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[–]barlister 1096 points1097 points  (99 children)

That's some fucking bullshit. Why don't they come take the wild raccoons from the various backyards I've had them infested in. Animal control/wdfw, nobody gives a shit. They'll gang up on big dogs and kill cats yet this fucking tame pet is a danger? Pricks.

[–]PonyPinatas 22 points23 points  (7 children)

Raccoons also carry a nematode parasite that is extremely deadly to other animals (including humans). If they are not dewormed correctly and you come into contact with their feces it could kill you. So there’s also that. Edit: and to a

[–]mywan 26 points27 points  (1 child)

They noted that this Pet Raccoon seen an exotic animal vet at least once, usually twice, a year. Which was part of the conditions they agreed to so they could care for it under Wolftown's animal rescue permit. So the legal issue resulted only because Wolftown shut down a couple of years ago. Which the state is arguing that means they no longer have a license to care for it under. So yes, these issues are important in general, but not really relevant under the circumstances of this case.

[–]TerraFaunaAu 83 points84 points  (48 children)

Aren't Raccoons native? Having them kill peoples pets is on the owners for not keeping them in doors.

[–]Atomsteel 35 points36 points  (13 children)

If you have never had a raccoon problem then you have NO idea what you are talking about.

They are incredibly destructive! They will rip up your roof or siding to get into your home. They try to stay quiet and usually you won't notice them until the damage is done. There's also the fact that there is almost always more than one.

They're really cute, true, but man are they little destructive assholes. I have live trapped them but it doesn't keep new ones out.

The only long term effective solution that I have found is diluted fox urine. Fuck those guys for making me spray fox piss all over my fucking attic. Fuck. Them.

The raccoon in this article is an exception and should be allowed to live with her people. They CAN make good pets. They are naturally little assholes.

I have a large fenced yard for my dog. Why should I keep him indoors so a raccoon can have the run of my yard? That's ridiculous.

Why not just let the deer and rabbits and squirrels take it over too? Why not just move out and leave the doors open for them and I'll live in the yard?

Animals being displaced is a big problem. Living inside and keeping my animals locked up isn't the solution.

[–]Ventier 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not disagreeing with you at all, but I just felt like sharing some less negative experiences with raccoons. We live in an awfully forested area, so plenty of places for critters to go that aren't peoples' homes. Here, we've only had raccoons be a nuisance in 2 manners - Digging through trash (I admit, cleaning up after the mess animals make is a pain), and being approached by them. I've only been approached once, by a baby (or tiny, at least) raccoon, while out during a night walk. It was too dark for me to see it until I was right next to it, when I just froze, and backed off not knowing what it was. It started to follow me for a second, then just ran away. Think the residents of the house there were likely hand feeding raccoons, if I had to guess.

Sorry, nothing of value here. Just a less frustrating experience. Pet dogs are actually the real issue here. It seems like there's a good 20 or so dogs that just kind of wander the local area. I've actually been attacked by a neighbor's dog in my own front yard, taking the garbage out once.

[–]Pyehouse 1 point2 points  (10 children)

I have to agree, we don't have Racoons in the UK but the small ( but growing ) indigenous elephant population has started moving down from the north into urban areas and are causing absolute havoc.

They go through the bins, rub against fences ( usually pulling them down in the process ) and barge into houses looking for peanuts.

People think they're cute and argue that the annual culls are inhumane but honestly, these are wild animals tempted by the free food they can scavenge from the urban sprawl, they're not designed to be in the inner cities.

People need to disengage from their emotional reaction to these creatures and realise they're a menace.

[–]TerraFaunaAu 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Wait what?

[–]Atomsteel 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lol. I wasn't sure either but was afraid to take the bait.

I tried googling it but didn't find anything about indigenous elephants in the UK.

[–]willmaster123 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I mean I’ve had a raccoon attack my dog just when I’m out walking him. You can’t always prevent this shit.

[–]kristimartin_com 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've had dogs attack my dog when I'm out walking him.

[–]_ArmchairAristotle_ 4 points5 points  (0 children)

They get in and out of our attic and are the size of husky toddlers at this point. Animal Control helpfully gave me the numbers of people I can pay to remove them.

Apparently they are now my pets. Let me get this on the news and BOOM. No more trash pandas.

[–]stromm 1 point2 points  (2 children)

FYI: Raccoons are not tame. Raccoons are not domesticated. Even "pet" raccoons will lose control in the blink of an eye and will claw and bite.

And yes, I know people who "keep" raccoons as a pet.

[–]virtualmitch101 834 points835 points  (23 children)

Sounds like power hungry little officials puffing their chests from their stuffed shirts and asserting their authoritay.

[–]no-mad 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Need a name so I wont ever vote them into higher office.

[–]unklestinky 91 points92 points  (14 children)

Without government who would tell me what pets I can and cannot have?

[–]packetlosspro 29 points30 points  (11 children)

The brain inside your head.

[–]zappy487 20 points21 points  (7 children)

This is how my wife gets an actual wolf.

[–]ProjectShamrock 3 points4 points  (5 children)

I used to have one. It's only slightly more difficult to deal with than a dog.

[–]BiluochunLvcha 1 point2 points  (0 children)

but here is my conundrum. all these rules and regulations make me want to blow these brains out of my head.

[–]virtualmitch101 3 points4 points  (0 children)

you can get arrested for asking such questions

[–]NoNameZone 18 points19 points  (0 children)

"You don't get the raccoon, WE get the raccoon! WE BEAT YOU! YOU'RE THE CRAZY ONES!"

[–]lightknightrr 8 points9 points  (0 children)

And they probably go home at night, and touch themselves, thinking about all the authority they asserted in their small worlds every day...

[–]intensely_human 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is just a description of a cartoon image.

[–]DivineRobot 591 points592 points  (132 children)

Why the fuck does a raccoon need to be in a sanctuary? The natural habitat of a raccoon is a neighborhood with garbage bins. That couple's house is as good as any.

If I tell the wildlife official I named a house spider in my house Bob, are they going to take him to a sanctuary too and make him an educational animal?

[–]unklestinky 144 points145 points  (116 children)

Once you domesticate an animal, they can't really survive in the wild without some serious rehab which costs money.

[–]MadBodhi 239 points240 points  (102 children)

So just leave it with its loving home.

[–]Occulus1975 60 points61 points  (101 children)

You really can't allow that either. First, these are still wild animals. They may have developed an individual tolerance for humans. They may actually have been tamed by humans. No wild animal can ever be truly domesticated in the way dogs have, however; that requires many many generations of breeding to intentionally remove aggression, among other things.

Which brings me to the second reason. These rules (laws) are on the books not only to protect the person who, with all good intentions and from their point of view and personal experience complete success, has "domesticated" (but not, really) their raccoon - or fox, or possum, or wolf but also the people who may come into contact with that person while the animal is with them. Remember, the animal is still truly wild and it's response will include "I know him but not you" and it will act accordingly, for better or worse, and unreliability at that.

Given all of that, the only possible reasonable law dealing with the keeping of wild animals by untrained members of the public at large is a blanket ban on their keeping. It sucks, because who wouldn't want a pet wolf that is loyal and trusts you and sees you as part of their pack, but there it is.

You can't have exceptions to this, either, not even in the law, because wolves are cool and foxes are cute and raccoons have those clever little hands. Write one exception and more will surely follow until the law may as well not be law.

[–]IllLaughifyoufall 119 points120 points  (29 children)

But then why did they wait 7 years to do that?

That's an extremely long time to now cite law as the reasons they can't have this animal.

[–]dragonofthemist 32 points33 points  (7 children)

Not relevant to the main story, but did you know that there's been a project going in Russia for the past ~60 years to domesticate foxes in the same way that dogs were domesticated? They use a rating system and take the foxes most docile and friendly to people and breed them with one another. Over 60 years of hard selective breeding this has produced domesticated foxes, similar to how dogs were domesticated over generations with domestic breeding.

The initial hypothesis was that domestication, or selective breeding based only on temperament would show physical changes too, specifically floppy ears, a curly tail, juvenile face, and longer breeding periods. This came from the observation of those traits in dogs and livestock that had been domesticated. They found through their experiment that the hypothesis holds true, that there's a genetic link between those physical characteristics and temperament towards humans.

Anyways to make money to keep the experiment going they sell their foxes as pets. Look up domesticated silver foxes in Russia and you'll find it.

[–]Bananarama8o 5 points6 points  (0 children)

There's a video on this study. Remarkable seeing the animals appearances change In just a few generation.

[–]modulusshift 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Is there a control group that was bred for some other trait? It seriously just sounds like keeping foxes and breeding them deliberately does that, to me. I doubt it matters if they were breeding for good temper or bad temper.

The breeding season one in particular is telling. If the scientists were just slightly sloppy about whether the foxes would normally be in season when they tried to breed them, then only the foxes that were in season anyway would even have offspring to contribute to the next generation of breeding. I'd also be curious if diminutive traits (curly tail, so on) that make foxes look cute to us influenced how docile the foxes seemed to the scientists subconsciously. If the traits they were breeding for were strictly quantified in tests instead of qualified through observation, does that remove those traits?

[–]dragonofthemist 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Yes, they started breeding for aggression at the same time, called the "Cerberus Project". At one point, to determine if the foxes were learning from their parents instead of a genetic change taking place, they took an embryo from one of the "nice" foxes and implanted it into the litter of one of the "cerberus" foxes (the aggression bred ones). The babies that were implanted were seen wanting to interact with humans but being scolded by their mother and pulled away from people. That's what showed them that it wasn't just learned behavior.

They took into account the possibility of those physical traits making the foxes appear more docile subconsciously and I believe the rated system they used for the foxes worked against that bias. In addition, having a longer gestation period isn't really a "cute" trait but it was also seen as linked to the diminutive traits mentioned.

Also interesting, they found an emergent trait about a decade ago of the foxes developing a "laugh" so to speak. They started producing a vocalization very similar to human laughter when they were happy. Something not seen in wild foxes or in the 45+ years of testing before.

I didn't see the video that /u/Banarama8o mentioned but one of the scientists working on it came to my college and gave a seminar on it.

[–]tau-lepton 33 points34 points  (21 children)

No wild animal can ever be truly domesticated in the way dogs have,

Plenty of wild animals do well domestically: iguanas, toads, many tortoises and turtles, frogs, many fish, prairie dogs, murcats, squirrels, crows (and other corvids), many parrots, pigeons, ducks (Ibsen not withstanding), and yes, even raccoons in some cases, and it sounds like this was one of those cases.

Edit: another example of a raccoon fitting into a domestic life https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCIVSHpu5xxfTGtaRfXJJ49g To be clear, they are not always this nice, but it can work.

[–]_ImperialScout_ 6 points7 points  (1 child)

many fish

Not Bluegill. Although bringing questions of whether a fish can be mentally challenged they are among the most voracious sort of "fuck you" I've had in my tank.

[–]tau-lepton 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My Australian kelpie is also right at the edge of domesticity.

[–]ClickClack_Bam 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Exactly. I keep snakes. I have one wild caught as an adult and one wild caught as a baby. Night and day difference between them. The baby is fine to be handled. The adult not as much but not bad. This raccoon was a baby and seems perfectly fine.

[–]MonsterMongrel 11 points12 points  (15 children)

There's a difference between habituation, socialization, and domestication. Not saying that no other animals could be domesticated, but domestication doesn't occur at the individual level.

[–]tau-lepton 28 points29 points  (13 children)

It’s a distinction without a real world difference. It is common for those animals live with humans as pets. Why should Mae the raccoon be confiscated but not my ferret, parrot, and red eared turtles?

[–]kerbaal 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If we are making that distinction then... when it comes to an individual animal living in an individual household, habituation and socialization matter, domestication doesn't....because it doesn't apply to individuals.

Likewise, if a cat was not habituated and socialized, who cares if the rest of its species is domesticated? If this one isn't, then it isn't.

[–]No6655321 4 points5 points  (2 children)

The argument doesn't make sense. They were given a permit to keep them. It expired because the shelter that gave it doesn't exist. The government should just let them find another shelter that will give them a permit.

They didn't just go and bring it in, they went and tried to find it a suitable home, everyone turned them down. Then afterwards they were given permission.

Regardless of that how do you think dogs and cats became domesticated? and horses and camels? and cows, and chickens? We took them in from the wild.

[–]kristimartin_com 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Agreed. It's a great debate in the comments but doesn't actually speak to this particular case.

TL;DR they found Mae next her dead mom with her eyes still closed, tried to turn her in. Were turned away but given a subpermitee permit as a wildlife reecue to keep her as long as they followed the rules, which they always did in the 7.5 years they had her. They never broke Washington law.

[–]Lanaowl 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yep, pretty much

[–]bigmac22077 31 points32 points  (3 children)

that excuse is full of shit. dogs attack people all the time and not every dog is taken from every person. yes some racoons are terrible pets, but others will become your best companion.

[–]hissyhissy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I keep wild cats, not feral cats, wild animals. This story has nothing to do with the protecting wild animals. While I agree yes, the ideal place is in their natural habitats as others on this thread has said, most raccoons do very well in urban environments. Seconly, if this animal is so incredibly dangerous that it can't possibly remain in it's home (where it has lived without incident for 7 years) then it certainly is not safe enough to be handled by wildlife carers and certainly not as an "educational animal". Any animal used for education/public display suffers severe stress, animals which have not been born into that environment more so. So while a zoo animal may seem relaxed, it has known nothing else for it's entire life, this raccoon certainly has not been surrounded by huge groups of shouting people while forced to live in an outdoor run. I worked in a rescue centre during my teens, and let me tell even domestic animals lose their minds when moved. If you haven't been, go to a pound, look at the dogs. Almost all of them will be showing signs of ridiculously high stress due to being removed from their homes. Barking, pacing, trembling and becoming withdrawn, to name a few. As you said yourself in your post "also the people who may come into contact with that person while the animal is with them. Remember, the animal is still truly wild and it's response will include "I know him but not you" and it will act accordingly, for better or worse, and unreliability at that." Well surely then the only viable option is to allow the handler who the animal trusts to maintain that bond. I know for a fact if any of my animals were removed from me, there is absolutely no chance that they would bond to somebody else. Yes they can act extremely unpleasantly with people they don't know, I just don't allow situations to happen where there is any chance that my animals could cause injury to somebody. After 7 years I'm pretty sure that these people know their pet, and how to correctly decide what is appropriate for her with regards to other people's safety. Dogs may be domesticated but most breeds are capable of causing much more harm to a human than a raccoon, they are also highly trainable and a lot of breeds have been selectively bred for traits which could pose much more risk to humans.

[–]ph3l0n 11 points12 points  (4 children)

No wild animal can ever be truly domesticated in the way dogs have

What? Are you kidding?

[–]mtbspacelord 8 points9 points  (0 children)

He’s saying the animal you caught in your back yard can’t be domesticated like a dog. In 20 generations maybe but not that one

[–]Lrack9927 6 points7 points  (2 children)

An animal being tame and an animal being domesticated are two different things. You can tame a wild animal, a raccoon, a fox, a lion, whatever but domestication takes generations of breeding by humans. Domesticated animals have genetic differences from their wild counterparts as a result of this breeding.

[–]SpudzMakenzy 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Raccoons are highly intelligent creatures which can absolutely be domesticated.

[–]yawnfactory 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Domestication comes from generations of breeding.

[–]Iwanttoiwill 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Not in a single generation though, which is the point

[–]cnumbers 1 point2 points  (0 children)

gotta start somewhere

[–]HillaryBrokeTheLaw 8 points9 points  (2 children)

So by your logic, people shouldn't have cats, since they are never truly tame, like dogs.

[–]x-ok 7 points8 points  (0 children)

We can always have exceptions. What your talking is just idiotic fanaticism. It's kind of creepy imo.

[–]Pooptruck5000 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Everything of what you said is irrelevant as they waited 7 years to do this which puts the animal in severe danger and hurts the family more than you apparently know. Everythinh about this is fucked because of logic like yours.

[–]jlarner1986 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Dogs were wolves...

[–]yawnfactory 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Literally 10,000 years separates wolves from a Pug. This had been no short term domestication.

[–]Hydrochloric_Comment 3 points4 points  (5 children)

No wild animal can ever be truly domesticated in the way dogs have,

Livestock and foxes?

[–]Juiceval 5 points6 points  (4 children)

Livestock aren't wild and neither are domesticated foxes. Domestication is a matter of controlled and selective breeding to create a human-friendly breed of a species.

[–]Jex117 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Livestock aren't wild

Hahaha what the shit. Do you think we just invented cows or something? We've only been farming buffalo and bison as livestock for a few generations. They're as wild now as they were when Europeans invaded.

[–]Juiceval 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Domestication is a matter of controlled and selective breeding to create a human-friendly breed of a species.

American cattle were domesticated and lent themselves to domestication (they're fairly docile), similar to European species of cattle. The livestock we have now are domesticated species with wild ancestors. American bison are not widely domesticated but are raised as livestock, but livestock are generally domesticated.

[–]savageark 52 points53 points  (5 children)

I feel like the line here is the fact that a raccoon is an extremely common animal that is already constantly exposed to humans. It's not endangered or threatened, it isn't a predator capable of easily killing humans or children, and so long as it's basic mental, emotional, and physical needs are met, it isn't a miserable or depressed animal. And honestly, if someone went out of their way to breed for passive and outgoing behavior, they could probably be easily domesticated for the pet trade.

The biggest danger a raccoon presents to humans is disease; however, the odds of it spreading disease swiftly approaches zero as it spends more time living in a house than interacting with other wildlife and receiving care from a licensed vet.

The state is worried about it sending a message about people taking animals out of the wild, but to me, it's just saying that you are better off killing young animals because the state can't be trusted to honor good-faith permits and will spend more time and money harrassing you about a non-issue than trying to make sure you are properly educated and equipped to take care of your local wildlife.

Its one thing to take a wild animal and make it live in miserable conditions, like in a tiny cage or by itself... It's another to keep an animal happy and then complain its harmful to wildlife.

[–]colbystan 9 points10 points  (0 children)

The thing is...nobody would know about this if they just left it alone. The state actually is helping the odds someone tries to keep a raccoon as a pet by making it a story. Fuckin idiots.

[–]Davless 35 points36 points  (14 children)


A Raccoon's natural habitat is not the suburbs humans invented. Their natural habitat is the forest and marshes.

They're omnivorous hunters who have existed long before Debra from down the street started the Home Owners Association. There's literally old legends about them.

They're smart as all hell so that's why some of them have moved to the places where other animals just leave spare food in plastic boxes.

Edit: this story is still fucked up but I'm conflicted. You can't properly domesticate a species in a single generation but also if it was well taken care of, who gives a shit?

Edit: y'all got access to Reddit but not Google? I hate to be ornery but, y'all a bunch of dipshits. Just open your web browser for Christ's sake. This ain't hard. I ain't give half a rat's ass what you personally experienced. Just go learn yourself.

[–]Verbal_Combat 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I was visiting the New Orleans area, walking on a path through a swamp and came across a tiny raccoon in the marsh, wondered what he was doing there until I realized “wait duh, this is their natural habitat, not my trashbin”

[–]yupdannym88 4 points5 points  (5 children)

This should be further up. Can't believe someone said a dumpster is their natural habitat. There should a David Attenborough parody of it.

[–]kristimartin_com 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Tell that to President Coolidge who had 2 as pets


[–]sciamatic 122 points123 points  (3 children)

"That's her home. No one deserves to be taken from their home, raccoons included," cried Katie Greer.

That would break my heart :( Those poor people, and their poor baby. Mae must feel so lost and confused right now. She didn't deserve this.

[–]nosybooger 176 points177 points  (3 children)

Hope they get Mae back.

[–]JoeyHollywood 18 points19 points  (0 children)

They Mae yet.

[–]Xx-Minato-xX 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Mae be they will

[–]UnsupervisedNow 131 points132 points  (2 children)

I'm sure once Mae has been locked in a cage enough to go crazy, they'll use it as an example of how vicious raccoons are.

[–]NoNameZone 22 points23 points  (0 children)

And no one will see the example of how vicious humans are.

[–]verenelle 80 points81 points  (2 children)

That raccoon is going to mysteriously vanish or die before the start of the trial. Guarantee it.

[–]KngNothing 34 points35 points  (1 child)

"Attacked a handler, was deemed too violent/unsafe to be an educational tool, and had to be put down."

[–]Freekmagnet 57 points58 points  (12 children)

My neighbor found a baby raccoon that was alone in the ditch outside their house, the mother had been run over in the road. They took it in and it became a pet; it was there for several years. One of the other neighbors turned them in to our state game commission.

The game commission officer came to their house, took the raccoon away from the crying kids, took it out in the back yard and shot it. Apparently there is no convenient way to take a domesticated animal and introduce it to the wild, so they shoot them "for their own good". Pennsylvania, in case you could not guess.

[–]sectumsempra196 22 points23 points  (6 children)

Virginia is the same. Cops will shoot your pet deer you raised since it was a fawn on your property but refuse to mercy kill a deer that's been hit by a car because "they didn't want to do the paperwork for discharging their firearm." wouldn't let anyone else on scene shoot it either, "do not get your gun out in front of me."

[–]lustywench99 8 points9 points  (1 child)

My dad worked with a guy who ended up saving a bunch of baby raccoons after the mother was killed by dogs. The guy thought it might be best to try to get guys at work to split them up and keep them alive until they got big enough to release.

So that's how we got Waldo. We had him for a few months. Waldo wasn't a pet and we couldn't keep him in the house, but we got him to the size of a small adult. My dad would take him out to the woods a lot and let him scrounge for his own food. All the guys that took one basically tried the same thing too.

Then one day they released them back where they came from and they all took off.

This only happened because initially after this happened the conservation department was contacted and refused to help in any way. They wouldn't take the babies and said they'd either die or figure it out. Some people don't have the heart for that. I don't think what we did was wrong, but I'm going to put out there we have no animal rehab skills. The guys just figured if they could keep them alive until they were bigger and teach them their food was in the woods and not at the house, they stood the best chance of survival. We live in a pretty rural place and where they were released was in the middle of the woods in the middle of no where. So they did the best they could do.

[–]Lanaowl 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Most Wildlife Rehabilitation is common sense. I don't condone rehabbing without a permit, but the authority on the matter wasn't there to help, just like in Mae's case. Only a heartless bastard would leave an animal to starve to death or get killed, so it is only natural for most people to want to help.

[–]kristimartin_com 224 points225 points  (22 children)

I cried when I first heard about this case and then I cried again yesterday when I heard the verdict from their initial court date. So I started a petition, if you think this is as horrible as I do please sign & share it:


[–]TheGenesect 38 points39 points  (6 children)

Not to be a Negative Nancy but have change.org petitions ever worked?

[–]kristimartin_com 19 points20 points  (0 children)

You can see which ones have as they are marked with "victory". Since I looked at the list of the latest ones they have all updated which means more than I/you would have thought. Also, it's all we have in this issue bc without it we wait for the full trial in April.


[–]colbystan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Have physical petitions? Yes.

This is a digital version. So, they take it to whomever, say x number of people agree and we will do y next if z doesn't change.

Just like any other petition.

Answer: yes.

[–]ryecurious 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It looks like it's been deleted since it was a few years ago, but a change.org petition got Namco Bandai to release a PC port of Dark Souls.

[–]ClickClack_Bam 3 points4 points  (1 child)


Thank you for setting this up.

[–]HellsHumor 81 points82 points  (3 children)

This is fantastic use of taxpayer money!

If this was allowed there would be CHAOS!

[–]ARealRocketScientist 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Laws are rarely repealed; most go unenforced for long periods of time till they become desuetude or invalid; this why you see cracked talk about 23 crazy laws you wouldn't believe that aren't actually laws, but haven't been repealed by the legislature.

The WDFW needs to follow the rules or they stop being the rules.

[–]Michelanvalo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think the issue is they didn't follow the rules in the past but are now suddenly enforcing them.

[–]JulesHaggard 309 points310 points  (75 children)

It's not "the state" that made the cruel decision to take the racoon away from its family, it's some idiots who work for the state.

These people need to be be named and shamed in the press.

Why is that not happening?

[–]Voltaire99 175 points176 points  (63 children)

You can't differentiate. If individual agents of the state abused their power to hurt people, then the state made that possible. Thus the state is at fault. This is why some people believe that the state should be kept as small as possible. Because abuse is inevitable no matter how good the intentions of the majority of those employed by it are. If the state's powers are limited, then the damage that the state can do (either intentionally or unintentionally) to people is also limited.

[–]shsh99 24 points25 points  (47 children)

Here's the thing though, only a big government with lots of people manning the checks and balances part stops blatant abuse. In a small government, it's much easier to get away with.

[–]OleKosyn 37 points38 points  (12 children)

A big government requires a much bigger public effort at controlling it than a smaller one. Just look at USSR and China - over a quarter of the population is in government service, and this allows for truly incomprehensible corruption. The bigger the system is, the easier it is to abuse it. As Soviet and Chinese systems grew, they turned further and further away from any semblance of public service, choosing to concentrate on interdepartmental favor trading and embezzlement instead.

[–]Voltaire99 25 points26 points  (25 children)

That's a nice theory, but it's not really plausible, and it's never been born out by reality. History has shown us again and again that the larger a government becomes the more corrupt and less responsive it becomes to the people it governs.

[–]serentilla 47 points48 points  (10 children)

History has never shown that "small government" is less corrupt or more responsive. The correct size of government is the size of government which is large enough to be responsive. Responsive is different to reactive, responsive means provision for planning ahead and bearing the cost of some over capacity to meet unusual peaks in demand.

It's ironic that the people who fight for small government never also fight for "small business". Even though history has shown us again and again that the larger a corporation becomes the more corrupt and less responsive it becomes. See what I did there?

[–]Voltaire99 4 points5 points  (2 children)

History has never shown that "small government" is less corrupt or more responsive. The correct size of government is the size of government which is large enough to be responsive. Responsive is different to reactive, responsive means provision for planning ahead and bearing the cost of some over capacity to meet unusual peaks in demand.

A small government responds to the desires of the citizens who created it. If they change their mind about a policy, then the small government that represents them changes too. Large powerful governments frequently ignore the will of the people and do whatever they want.

It's ironic that the people who fight for small government never also fight for "small business". Even though history has shown us again and again that the larger a corporation becomes the more corrupt and less responsive it becomes. See what I did there?

I'm not sure I've ever in my life met a single proponent of limited government who hasn't also believed in championing small business. Believing in entrepreneurship and wanting small business owners to be competitive in the free market doesn't mean that they have to abuse larger businesses though. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

[–]umaijcp 3 points4 points  (0 children)

A peeve of mine is all the redditors who comment on the posts whenever there is something blowing up, or a building failing, explaining "that's why we need more regulations!"

I was tempted to mimic their standard cry here, since I am sure they are reading, and maybe it would disturb them. Anyway, it would be fun to watch them twist logic to explain why this regulation, and only this regulation, is not good.

But, I see they are all here and busy explaining why the real problem is that government is just not big enough. Of course.

You are braver than I, even engaging them.

[–]Painting_Agency 9 points10 points  (6 children)

It's ironic that the people who fight for small government never also fight for "small business".

People who advocate "small government" usually want it to be small enough for them (or whoever they're carrying water for) to get away with shit and not have to pay taxes. But frequently, large enough to forbid gays from marrying and women from having abortions.

tl;dr they up to something

[–]Scenvresh 8 points9 points  (5 children)

I don't think that's exactly correct. Washingtonians tend to lean toward libertarian beliefs, yet they're perceived as one of the most liberal states.

There's a belief here, to some extent, that the government shouldn't have a say in social issues. Meaning that if gay people want to get married, there is no reason the government should have any reason or power to stop them because it shouldn't be within their jurisdiction.

I don't think small government is necessarily a bad thing or that it leads to this kind of populist control. Environment makes a lot of difference.

Also, small businesses get away with fuckloads of corruption on smaller scales and never get caught because nobody pays any attention to them. It's hard to cook your books or mistreat your employees when OSHA and the IRS are constantly breathing down your neck. You can still be a money-grubbing prick corporation, but you've got to find a way to do it legally.

[–]no-mad 5 points6 points  (2 children)

There's a belief here, to some extent, that the government shouldn't have a say in social issues. Meaning that if gay people want to get married, there is no reason the government should have any reason or power to stop them because it shouldn't be within their jurisdiction.

Just the opposite also applies. Govt is required to treat everyone the same. Declaration of Independence. "All men are created equal". Gay people were not being treated as equals when it came to marriage. The government was not doing is job. Religion is really a non-issue for gay weddings. Religions just "claim ownership" of marriage. The real truth is to be a legal wedding you need a govt marriage license. No religion needed.

[–]savageark 16 points17 points  (7 children)

Are you joking?

Small governments are extremely easy to corrupt - far more easily than large governments with more moving parts and more interested parties to care about.

It may be hard to see that if you live in a local government that does things the way you like, but many people are forced to live in horrific shitholes all across the country. It's not as easy as just getting elected to local office to fix things, either.

Small governments = Good Ole Boy's Club

Neighbor shoot your dog right over your fence? Too bad! He knows the sheriff!

School board forcing your female child to take home ec and childcare while having her banned from "boys only" classes like shop? Too bad! Maybe she shouldn't be such a di*e!

Local business buries thousands of pounds of decaying TNT a mile from your home? Too bad! We don't need any business-killing regulations here!

FFS, I live in a state that loves "small government", and all it has earned my community is for-profit prisons, high teen pregnancy rates, widespread poverty, decaying infrastructure, corrupt business contracts, no consumer rights, expensive and poor-quality education, no jobs, no worker rights, and no tenant rights.

Tldr; small government is a lie to coax votes from disgruntled people, while all the while it is used as a weapon against pariahs and "undesirables" in the community in a way that would not be tolerated by society at large

[–]Voltaire99 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Are you joking?

Small governments are extremely easy to corrupt - far more easily than large governments with more moving parts and more interested parties to care about.

That doesn't make any sense at all.

Tldr; small government is a lie to coax votes from disgruntled people, while all the while it is used as a weapon against pariahs and "undesirables" in the community in a way that would not be tolerated by society at large

Small government is a weapon to use against undesirables? Wtf are you talking about? You seem to think that small government is just a phrase that means same size government with different priorities. A government actually reduced in scope and power would have a harder time oppressing anybody, that's the fucking point.

[–]Phoenix_2015 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I don’t know I’d take a Prussian bureaucracy over residing in a medieval fiefdom. Also the Confederate States of America were designed to be a melding of individually governed states. I’m not sure they were more responsive. Particularly if you were considered 3/5 of a man.

[–]TrailLand_PortBlazer 11 points12 points  (5 children)

“small government” does not mean “no checks and balances”. Whoever told you that is a fool.

[–]misogichan 12 points13 points  (1 child)

In theory, but in practice the way Republicans are trying to implement small government is gutting the system rather than downsizing it. For example, look at how Trump is reducing the state department size. He's not taking non-essential personnel out, or reducing the bureaucracy. You're seeing senior officials, the people with the most influence and who care most about the work, leaving. The people without good outside job opportunities in comparison are staying. In other words the least competent and experienced are staffing the same amount of responsiblities with fewer personnel. This is also what happens when you reduce government size by strangling spending and not reducing responsibilities, or inefficiencies. Crude mechanisms like sequestration lead to things like retirement and quitting.

[–]TrailLand_PortBlazer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

in practice

I thought we were talking about the definition of the phrase. Not really interested in the topic changing as it suits you.

[–]ClickClack_Bam 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So a smaller company is harder to run than a larger company? Big companies have insane issues that come with being the size they are.

[–]mdFree 25 points26 points  (3 children)

That's a very flimsy and dangerous reasoning. By every legal definition, once the state registers the action, its a state action. If the state decides to not hand back their pet, its using state regulations and reasoning to shield the state's action.

The public employees are following the work regulations. If they don't adhere to the regulation, they will be fired. And in your proposition, if they do follow it, they are to be fired and potentially harassed by people. Employees lose out doing nothing or following the formal procedure.

What needs to happen is to either de-regulate or make exemptions in the law this way there is no legal leeway into doing this again.

[–]misogichan 4 points5 points  (2 children)

That may be true for the grunts who have to follow orders. That's not true for the people on top who are choosing how to interpret the law and to fight this case in court wasting valuable state time and resources. We do have one name from the article:

Assistant Attorney General Senior Counsel Neil Wise

[–]captainmaryjaneway 5 points6 points  (1 child)

And who do you think donates to him and funds his election? Follow the private money to get to who is at the top. Politicians and elected officials are puppets on the heirarchy ladder.

[–]Tylerjb4 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The conglomeration of people who work for the state are the state

[–]braised_diaper_shit 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The state gives them that authority. What are you talking about?

[–]benshiffler 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is some stupid logic. By this logic, the Nazi party didn't do anything wrong, it was the idiots that served the Nazi party.

[–]TimskiTimski 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Racoons live in families. It has become dependent on the family that rescued her. AFTER 7 YEARS IT KNOWS NO OTHER LIFE. Jeez ! I bet that critter is very scared and lonely. What is the matter with people?

[–]call_the_whambulance 70 points71 points  (6 children)

Don't people have better things to fucking due! Leave this sweet little animal with its family. This is absolutely cruel.

[–]masterfulsky 10 points11 points  (0 children)

So what happened did someone new move into the neighbourhood and report them.

[–]hawkster1961 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Dogs have rabies vaccinations, does one exist for raccoons? If not isn’t this a public health issue?

[–]youabutch 24 points25 points  (6 children)

The assholes just took her and put her in a cage. Probably tomatizing her.

[–]Simmo5150 48 points49 points  (2 children)

They’re turning her into a tomato? Oh the humanity!!

[–]rickymorty 7 points8 points  (1 child)

It's a fruit, not a vegetable

[–]EMlN3M 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Not according to the supreme court.


[–]NotYourTypicalReditr 9 points10 points  (2 children)

You... you meant "traumatize", right?

[–]GrapeAyp 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Nope, tomatize. It's where you pack them in a crate full of tomatoes until they turn into a nice tomato bisque.

[–]ThatBoyBloom 9 points10 points  (11 children)

They just stole your fucking dog..

[–]Solokillz 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Shithole country doesn't surprise me.

[–]Lontology 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Stories like this are a perfect example of humans' abilities to be both kind and cruel.

[–]JafafaHots 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I wonder how many hundreds of acres of formerly raccoon-filled woods have been bulldozed in the seven years in that same county in order to make room for McMansions and other sprawl?

Just injecting some perspective.

Best wishes, Mae.

[–]SweetBearCub 2 points3 points  (1 child)

As I understand this, essentially the state is saying, in not so many words, that if they were to let the family keep the raccoon, it would encourage others to remove animals from the wild.

That's BS to me, because the raccoon was found abandoned, and no rescue would take it, so the family took care of it instead.

It's not like they hunted down a pregnant raccoon and stole her baby.

"Mae has also gained a lot of publicity and the state's concerned that letting Mae go home will set a bad example.

"If people are encouraged to take animals out of the wild and keep them as pets, this is a serious policy concern for the state, Wise said."

[–]questionguess 14 points15 points  (5 children)

Mae is no longer wild. She belongs with the family who cares for her.

[–]Amcal 34 points35 points  (15 children)

A government big enough to give you everything you need is Big enough to take everything away

[–]UnsupervisedNow 21 points22 points  (1 child)

That's OK. Once you've stripped away all of the services and it's shrunk down to a lean-and-mean, manageable size, it will still be plenty big enough to take everything away.

It just won't ever do anything positive, either.

[–]unklestinky 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Without government, who will decide what are acceptable pets?

[–]Udai_Taxim 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That is the stupidest thing I have ever read. Any functioning and stable government is big enough to take everything from you.

I actually live in the overly regulating welfare state of Germany where everything is provided and the government can't do shit here like claiming civil forfeiture on a regular basis.

[–]DonaldBlythe2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Plus this a story from America where the government isn't even willing to give people healthcare but it's apparently too big because people can't keep wild animals as pets.

[–]Atomsteel 3 points4 points  (0 children)

A pure example of bureaucratic red tape ruining lives.

[–]Truthisnotallowed 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Seems to me 'The State' is guilty of cruelty to animals in this case.

Raccoons may be wild, but they are also social and taking it from the only family it has ever known ought to be a crime.

[–]jmwnf 1 point2 points  (0 children)

She clearly did not know da mae

[–]Banned-in-Boston 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This shows you are just property of the government. You own nothing. The gov takes what it wants.

[–]ChristopherVolken 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Mae is an amazing band, too. BRING MAE HOME.

[–]Gaelfling 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is this an instagram famous pet or something? Just wondering why this story is front page news worthy.

[–]MimiMyMy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't condone breeding and keeping wild animals as pets. However this family found an orphaned baby raccoon. They tried to find some sort of wildlife agency to take it. None would take it. Were they just supposed to throw it back in the park and let it die. I would have done the same thing as this family and raised it. I think after 7 yrs without once bothering this family about having the raccoon you've set some sort of precedent that the city was ok with them having it. It's inhumane to take it from its home and keep it in a cage.

[–]TechnicallyCalm 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I remember hearing how a guy found an owl and raised him for a few years, only for animal control to come and take him for being a rare owl.

The owl refused to eat and died of starvation before the owner could get the owl back.

Who the fuck let's an owl starve to death? If's he's not eating after a few days, get the guy who had the owl to feed him or give him back.

[–]coopatrooper 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is sick. How can they just take away a family's pet they've had for SEVEN years? Poor Mae ):

[–]drakesylvan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Fuck the state. This is a unique situation and that animal has lived its whole life with its family. What a bunch of asshole pricks.

[–]series_hybrid 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Call animal control to trap wild raccoons bothering your house...city/county government says they don't have the time or money to do that...find a nice raccoon and develop a bond, treat it nice with food and warm/dry place to sleep...City calls SWAT team...cannot be allowed!

[–]funkofanatic95 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is wrong on so many levels. I hope her family fights hard to get her back home. The poor little one is likely scared not being at her home with her family. This is like taking a kid away from a family just to use them as a test monkey.

[–]beefiesttaco 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Give them their goddamn pet back. They’ve had her for seven years without an issue.

[–]HungJury01 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Jesus Christ. Just give them their fucking raccoon back.

[–]SplendidTit -1 points0 points  (47 children)

Wildlife aren't pets. Just because they were issued a special permit doesn't mean it's a good idea in perpetuity.

This is something that's well within the rights of the local government to regulate, though in this case, it seems they should be lenient.

[–]skipperdog 135 points136 points  (3 children)

The cat's out of the bag now. He's had 7 years to become accustomed to a standard of living. Placing him in a wire cage at this point (presumably) is just cruel.

[–]RegularPottedPlant 73 points74 points  (0 children)

Yeah it's not like they put him in a fun wild sanctuary where he's playing with other trash pandas. He probably would like his old life back. Warm home. Regular food. Nice people.

[–]jiggatron69 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Id just go steal him back. Fuck the police.

[–]SplendidTit 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Yeah, the fucked the pooch on this one, enforcement should be uniform and fair.

[–]ddpotanks 42 points43 points  (1 child)

Exactly what has changed? Why can't it be for the life of the animal?

[–]Buckeyes2010 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Mainly to make sure the "owners" are continuing to adhere to state rules and regulations. Otherwise some people would treat the animal properly until the permit became permanent. And with raccoons, vaccines are a must. Unlike with domestic animals, wild animals such as raccoons are never the property of private citizens. Nearly all wild animals in the United States are the property of the state. I've taken a wildlife conservation policy course and am currently enrolled in a natural resources law enforcement course. It's odd to me that the wildlife officers didn't speak to the Greer's sooner and it's unfortunate that they were unable to find a way to renew their permit, but the state has the right to revoke the raccoon from the Greer's household. And honestly, with the way the cases go, I doubt they'll get Mae back.

[–]Byteflux 32 points33 points  (25 children)

The animal has been domesticated over a period of 7 years. It's no longer wildlife. It's a pet and it's not hurting or bothering anyone except a few triggered snowflake local officials.

[–]Malaix 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Domestication does not happen to an individual. It happens to generations of animals that are bred to be subservient to humans.

[–]Buckeyes2010 20 points21 points  (3 children)

No, the animal has become habituated to people, not domesticated. Domestication happens over much longer time than 7 years. And in the United States, wild animals are almost always property of the state. In this case, Washington.

When I took my wildlife conservation policy course, they were beating us over the head with the statement that the state owns wildlife, not private citizens

[–]SplendidTit 18 points19 points  (19 children)

That's not what domesticated means.

Just because you can train a specific animal, it doesn't mean it's a domesticated species. The problem isn't one pet, it's when people get out of hand with these types of species.

[–]Byteflux -2 points-1 points  (9 children)

I never claimed that raccoons were a domesticated species, I only meant to emphasize that this particular raccoon has been domesticated in the very literal definition of the word. It's a pet, has been for 7 years and isn't hurting anyone.

We can make special exemptions based on historical facts of how this animal came to be domesticated (which is explained in the article). There is no reason to take this pet away from the family on the basis that it's a species of wildlife. This is a domesticated animal and the locality in charge allowed them to keep it for 7 years.

[–]Roflawful_ 11 points12 points  (7 children)

In the "very literal definition" of the word the racoon has absolutely not been domesticated. That is exactly what the person was telling you. A raccoon cannot be domesticated. It can be trained, like a trained bear or tiger, but not domesticated. It will always be a wild animal and it's natural instincts cannot be taken away from it.

[–]tau-lepton 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There are plenty of examples of “wild animals” bring kept as pets; lizards, fish, toads, tortoises, rats, chinchilla, ferrets...

[–]HustlerPornabc 4 points5 points  (11 children)

That shouldn't be the states decision unless it places other people at risk, which raccoons do not. I really don't need the government telling me what kind of animals I can and can't raise within the walls of my house and on my property.

[–]hesh582 19 points20 points  (1 child)

places other people at risk, which raccoons do not

lol you don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about.

In this particular case, it sounds like the family was very diligent and did a very good job taking care of the animal.

But in general, raccoons are still very much wild animals and can absolutely pose a risk to other people if treated like a pet. They're nasty little bastards under the right conditions, a particularly unpleasant parasite (as in near 100% fatal in humans) is endemic to most wild populations, and rabies can takes years to develop symptoms.

This case is a tough one because it's been going on so long, but the state totally has an interest in preventing everyone from thinking they can have pet wild animals if they just take good enough care of them.

[–]coloradonative16 14 points15 points  (6 children)

Actually, people do need that, otherwise the US would be one big clusterfuck of invasive species.

If you don’t believe me look up the Florida Everglades

[–]HustlerPornabc 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Owning a native wild animal as a pet is not the same thing as owning a non-native wild animal. I'm not saying the government should but out completely. I specifically said if the animal isn't a risk to the public. In other words, if this animal escapes, is it dangerous to the public? I'd say a raccoon would not be. An opossum would not be. A skunk would not be. A small rodent would not be. A mountain lion would be. A grizzly bear would be.

[–]javi404 11 points12 points  (4 children)

You can have restrictions on invasive species without over-regulation and violating people's privacy and the right for them to do what they wish in their homes.

[–]Betchenstein 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Until some idiot is caught breeding invasive species in their homes under some notion of “personal freedom”. Who then lets the animals go when faced with prosecution. We have laws for reasons.

[–]SplendidTit 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Unfortunately, we do need the government telling people to do that, otherwise we put species and ourselves in danger.

[–]AzemOcram 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I expect no different from Seattle. The officials there always think they know best.

Here’s a quote by C.S. Lewis “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”