To the Editor:
My husband and I were surprised yesterday by an uninvited guest in the bright afternoon sunshine – a sick or injured raccoon laying on its side, breathing heavily, huddled against the wall of our garage.
I called Mamaroneck (Village) Police Department who gave me the number for a trapper. I called the trapper and explained the situation. This raccoon could well be rabid. I was told that the initial trapping fee would be approximately $300. If the animal were indeed found to be rabid, then I would have to additionally pay for the cost of the rabies test and for proper disposal of the animal. Final cost would be upward of $1000.
I thank my lucky stars (and also the “rapid” raccoon as my kids call it) that it was scared enough when we found it to gather the strength to amble off into the woods across the street and disappear. It saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars. but now the issue becomes a risk to others since the raccoon is out there somewhere and may pose a risk to public health. our house is next door to the Girl Scout house which means more opportunities for exposure.
This is a worrisome situation here for sure. Homeowners who don’t have this kind of extra cash handy will attempt to dispatch sick animals on their own. I am not criticizing the Police Dept. they are just the best. But I was really surprised about this policy and the possible risk to public health and safety that this policy creates. I would think that the heavy tax bills we all pay could cover the costs of removing rabid animals whether they happen to roam onto private property or not.
In any case, it would be a good idea to remind people to stay away from wild animals and to contact local police if an animal is spotted out in the daytime.
image: Wikimedia Commons