I assumed the 2nd was going to be as calm as the first, but I was mistaken because she growled and bit once at my shirt, LOL! I casually said it was expected because she was scared, and immediately after I placed her in the small carrier with the boy, he cuddled and calmed her <3 We still had an issue however.... there was one other coon still in the tree. The sweet old lady was carrying binoculars and expressing her concern while the men we asking me all sorts of questions, and I had to let them know I am new to raising raccoons and hadn't had too much time to do research but had experience with other furry babies. They all told me the same thing that my fiance's brother and sister in law told me when I picked up the 1st, that an adult coon had been hit a couple days prior, and they figured it was momma. I had a great time with juggling care with my mom throughout the week, and on the weekend my fiance volunteered to step in to help. My fiance's sister-in-law climbed a 16 foot or so ladder to attempt to get the third with no luck. I mentioned they try coon audios over phone. Nearly three solid days had past since Rocket (the boy) and Tidbit(the 1st girl) had been retrieved. The very day of their leaving, the 3rd was out of the nest seen eating bark off the tree. The couple went to the tree and did as I suggested, surprisingly she climbed straight into my future brother-in-law's arms. I was at work (my fiance had the other two) and my mom had just arrived home from work when I got an excited call about how the third was retrieved!!! My future brother-in-law has hunted and killed coons and says this experience has changed his mindset/heart, especially after the 3rd went straight to him. He wanted to name her Hope and I agreed. I told my mom and asked off work early to shop for things to help with Hope (my fiance had everything except for an extra eyedropper!). I was moved to tears when I heard Hope's desperate cries for food over the phone, but couldn't help but laugh at my mom's desperate begging for me to hurry up because Hope was all over her trying to find a place to nurse! I gave her a quick re-hydrating recipe I found online the night prior just in case she was rescued. When I got home I was glad to see that she was very content in my brother's girlfriends lap.... soaking up attention/affection (I have this on video on YouTube)! She was the happiest baby yet! I was so concerned for her that night.... she was practically skin and bones! I didn't have a heating pad and didn't have time to drive her out to my fiance, who was a little over an hour away, so I put her in a small box with a large stuffed animal. Even after waking to check on her and feed her throughout the night, I got up early and reunited her with the others. They were so happy! They have definitely brought about some challenges for me, but also my family and fiance's family, but it has also been worth out time to save them! The couple checked in with the babies throughout their vacation, and said they really missed them. I agreed they could "share custody" with me, and after their vacation, we had been juggling the babies about every other week. We kept the babies in a large dog carrier for a short time, and later my mom's husband bought a baby pen for them, which my mom and I covered the a giant ply-board. It got too hot for them to stay in our garage, even with the windows and doors opened, so I asked my mom's cousin if he'd let me borrow his 10x10x6 chain link fence to house them in. I didn't realize how bent up it was along the bottom until the girls managed to escape! Thankfully, my mom was able to spot them in a nearby tree and call them down. I worked more than a full day shopping for materials and taking 3 foot chicken wire and securing in the the chain link panels with a 17 gauge wire. The other couple had been keeping them in a tall 3 story ferret cage and knew they were getting too big for it. I still needed time to put the "digging guard" along the inside edges, and asked they at least take them one last time. I do regret that choice, because there was a freak accident during the last night of them keeping the coons. I got a devastating call saying Rocket had somehow pinned his head under the flooring tray and died. The girls were found sleeping with him. The couple had him buried and brought the girls to me, while assisting me in making final adjustments to the covering up the "digging guard". They told me they have no intention of taking them unless they can get a house of their own in the country. The girls have been growing so fast and they have much more mobility, which means more mischievousness, LOL! And I am having to teach them not to play rough with me... they should keep it between themselves. With the help of my mom, brothers, fiance, and my fiance's friend.... we've been able to collect a bunch of driftwood from the Ohio River and a boat club for free since they were just burning it! The girls get a lot of exercise and I am glad that at least they have each other to keep busy and give company. One thing I am noticing is that when you have wildlife around.... more show up! Just a couple nights ago I saw an opossum run off near their open surrounding pen (it surrounds their enclosure) and when I went to find out where it had gone... a skunk was like 2 1/2 yards or so from me!.... Glad I wasn't sprayed! I heard skunk noises even tonight when I went out to check on the girls and give them some scrambled eggs.... made me nervous cuz I don't want to be stinky hahaha. Hope was gobbling up the eggs.... she's been a big eater since her experience of starvation in the tree, so I am probably gonna have to watch her weight as she ages! Well, I am so very glad to be able to share this experience with others who have had exotic experience, especially that of coons! You are more than welcome to check out my raccoon videos on YouTube!!! My channel is squeakums4christ
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Re: Raising Orphaned Raccoons

Postby Minty » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:18 pm

Its wonderful that you've been caring for these coons, although I'm pretty sure you need a permit in Indiana. http://mypetraccoons.com/raccoonwebsite_006.html At least thats what this says. Either way, I'm glad you could be there for them.
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Re: Raising Orphaned Raccoons

Postby pat » Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:55 am

sorry for such late reply.

wild raccoons are generally not allowed in most states. my concern is if the state finds out., most states will take them and kill them icon-sad seen and heard it happen :cry:

Your state does allow raccoons, but, I believe they need to be captive born. raccoons are so easy to fall in love with. they do have a lot of personality. but, they really need to be handled properly to prevent misunderstanding with the owner.

I really hope all works out in your favor. we are here to help you with any issue.
Pat (Sybil and Benny's Mom)

http://sybilsden.com Sybils Den


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