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New York couple face fines after bringing raccoon into pet store

A New York state couple faces charges and fines for taking their raccoon into a store to buy groceries, officials said.

A press release from the State Department of Environmental Conversation said the couple have been charged with unlawful possession of a wild animal and the owners each face a $500 fine.

“Raccoons are a rabies vector species and are therefore considered a dangerous wildlife species in New York State,” the DEC statement said.

According to the agency, on June 2, a DEC official received an “urgent call” from the Erie County Department of Health asking for assistance in finding a potentially rabid raccoon.

County officials said a man and his girlfriend took the animal to a pet store to buy supplies and one of the store’s employees contacted authorities.

Using surveillance video, a store-issued award card, and license plate information, the DEC agent was able to locate the raccoon’s owners in Attica.

The State Department of Environmental Conversation considers raccoons a
The State Department of Environmental Conversation considers raccoons a “rabies vector species.”
New York State Department of Environment via AP
The pair were charged and fined $500 each after taking their raccoon to an Erie County pet store.
The pair were charged and fined $500 each after taking their raccoon to an Erie County pet store.
New York State Department of Environment via AP

The couple agreed to turn their raccoon over to authorities, and the animal was then taken to an animal hospital for testing.

Rabies test results for the raccoon came back negative, DEC reported.

“DEC is urging the public to leave wild animals alone,” the agency warned. “Owning wild animals is not only illegal, it can also be deadly.”

It added: “Once a rabies infection is established, there is no effective treatment.”

https://nypost.com/2022/06/24/ny-couple-faces-fines-after-bringing-raccoon-to-pet-store/ New York couple face fines after bringing raccoon into pet store

JACLYN DIAZ

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