Animal Anecdotes 35.
Having kept colonies of raccoons, ‘possums and skunks word spread that I might be helpful
advising about native wildlife in my practice. One case was memorable because of the effort and
the eventual outcome. A young raccoon was brought to our clinic found in a hollow tree recently
felled. The helpless creature was found by a helpless human who left it with us not knowing what
else to do with it. My wife and I nursed it for a few days before we found another foster mot
The following spring the no longer little animal was presented with a request for us to release it back to nature which we often did with rescued animals. I put it in a holding crate and fed it for several nights and then left the door open for freedom and continued offering food.
At that time we held a social affair under a large tent on our lawn and one guest speaker was interrupted in his talk when the released raccoon decided to join the gathering. The raccoon, without fear of humans had an affinity for women’s’ hand bags and went from one to another in its rummaging. The speaker was Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman who said, “This is the first time I have been upstaged by a raccoon.”
Three years or so passed and one night on arriving home there was a paper bag with a Dog collar in it. There was a note that the raccoon that wore the collar was treed by a coon hunter’s dogs in a neighboring town and was shot. I had overlooked removing the collar from the animal released years before. For their reasons the previous caretakers had an engraved tag, “Gift to George Whitney” on the collar.
Next time a dog with an eye problem.