We spotted a raccoon lumbering slowly around our end of the street, obviously confused, in broad daylight. We knew something wasn't quite right with the poor animal. Thankfully, we weren't the only ones to see him...her. Someone else was keeping an eye on it and had called someone. So we advised the kids they would be staying indoors, and we were very careful when we took the dogs out at night.
Honestly, I thought it wouldn't live to see the next sunrise the way it was walking around, probably in search of water which we don't have a lot of lying around.
Last night we clipped the dogs to their leads, took up our very-bright flashlights and carefully set off keeping an eye out under bushes and in tall grass.
We hadn't even hit the end of the street when a police car slowed down to ask if we had called them. We told her we hadn't and she told us someone had called about a rabid raccoon.
So we turned around and started for home and hadn't made it half way home when a neighbor called out and asked us where the police had gone, he had the coon in his light. This particular neighbor is in a bad way health-wise and gets around in one of those motorized scooters, so he sure wasn't going to jog after the police. So I took the dogs home while Betty went for the cops. I stayed close to the apartment, but I could see the action. I watched the cops find the guy's headlight, then they saw the coon, and it wasn't two breaths later that I heard shots ring out and slam their way across our little apartment complex. I think I heard four, but Betty was closer and she thought the cop emptied their gun. Understandable when a rabid raccoon is making it's way toward you!
This neighborhood has a lot of kids, a lot of dogs and a lot of squirrels. Rabies isn't fun, anywhere, but with this many animals and people crammed into a small neighborhood...it's not wise to take chances. So the large, suffering raccoon was put out of it's misery. While I feel bad for it, I know enough about rabies to know that gunshot was a kinder and quicker way to die than a slow disease that the poor animal had already suffered with.
I'm thinking about writing a letter to the police department, thanking them for their actions. It may have been a small thing to them, but my home, my kids and my dogs are safer for it.