A pet raccoon was executed after couple brought it into a store to buy food

And just who domesticated who, anyway?

^^^ This.

I’ve long suspected most of the traits I admire in humans are the result of selection pressure and viral mediated lateral gene transfer from our close association with dogs. We’re weird apes.


Having just finished watching a documentary about puppy mills in my country… dogs, why didn’t you do a better job, for your own sake. :frowning: (It was really sad and upsetting, and they barely even showed actual animals. Just, the whole reality of it.)

Anyway, aside of seconding what everyone said about not encouraging people to keep wild animals as pets… how come they were actually allowed in the store with the raccoon? Over here most stores of, well, any kind don’t allow entry with animals (except service dogs, or not even those if the staff is dickish enough). Cafés and whatnot can be pet friendly but grocery, pet food, etc. stores, no way.

Not by keeping wild animals until they magically become domesticated. If you want evidence of how a wild animal is not a pet regardless of its parents having lived in captivity or how much love and care it received from its owner, and how unpredictable they can be… well, here’s a particularly tragic one:

(Hell, even domesticated animals can very well be unpredictable. That’s why you shouldn’t throw yourself at any random dog or cat you come across, they may not appreciate it.)


And now they might want to check for roundworm.

According to Paula Smith, who is familiar with all kinds of poop, Raccoon droppings are “radioactive.” She may be referring to the fact that it may contain parasitic roundworms and their eggs. If accidentally inhaled, roundworm infections can lead to irreversible brain, heart, or eye damage.


In 30 years of cleaning stuff we’ve been contracted several times to clean up racoon infestations after the animals have moved on.

Raccoons actually create toilet areas. Tyvek suit with pant legs and sleeves securely taped closed, layers of gloves and, most importantly, a respirator.

That crap is seriously dangerous.

The plus side is no one wants to clean it so I can name just about any price. Finding dead animals is another icky job.

But, it ain’t the racoons fault their poop can be deadly or at the very least dangerous.



war machine marvel GIF by Box Office Buz


A wild animal raised by humans might or might not be tame but it will never be domesticated. Domestication is a process that occurs over many, many generations as the animal is bred for behaviors that make it amenable to living with humans. Since even mammals that live relatively solitary lives are usually raised by parent(s) and often have siblings, this usually involves a bit of neoteny where the genes for the behaviors AND appearance of young animals are bred for. Tame animals may have young behaviors reinforced, but the genetic drives to adult behaviors are always present. That is always a crapshoot, sometimes “tame” animals will live out their lives in peace with their keepers. Sometimes when they reach adulthood their behavior will render them impossible to live with. Sometimes they will suddenly “turn” and be a hazard to their humans or others.

Similarly, feralwild After 100s of generations of breeding to get along with humans, we can’t assume that the behaviors exhibited by feral animals are good indicators of the behavior of their wild predecessors. Feral cats often live in colonies in ways that the wild species that gave rise to domestic housecats generally do not.


Cats meowing is cats talking to humans as if we are kittens.

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Take your pick. There’s been a lot of them.

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As someone who lives in rural Tennessee and has raised practically every kind of animal at one time or another, i would just like to say… raccoons either want to hang around or they don’t. You can bottle feed and hand raise one and it still hate you or you can befriend one as an adult and it still love you. If these people had one that was chill enough to go to a pet store with them, then there was no reason to screw with it. Much less hunt it down and kill it.


The tragedy is that we never really can know what set Travis off… it could have been the xanax he was dosed with (That was very stupid, to give a prescription medication to a nonhuman who might not react the same way a human would) or he could have had some kind of chimp alzheimers that caused him to be irrational.

Humans go violent like this too for no apparent reason, sometimes, but we’re less dangerous than chimps unless we have weapons. The difference is that we can usually talk to the human afterwards and say, “WTF?”

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Actually that’s not true - it’s a very cute idea but it’s a misconception. It’s more accurate to say that they talk to us as if they were kittens, because this is the only communication humans understand. They also use a lot of kitten-like behavior with us, partly because that’s behavior us humans understand, and also because they know we enjoy that behavior so this way they can endear themselves to us, ensuring their own safety and constant food supply. There are some theories that domesticated dogs and cats are, at this point, essentially very cute, furry parasites who have evolved to develop an ideally codependent relationship with us, and instinctively use us to their own evolutional advantage. I’m kind of inclined to agree… :smiley:

Compared to cats we are very large creatures whose attention is difficult to get, who can’t process normal cat communication (scents, subtle body language, etc), also our communication is based on sound. So cats meow because that’s how they can get our attention and keep our attention until they get what they want.

The really cute thing though! Due to their longer and more human-involved domestication process, humans and dogs are extremely attuned to one another, and so dogs have evolved to have specific sounds and means of communication specifically for humans. Cats don’t have this, and so cats actually customize their meowing to the individual humans in their life, and mother cats pass this on to their kittens. So basically each cat and their human have their own specific language (or dialect, I guess).

This also means that cats, being clever little bastards, figure out pretty easily at what pitch and loudness they should meow at their human to get the human do what they want, by trying various options and gauging our reactions. And then there’s that specific meow they use that imitates a human baby’s cry, that they use when they really want something and want it now - because this immediately activates our “MUST HELP BABY” instinct.

(Our current cat is extremely vocal, and she’s also incredibly attuned to every human she comes in contact with, almost to dog-like extent - she’s very determined to make this “living together” thing work. Our old cat wasn’t this sociable, but he had a great kind of meow that he used when we gave him food he didn’t like. He would sit down, look at his bowl, look at us, and do this meow that obviously meant “you want me to eat this crap? seriously?


I don’t know where ‘here’ is for you, but here (Cambridge, UK) both the major pet supply stores let people take well-behaved pets inside. In practice this means people wandering round the store with their dogs and trying to persuade Fido not to eat the food displays.

Under our Equality Act it’s illegal to refuse entry to an assistance dog, though there are dickish staff that still do so. There’s a maximum fine of £1,000 for this though most of the cases that make it to court seem to be taxi drivers refusing to carry a person and their assistance dog.

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I’ve lived with some people that are probably worse than a wild raccoon. Wouldn’t bring them to a pet store either though.


Just curious- does she have any Maine coon cat? Our last two did and match this description to a t. One would even play fetch.
Delightful creatures!


The one specifically in Harlem? 2003. I would have heard about it if it happened again.

It seems the tiger passed on of old age in 2019, probably why the Times re-published some coverage then. Also, my apartment has the same exact window guards as the one in the photo…


None of our cats are particularly vocal unless they are in their carrier on the way to the vet, then they talk and talk.

The only exception is our very old deaf guy. He can’t hear a thing but he talks the most. I suspect he can fell vibrations or it’s just instinct to meow, whatever it is he talks a lot.


Its pronounced Gen. Zod!


I grew up in Alberta and had a pet rat. It’s the last rat free place on the planet and yeah, they would kill the rat and fine me 2000$ if discovered. I moved to BC.


That’s terrible. I had pet rats when I was growing up and they were wonderful.