Reader Mail: Racoons, a Reminder

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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.

 

 

Phyllis Raja
Mamaroneck

 

image: Wikimedia Commons

8 thoughts on “Reader Mail: Racoons, a Reminder

  1. here is something to ponder and wonder about….I call the police and report a rabid racoon on public property. The racoon wanders onto my neighbors property while awaiting the animal control consultant. Are the neighbors then responsible for the 1000 dollar bill? What if they arent home? does the trapper just leave because no one is around to pay for the expense? You can bet that I will be out in my yard with pots and pans to make lots of noise and keep it off MY property!!! From what I have read on internet about other communities, rabid animals are removed by local officials at no cost to homeowners to ensure the safety and health of the public. It SHOULD be the same here.

  2. Please google… Rabies outbreak Westchester
    County Connection Feral Cats for my
    Blog to provide you with more information…
    Also please google… Rabies Coverup
    Westchester County … For further information.

  3. Ummm, isn’t this what animal control is for?? If a cat gets hit in front of your house, nobody expects YOU to scrape it off of the pavement. Only in Westchester!

  4. I had the same issue. Found a raccoon just over a month ago wandering around my yard. Called police and they said they would send someone, but if it was on my property I would be responsible. Seems crazy. Our properties are so close here that it very easily can be in one and then a minute later in another. It would seem that this would be a public health issue and that the town would be concerned about taking care of it. It is very disappointing that our tax dollars do not cover this.

    I guess the trick is to get it on public property and then call police. However, I am pretty sure they still wouldn’t be willing to pay to get rid of it…

  5. Typical responce from VOMPD. They always have something more important to do. I have seen many times othe local PD’s kill a racoon that appeared sick. Half our local budget so they can sit down half the time.

    • BTW: I was attacked by a rabid racoon at 10yo and it was the most scary thing in my life. I had to jump into a small river to get way as it came down the bank towards me. It is crazy that VOMPD did not respond. If their lack of responce resulted in someone getting hurt, we would be paying another lawsuit for their actions.

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