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Do any of you know the rules concerning orphaned baby racoons. A friend found two tiny coons that were the only survivors of a road kill. They were barely moving a couple days ago but since he has been feeding them milk replacer meant for kittens and they appear to be very healthy now. Their eyes are open and you can make out the mask and rings of the tail. I would guess they are no more than 2 weeks old.

Anyway---what does the law say he has to do? They won't make it on their own yet and I know he won't turn them loose to die. he plans to let them go when old enough. I can't let him release them on my land because I have chickens and trap every winter.

What should I tell him?
 

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Legally speaking he is not supposed to have them at all. Injured and orphaned wildlife should go directly to a wildlife rehaber. He would have to find one that handles rabies vector species. You can google pa wildlife rehabers for lists but I'm not sure how up to date they are.
 

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just my opinion, but if he wants them to live he won't go about turning them over, though that is illegal. Last time i turned over a batch of baby coons about 12 years ago, they put them all down "just in case they had rabies". Though I don't condone breaking the law, I also don't condone killing a helpless baby coon either "just in case". I have since had much better dealings with my new local wco's. Maybe feel out your area and make the tough decision one way or another. Just don't detail anymore about your friend. You don't want it to get used against you or him.
 

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This should be good,following on the heels of the pet bird thread!!
 

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hdt said:
Do any of you know the rules concerning orphaned baby racoons. A friend found two tiny coons that were the only survivors of a road kill. They were barely moving a couple days ago but since he has been feeding them milk replacer meant for kittens and they appear to be very healthy now. Their eyes are open and you can make out the mask and rings of the tail. I would guess they are no more than 2 weeks old.

Anyway---what does the law say he has to do? They won't make it on their own yet and I know he won't turn them loose to die. he plans to let them go when old enough. I can't let him release them on my land because I have chickens and trap every winter.

What should I tell him?
Your fiend needs to call the Game Commission immediately and surrender the raccoons. He is putting everyone who has contact with them of having to receive rabies shots at his expense.

Last year I picked up a raccoon that a family picked up along the road and had been keeping in the house as a pet for a couple months. It came back as undetermined positive for rabies. Several people had to go through the rabies shot series.

The best thing to do anytime you encounter wildlife is to just leave it alone and call the Game Commission. Taking it home is always the wrong thing to do and only leads to even bigger problems. The longer a person keeps them without calling the Game Commission the worse the problems get.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Dick is right,it is not worth the trouble of picking them up,not just the legal hassles,but the health issues it can cause.
I know it is very hard to just walk away,I would like nothing more myself than to pick up the babies and care for them,walking away from them would probably haunt me for the rest of my life!!!
Sometimes what is the best thing to do,is the hardest thing to do!!!!!
 

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what does undetermined positive mean? is that like yes maybe


while i'm not advicating that we should go about beaking the law and raising wild critters wouldn't it have had full blown rabies after having it a few months?
 

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bobcat said:
what does undetermined positive mean? is that like yes maybe


while i'm not advicating that we should go about beaking the law and raising wild critters wouldn't it have had full blown rabies after having it a few months?
I think you are right,bobcat.
Isn't rabies test a "yes" or "no"???
If not, then any critter could be an "undetermined positive" with just a "visual"
check??
 

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There are several strains, undetermined may mean the strain was not identified.
 

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hdt said:
Do any of you know the rules concerning orphaned baby racoons.

What should I tell him?
Honestly, this is going to sound a bit blunt and harsh but don't feel that it is directed at you personally.

Tell him to LEAVE THEM ALONE! It should'nt matter how he feels personally. This is not a joke, I can't tell you how many people make this mistake because they think they are doing the right thing. They are endangering their entire family and anyone the raccoons come in contact with!

Raccoon strain rabies is a strain of rabies carried mainly by raccoons. Raccoon strain rabies is still rabies. It is spread to other wildlife species, domestic animals, pets and humans through the saliva of an infected animal in the same way as other strains of rabies. The only difference is that it is spread primarily by raccoons.

Raccoon rabies was virtually unknown prior to the 1950s. Florida experienced the first case of raccoon rabies. The disease then spread slowly during the next three decades into Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. In 1978 Virginia experienced an outbreak of raccoon strain rabies due to the translocation of raccoons from Georgia and Florida. The first cases appeared in West Virginia and Virginia in the late 1970s. Since then, raccoon rabies in the area expanded to form the most intensive rabies outbreak in the U.S.

The strain now occurs in all the eastern coastal states, as well as Alabama, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, Ohio, Maine and even southern Ontario.

Respect and observe wild animals from a distance
Do not feed wild animals
Do not approach or handle wild animals


The incubation period, the time between exposure to the disease and the onset of symptoms, varies from a few days to several months. The rabid animal may appear healthy while incubating the rabies virus for several months before contracting clinical symptoms and spreading the virus.

There is no known effective treatment for rabies once symptoms develop. Rabies can be prevented if rabies immunoglobulin and vaccine are given shortly after exposure to the virus. This is called rabies post-exposure treatment.

Rabies postexposure treatment is no longer the painful process that it used to be. The current vaccines are much safer and more effective than the previously used vaccine. Postexposure treatment begins with a dose of rabies immune globulin administered partially around the wound, if possible, and partially in the gluteal region. This is followed by a series of 5 vaccinations given over 28 days. This vaccine has been extensively used for over fifteen years with very few significant side effects. The vaccine is given in the upper arm, instead of the stomach.
 

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I've had the shots not bad.

I've been bitten by coons and some other predators.

Rabies tests are not perfect, no test is. The "undetermined positive" means there was some indication of a disease, but no sufficient to say positive for baries. This would be what happens before a full blown disease in the animal. I keep the head for tissue samples on any animal that bites me.

If you are a high risk for exposure, a booster every two years is highly recommended; and a titer is recommended prior to receiving a booster.
 

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As an adult, I don't think the treatment would be all that traumatic....but for young kids that have been potentially exposed....just not a good idea...
 

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My sister had a baby raccoon on her patio yesterday
morning. Her dog wanted to work it over, but it ran
up a large tree in her yard before the dog had a chance.
The next morning the raccoon was gone.
 

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Man years ago we would look for them to get and keep as pets! Had a many of them some loved to drink beer! I have photos of feeding some years ago @ camp pop corn on the front deck. But never again!
 

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bobcat said:
what does undetermined positive mean? is that like yes maybe


while i'm not advicating that we should go about beaking the law and raising wild critters wouldn't it have had full blown rabies after having it a few months?
In this case the undetermined positive came from the sample not be handled properly in shipping and ended up sitting in a cooler over the weekend, by the Department of Health carrier, for the lab to say for sure but they believed it was most likely positive even tough the sample had been jeopardized.

As for them having it for a couple months and rabies just then showing up I think Dingo did a pretty good job of explaining it. Rabies travels from the infected area (bite location) through the central nervous system to the brain of the infected animal before the animal displays symptoms or is able to transmit the rabies virus to another. If a large animal were bitten on the lower part of the rear leg it could take as much as two years or more before the virus reached the brain or the host could transmit rabies. Once an animal has the rabies virus reach the brain it will die within about two weeks even though it may have taken several weeks to months to years to reach that point from the time it was actually infected.

For that reason it is very possible for people to pick up an animal, in this case perhaps the mother raccoon had rabies, infected its young and then died right before the person picked up the young. Maybe the reason it was killed on the road was because of the rabies virus making it stupid, slow or aggressive enough to try attacking a moving car; who knows. In any event no one knows if the young might be carrying rabies now only to be transmitting it at some point in the future. All it takes is for a drop of saliva to enter an open wound, the mouth, nose or eye and the person has become rabies infected. We all know baby animals lick people so the infection is pretty much a sure thing if it should become rabies positive. Then the animal dies from what seems like natural causes, everyone is sad and they bury the poor thing. If the person doesn’t get the shots soon thereafter they are going to ultimately become infected with rabies and die a very painful and horrific death.

There is just too much risk to mess around with it and take that chance when it comes to human lives.

Have them call the Game Commission before it could be too late.

Dick Bodenhorn
 

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Well, now that this all has come up, I have a question.

I have a raccoon that I believe is living in my barn.
He is out in the morning until 9 am, he will come out in the "evening" before 6 PM. Just saw him tonight at 5:45 PM.
He "acts" normal, except for being out so much during the day.

Is this normal? If not, then he should be put down, correct?
I'm willing to call my local warden to do it, since it's probably illegal for me to shoot it.

Please advise.
 

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Pa-Guy said:
Well, now that this all has come up, I have a question.

I have a raccoon that I believe is living in my barn.
He is out in the morning until 9 am, he will come out in the "evening" before 6 PM. Just saw him tonight at 5:45 PM.
He "acts" normal, except for being out so much during the day.

Is this normal? If not, then he should be put down, correct?
I'm willing to call my local warden to do it, since it's probably illegal for me to shoot it.

Please advise.
Serously...

I take it your NOT in PA!

Warden....WHERE do you find them?

Fire Warden??
 

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R. S. B said:
In any event no one knows if the young might be carrying rabies now only to be transmitting it at some point in the future. All it takes is for a drop of saliva to enter an open wound, the mouth, nose or eye and the person has become rabies infected. We all know baby animals lick people so the infection is pretty much a sure thing if it should become rabies positive. Then the animal dies from what seems like natural causes, everyone is sad and they bury the poor thing. If the person doesn’t get the shots soon thereafter they are going to ultimately become infected with rabies and die a very painful and horrific death.

There is just too much risk to mess around with it and take that chance when it comes to human lives.

Have them call the Game Commission before it could be too late.

Dick Bodenhorn
A good example of this is a case from when I owned a petstore. People were always trying to sell me critters.
A local family came in one night with three kitten sized little coons that their kids were carrying. As a matter of fact, the three year old daughter was even kissing her little baby. By law, I couldnt buy wildlife anyway, but when daddy told me he killed the momma coon when she went after him in his garage I didnt want them in the store for another minute. When I talked to our local C.O. a few days later he told me the whole family was undergoing treatment.
 

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i just seen a thread start up on excalibur forum with a picture of a baby coon that was found by a road killed mother from pa....this wouldn't be your friend your talking bout if so get them to do something other then keeping it, i posted the link to this thread and asked them to do the right thing before it is too late
...........bob

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