Written by Rachel Jetty of Maine (USA)
As a kid, we had a pet raccoon and before that, we lived in a campground that had five raccoons, so for me raccoons are not something I’d ever be afraid of. They’re smart, mischievous and very, very cute!
A few years ago, I had moved from Maine to Rhode Island and was a manager for a sub shop chain in the city. One day I went to work at about two in the afternoon. About an hour into my shift, I was helping a guest at the counter when she mentioned a family of raccoons in a dumpster across the street in the professionals plaza. I asked about it and she said that they’d been out there all day. It was summer time and HOT. I couldn’t even imagine how hot it was in a dumpster in full sun. I was disappointed that all the people in that building knew about them (they were warning each other to stay away from the dumpster) and decided to stay away instead of figuring out how to help them.
A Momma and Her Babies Looked Up at Me
I walked out the back door and crossed the four busy lanes of traffic to see what was going on. When I got there, there was a momma raccoon and 5 babies huddled in the dumpster. I went back to my restaurant and called animal control. I wasn’t sure what I could do about it, but they told me very nicely that if they came out they would have to put the animals down. Yikes, not on my watch!
I went down into the basement where we had some random maintenance items and found a wooden ladder. I shoved rolls and a salad into a bag and headed back across the street dodging traffic with my ladder & treats. I stuck the ladder in the dumpster and put some food on the steps.
The raccoons were too afraid to climb out with me standing there so I went back to work and hoped for the best. When I went back across a while later, all the raccoons had made it out of the dumpster.
I will never forget that day. I couldn’t believe people just walked by and left those helpless animals in the hot sun all day. Were they afraid of them, or did they just not care? I’m not sure, but if someone had taken the time to call animal control earlier those little guys would have been goners, so in the end it all worked out for the best.
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