New York State Couple Fined After Bringing Raccoon to Pet Store
Did you know that you can't bring a raccoon into a pet store in New York state? One couple recently found out you can't, and it appears that they're facing a fine for doing so.
Officials say they received an urgent call from a pet store in early June that the two had brought the animal into the shop. Raccoons are wild animals known to carry and transmit rabies. Sadly, this couple's irresponsibility cost this animal in the long run.
Racoon in Store
NBC says that a Department of Environmental Conservation police officer got the call from an employee of the pet store in Erie County. The officer was able to track the couple using video from the store's surveillance camera and found the license plate of the vehicle they were driving. Erie County officials say the man and his girlfriend, from Attica, were at the store buying supplies.
The DEC said in a press release that the couple was fined $500 for bringing the animal into the store. The New York Post says that the duo willingly turned the raccoon over to officials and it was brought to a clinic for a rabies test. The animal tested negative, according to the Post. NBC says to conduct the rabies test, the raccoon had to be euthanized.
Can You Own a Racoon in NY State?
The NY DEC's website says that while raccoons are protected by law in the state.. no one may possess a raccoon without a license, and licenses are not issued for pet wildlife.
In other news, a woman posted pics on Facebook of an animal near some train tracks she witnessed while out four-wheeling with her husband. Syracuse.com says that the couple was near the village of Carthage, NY June 12 when they spotted the creature. Some thought the ghostly white animal may have been a strange-looking dog of some sort. One commenter even though it may be a capybara (which are native to South America, not upstate New York). But upon closer inspection, the quills say it is a porcupine. In this case, an albino porcupine.
See pics HERE.
Porcupines are generally nocturnal animals, so you don't usually see them in broad daylight like this. Albinos, of any species, are even rarer. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, about one out of every 10,000 of the species is an albino. Albinism is defined by Wikipedia as the congenital absence of melanin in an animal, plant, or person, resulting in white hair, feathers, scales and skin, and pink eyes.
Can You Own One as a Pet in New York?
"New World" porcupines are found in forested areas across North America, most commonly in places like northern New England (and some here in the Hudson Valley too). They're hearty too. Porcupines hold the record as the longest-living rodent, according to Wikipedia. Their thousand of quills or spines may look sharp, but according to Wildlifehelp, org, they can not ‘shoot’ their quills, but the quills come out quite easily on contact”. You can even pet a porcupine if you're careful.