‘For most people, a raccoon is not a good pet,’ says Caryn.
‘They require constant supervision and they are so much more intelligent than a dog or cat.
‘They can literally unlock your front door and walk right out.’
‘Most raccoons won’t answer to their owners but he will answer me and come when I call him, it’s pretty cool!
‘I got him September 9th of 2019 and I’m currently on the list for a baby raccoon, from the breeder.
‘We got him from a young couple when he was just under five months old.
Breathe easy. In addition to sweating through their paw pads, dogs pant to cool themselves off. A panting dog can take 300-400 breaths (compared to his regular 30-40) with very little effort.
‘Exotic pets like raccoons can’t be brought to a shelter or humane society and they can never be released into the wild.
‘They are euthanised unless you can find someone willing to adopt them. We took on the challenge!’Rebel quickly settled in and bonded with Caryn’s eight-year-old dog, Remington, becoming fast friends.
Caryn says: ‘They are best friends, so much so that when Remington goes outside, Rebel paces back and forth at the door chattering until his friend is back.’
That friendship is important, as raccoons hate being alone. They are pack animals so need constant companionship.
Rebel lives indoors most of the time, but likes to go on boat rides all summer – as Caryn lives on a lake.
He has his own enclosure complete with a hammock, where he snoozes.
He requires special care, including regular vet checks and a feeding cage, as he’s a messy eater.
‘Raccoons eat what we eat,’ says Caryn, ‘it’s a balance of meat and protein and fruits and vegetables.
basic obedience training
‘He loves eggs, and eats one every day for breakfast. He also gets a raw chicken leg once a week and eats it bone and all.’Caryn’s lifestyle in rural Indiana allows her to keep Rebel, but she’s keen to tell people that raccoons aren’t ideal pets for the average person.
She explains: ‘Rebel uses a litter box just like a cat and they are trainable to an extent, but raccoons are very stubborn and will only listen to commands when they want to.
‘To live with a raccoon you must live on their time and their schedule. I have a very flexible schedule, so it works…but it wouldn’t work for the average person.
‘Living with a raccoon is learning their moods and body language. It’s a daily struggle to entertain them.
‘But the cuteness and love they exude far outweighs the trouble and mischief they cause.’Do you have a story to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]Metro.co.uk .