Off Beat

A woman brought a young raccoon into a Maine Petco to have its nails trimmed. No, nope, absolutely not, officials say.

"Many different people handled the [raccoon] and some even kissed it."

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

A woman brought a juvenile raccoon into a Petco in Auburn, Maine, on Tuesday afternoon to get the animal’s nails trimmed.

This was really not a good idea — and illegal, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

“It is illegal to possess [wildlife] in Maine, and Petco does not trim raccoon nails,” the wildlife agency said on Facebook, noting she “potentially [exposed] herself and others to rabies.”

While she waited in the store, “many different people handled the [raccoon] and some even kissed it,” officials said. “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.”


The Maine Warden Service is now looking to identify the woman — those with information are asked to call 1-800-452-4664.

The wildlife officials didn’t say the raccoon showed signs of having rabies but noted “raccoons are one of the most common carriers of rabies in Maine.”

“Rabies is lethal unless treated after exposure,” they said. “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.”

Officials reminded residents to:

  • Always enjoy wildlife from a distance
  • Never approach or handle wildlife
  • Never feed wildlife
  • Never attempt to move a wild animal

And we guess it goes without saying, but: never bring a wild animal into a Petco to get its nails trimmed.


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