RSPCA issues warning after stray pet found
The RSPCA is urging people not to buy pet raccoon dogs following a recent call-out to a stray, which was found by a member of the public.
In recent years the charity has dealt with a number of call-outs to stray pet raccoon dogs that have either escaped or been deliberately released into the wild.
The exotic mammal, also known as a tanuki, was discovered hiding under a water tank in a garden in Kirton Holme, near Boston.
Inspector Becky Harper said: “While he is very cute, we’d like to stress that raccoon dogs don’t make good pets. They are wild animals and, while they sadly seem to be becoming more popular as pets in the UK, we would strongly discourage people from buying or keeping one as a pet.
“They need a great deal of space and their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment. If they escape or are released into the wild they are a high invasive non-native species risk to our native wildlife.”
Releasing a non-native species into the wild, or allowing it to escape, is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
RSPCA staff have renamed the raccoon dog Cedric. Despite attempts to trace his owner, nobody has come forward to claim him so he will be rehomed to a specialist keeper.
Image courtesy of the RSPCA