Let’s illustrate a scenario: You’ve stumbled upon an injured raccoon in your yard, likely having broken its leg in a ninja-like attempt to scavenge food out of your garbage.
At first, you’re a little scared. After all, this is a wild animal, potentially plagued with diseases like rabies. Raccoons are also vicious when cornered, and the moment they feel threatened, they’ll tear at you with their gnarled claws.
But when you take a closer look at the mangy little rodent, you realize its beady little eyes, covered by its trademark shifty bandit mask, are kind of cute (in an ugly, only-a-mother-could-love-that-face sort of way).
Now you’re having one of your patented, unpredictable changes of heart. Should you dare turn foe into friend by taking an adult raccoon into your home and raising it as your own?
The answer is a resounding no, you really shouldn’t. Raccoons, and exotic pets in general, are not good pets! Here’s why:
Wild Animals Act Like Wild Animals
Even if you’ve trained and tamed an adult raccoon, the amount of effort required for adequate care will push the limits of even the most seasoned raccoon-minder. Long story short, you can take the raccoon out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the raccoon.
Their destructive instincts will manifest into the destruction of your home. Your furry friend will relentlessly tear through door moldings and furniture, causing hundreds if not thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
There’s Not Enough Toilet Paper in the World
It’s nearly impossible to train a house-raccoon to relieve themselves outside (not that we’ve tried!)
You could try encouraging their use of a litter box, or putting them on a leash so that they’ll relieve themselves during walks in the park like some kind of mutated chihuahua.
But these are low-percentage solutions. Realistically, your hypothetical pet raccoon will turn the floors and walls in your house into their own Jackson Pollock interpretation.
Hell Hath No Fury Like a Raccoon Scorned
Hormonal raccoons are a vengeful, conniving sort. First and foremost, they’re likely to bite when their ires been raised, but their penchant for payback is deeply layered. They become very vindictive and repot house plants, remove buttons from clothing, move belongings to other locations, pee on your valuables, flip over water bowls, and dump out the contents of bookcases.
And you thought your ex was petty?
Good Luck Finding a Sitter
Sadly, a good raccoon sitter is difficult to find. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a loyal friend or family members willing to watch after your raccoon, since most rational human beings go the other way at the first site of these pests.
So, get comfortable with your raccoon friend every waking minute of the day. It’s not like you can leave them at home alone. After all, you don’t want your living room be colourfully decorated by the fruits of your raccoon’s toxic bowel movements.
Listen, Just Don’t
There’s an animal lover in all of us, but let’s get serious: if you have the urge to take a wild raccoon into your home, you’ve seen far too many Disney movies. Domesticating a raccoon is a practice in animal cruelty. Their natural habitat may be around your home or inside your attic, but they are meant to roam freely, with no master.
Your intentions may be pure, but leave well enough alone. Raccoons will forever be animals you should prevent from entering your home, not welcomed willingly. Stick with domestic animals like dogs and cats.
The moral of the story is raccoons are wild, potentially dangerous animals, meant for the wilderness (re: city garbage dumps). They’ll damage your property and leave their dangerous droppings as some kind of twisted, fecal calling card!
If you need to get rid of raccoons, Terminix Canada provides wildlife control and removal services throughout the Greater Toronto Area.