The raccoon that was brought into a Maddock, North Dakota bar recently by Emily Christenson was shot and killed by law enforcement officials.  This was after police told Christenson of Maddock, North Dakota they would quarantine the animal for 10 days, and then release the animal according to a Go Fund Me Page, that was set up by the Christenson family.

According to the Go Fund Me Page, Christenson found the animal on the side of the road 3 months ago, unable to move, and fighting for his life.  She originally left the animal.  Christenson then checked on him the next evening, and the raccoon was still there struggling.  Being the animal lover that Erin is, she decided it was best to take the animal and try to nurse him back to health.  She was careful not to bring him around anyone at first to ensure Rocky didn't have rabies.  He showed no signs of the disease and became an important part of their family.

The Go Fund Me Page is titled "Justice for Rocky & Help for a Family Member".  They are seeking to raise $10,000 dollars, which the family plans to give a good share of the money to wildlife rehabilitation centers and something in memory of Rocky.  They also hope to provide awareness of animal cruelty.  So far the page has raised over $3,000 dollars at the time of this article.

Christensen believes that the Benson County police needlessly killed the raccoon. She alleges that they could have quarantined the raccoon for 10 days to see if he had rabies, and then released him.  After all, that's what police told Christensen they would do when she was cuffed and arrested.  Her bail was set at $1,500.  You see harboring a raccoon in North Dakota is illegal.  It's one of two animals you can't keep as a pet.  The other being a skunk.

Lake Region Correctional Facility Photo
Lake Region Correctional Facility Photo

As it turns out the animal DIDN'T have rabies.  Rocky's test came back NEGATIVE.  By the way, the only way to test an animal for rabies is with brain tissue from a dead animal.  Thus, why police killed the animal on the spot?

The whole situation seems messed up to me.  I believe the state of North Dakota needs to revisit its law concerning raccoons as pets.  If it's so dangerous, why is it LEGAL to have raccoons as pets in South Dakota?  If rabies is so likely from raccoons why have only 3 people in the United States died from rabies contracted from a raccoon since 2009?   You can read more about that here.  It's an antiquated law in the state that should be changed.



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