Community Post

Sick Raccoon Warning

I looked up from the laptop a bit a go to see a king-sized raccoon descend the fence into the CDNews Executive Courtyard & Outdoor Retreat. He hung out for a minute before he saw me and went back the way he came, but in a sickly slow, hobbling manner.  He also had an unusually short tail with scabby parts on it.

He moved so slow that I had time to go out and follow him down the block until he disappeared behind the fence of an abandoned house near 22nd & E. Columbia.

It seems like a bad situation, both for the raccoon and any people or pets who might encounter it, so I called up Seattle Animal Control.  Their response: they can only help with sick raccoons if they’re completely immobile or confined by a citizen.  Or they can come pick up the carcass if he actually dies.

So if you’re anywhere between 20th & 23rd, Cherry & Marion, you might want to keep your pets inside for a while. And if you see the raccoon around, go ahead and call Animal Control at 206-386-7387 and keep up the pressure for them to come help out.

0 thoughts on “Sick Raccoon Warning

  1. An animal that is acting strangely could be suffering from rabies.

    On the one hand:
    “Rabies is endemic in North Washington,” she said. “Skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and bats are the big five. They’re considered very high-risk. ”

    On the other hand:
    “We agree that currently the risk of rabies from the bite of a raccoon that does not exhibit abnormal behavior appears to be low. However, the lack of an active surveillance system for rabies in Washington State makes it incorrect to assume that there are no raccoons or other wild terrestrial carnivores with rabies in our state.”


    “Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood. They may be unvaccinated and could be infected with rabies”

    “Enjoy wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes from afar. Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans, uncovered compost bins, or pet food left outside.”

  3. Why does Animal Control tell you to stay away from wild animals but at the same time tell you they won’t pick it up unless YOU capture it. Why don’t THEY come out and capture it? Animal control should have the resources (traps, etc) to deal with these situations.

    We had a similar situation where I grew up in rural Ohio…except we had a pack of wild dogs that ran down and killed a neighbors cow. At the same time, there were 2 neighbors with toddlers that could have just as easily been killed by the dogs. Animal control told us WE had to capture and contain the wild dogs and then they would pick them up…and I can say from experience that it’s impossible to capture any wild dogs. Let’s just say that the local farm community had to go on a wild dog hunt to get that situation resolved. I would hope that we would not need to go that far in this situation.

    I’ve also seen quite a few raccoons lately in the 24th/25th/26th & Pine/Pike area…although I’m not sure that it’s your old “stumpy tail” raccoon or another family of raccoons.

  4. I’ve definitely seen some HUGE raccoons near me around 27th and Jefferson/Cherry.

    Slow, almost sickly moving? Absolutely.

    Sick or ill? Sure, if you count obesity.

  5. McLendon Hardware is an excellent local(ish) source for live traps. I’ve had the best luck leaving them out unbaited for a week, then using a
    bit of peanut butter or an open can of tuna to seal the deal.

  6. There are families of racoons that live all over here. They even get along just dandy with the cats. Unless yous seriously suspect rabies, please don’t come after the ones on MY block.

  7. I actually have three in a big maple right outside my window. They’re fun to watch. Just part of living in a city so near wilderness, but definitley best to leave to their own devices.

    As for animal control– they’ll bring traps to you, but you have to set and maintain them. I learned that after my crazy cat lady neighbor fed 20+ cats and then abandoned them when she moved. I can handle wild raccoons. Feral cats are an entirely different matter. They simply aren’t part of the natural equation.

  8. We’ve had a momma raccoon and her offspring under our deck for 5 years. All neighborhood cats are still accounted for they get along peacefully. Rabies shots for kitties and other pets are good things.

  9. Raccoons are why we are so vigilant about locking up our chicken coop right at dusk. We have had to chase them off the roof and have lost several chickens over the years. We keep a wrist rocket by the back door to let them know they aren’t welcome around the girls.

  10. D’ya hear them go crazy during mating season? It was wild last year. Anyway, they were here before most of the houses, so I figure leave ’em alone.

  11. We’ve had one raccoon eyeball our chickens as well, but they are pretty well protected by the fortress coop, and one of the dogs was willing to put herself between the raccoon and the girls tell who’s who.

    I do believe I caught a glimpse of the stump tailed raccoon on an early morning dog walk a few days ago in the 25th and Fir St. area.

  12. I have encountered this raccoon in my backyard before while taking the dog out to go to the bathroom. I live on 27th near Pine. He is not aggressive and stayed to the edge of the fence and moved on pretty quickly. He makes his rounds through the neighborhood on a 2-3 week cycle from what I have observed and spends the night in my cedar tree. We have both suprised eachother before without incident. As a precaution, before letting my dog out in the yard at night, I do a walk of the yard to make sure there are no raccoons there and gently whack the hedges and shrubs that one may hide in to be double sure that the place is safe. Be gentle but keep your distance – this guy with the short tail is not trouble maker and likes to eat my plums in the summer.

  13. my guess is our friend has a stump tail b/c something, maybe a dog, bit it off.

    as a kid, my ol’ dog bit the tail off a squirrel we captured. we took the squirrel 10 miles away and it hopped away into the night. 3 months later while playing football in our neighbors front yard, we witnessed a rabbit-like squirrel hopping around the yard.

  14. Raccoons do not carry rabies here! Not even anywhere on the whole west half of the continent. Nor do skunks, foxes, or coyotes have rabies here. In fact there are NO terrestrial sources or “vector species” in Washington, only bats are a risk. Check the CDC website, it’s very informative. That rabies propaganda is from a sleazy animal trapper who wants your money.

  15. I looked out my window this morning and saw this guy waddling around my neighbor’s yard by her pond on 25th and Pike. Now I kind of want to name him since he is being spotted all over the place!

  16. 24th between Pike and Pine…he is huge, but seemed to be mild mannered not at all bothered by me.

  17. Mamma raccoon last summer took up residence at our place in north Lake Stevens.

    She had 4 little ones and 2 lived.

    It is now almost June and one baby is now grown and never leaves our wooded property.

    I built a covered area to feed her every day dry dog food.
    She eats, plays in her favorite tree and gets along well with our cat who
    enjoys her company.
    I never pet her but talk to her all the time.
    She lounges in our yard, never eats or destroys out garden or fruit trees
    and is a joy to have around.

    Her mom comes at times along with the little girls brother.
    They all seem to get along well.

    The food area is about 80 feet from our back porch and they pretty well stay that distance from the house.

    Regardless what neighbors might think or fear raccoons I can say they have been great to co-exist with.


    Raccoons certainly don’t deserve their horrible reputation. They are very social animals and so get along with alot of different animals. They live well together, and they do tend to be slow and careful , and do have issues with obestity as they love to eat. City coons certainly can find more junk food. They can be out in the day, especially if they are hungry, so seeing one out in the daytime doesn’t mean it’s a sick coon. And I think they certainly can co exist with cats just fine.