A Maine woman brings a baby raccoon into a Petco store for a "nail trimming." People in the story handle and some "kissed" the baby raccoon and now there are concerns that people may have been exposed to rabies. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife confirms that the baby raccoon tested negative for rabies, but was also euthanized per Maine's guidelines.
On 23 May 2023, a Maine woman brings a baby raccoon into Petco for a "nail trimming" as if it is her pet. Some people handled and kissed the baby raccoon.
The Petco where this happened is located at 101 Mount Auburn Avenue in Auburn, Maine.
The Petco store manager was alerted to the situation and asked the woman with the baby raccoon to leave the store. The store manager then contacted the Maine CDC and the Maine Warden Service.
Maine's rabies testing guidelines require that "animals submitted for testing must be euthanized."
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Posted an Update
On 25 May 2023, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife posted an update on the incident that took place on 23 May 2023.
The Facebook post read:
"***Update*** Thank you for your assistance in this matter. The raccoon tested negative for rabies, so those who came in contact with the raccoon at Petco do not need to seek treatment. Thank you.
The Maine Warden Service is seeking information regarding a woman who brought a juvenile raccoon into the Auburn Petco on Mt. Auburn Ave to have its nails trimmed on Tuesday, May 23 at approximately 1:30 p.m., potentially exposing herself and others to rabies.
The unidentified woman in the photos brought the raccoon into the store seeking to have the raccoon’s nails trimmed. While waiting, many different people handled the raccoon and some even kissed it. Once the store manager was alerted to the raccoon, the manager asked the woman with the raccoon to leave the store and contacted the Maine CDC and the Maine Warden Service.
It is illegal to possess wildlife in Maine, and Petco does not trim raccoon nails.
Raccoons are one of the most common carriers of rabies in Maine. Rabies is lethal unless treated after exposure. If you were exposed to this raccoon, please contact your health provider. Rabies is spread through a rabid animal’s saliva or neural tissue, and a person can be exposed when that saliva or neural tissue of a rabid animal comes in contact with a person through a bite or scratch, cut in the skin, or gets into the eyes, nose, or mouth.
If you have any information regarding the woman with the raccoon in these photos, please contact the Maine Warden Service at 1-800-452-4664
If you have questions about rabies, please contact the Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries reminds people that it is illegal to possess wildlife in Maine, please “Keep Wildlife Wild” and “If you care, leave them there”
Always enjoy wildlife from a distance
Never approach or handle wildlife
Never feed wildlife
Never attempt to move a wild animal."
(Source: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Facebook post)
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife asks if anyone has information on this woman that brought the baby raccoon into the Petco, to "please come forward."
Please share this article on social media so others can be informed about this story.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife official website.