This is, by far, the craziest (and most dangerous!) encounter I've had with someone who's giving me an animal.
Kaitlyn called me back in April because she had found a baby raccoon. Her first question to me was "Are you going to kill it?" I should've known that this was going to be a crazy one. I told her that I can't make that promise until I look at the animal, but I do not take euthanasia lightly and I try to avoid it if possible. She told me that she didn't trust a lot of people, and even though everyone she called either told her that they would euthanize it or she should call me, she still wasn't sure about my ability to rehab her baby. I told her that she's welcome to come out to my house that weekend and inspect my "facility" if she wanted to. She promised to call me the next day once she figured out her schedule.
Well, she didn't call at all that weekend, and never answered my six phone calls and voicemails over the next two weeks. I assumed that the raccoon had probably died and she just didn't want to tell me, so I stopped trying to reach her.
You can see where this is going.
This morning, her nickname ("Crazy Lady Who Wants to Interview Me," as I entered her into my phonebook) popped up on my phone. See for a snippet of the phone call I had with Crazy Lady today
She still had the raccoon and it was getting too big so she needed to find a home for it. She said that she was going to give me the raccoon earlier, but she heard a rumor that I kill raccoons, so she wanted to keep it until it was old enough to survive “at [my] hands."
(Side note: 1. I've never heard this about myself, but I don’t hold much stake in what she tells me. Feel free to let me know if I should be concerned, and 2) If I DO just kill animals, then why wouldn’t I just kill this one, regardless of age?).
She said that the raccoon was getting too big to play with her cats and her children (!!!!!!!), so it was time to find her a new home. We agreed that I would stop by her house to pick the raccoon up.
I get to her house and she gives me the raccoon. I put it in the carrier and hand her my intake form to fill out.
"What is this?"
"The Department of Natural Resources requires us to have this information. You don't have to fill out your exact address - just the city and state is fine. If you don't want to fill it out, that's okay - I already have your information. I just need you to initial and sign these two paragraphs..."
"What do they say?"
"It's legal jargon releasing me of liability if you, your dependents, or your pets get sick because you've all been exposed to the raccoon."
"I'm not going to sign that."
At this point, I had already picked up the raccoon and was headed back to my car.
"That's fine, but I will have to keep the raccoon quarantined for two weeks and if it shows any neurological symptoms in that time period, I'll be submitting it for rabies testing."
I had just gotten into my car, put the raccoon on the seat beside me, and (thank God) locked the doors.
"How do you test for rabies?"
"Decapitation and testing of the brain matter."
And then hell broke loose. She started charging at me so I quickly that I put the truck in drive to get away, but not before she had JUMPED ON THE HOOD OF THE TRUCK AND STARTED POUNDING ON THE WINDSHIELD.
I immediately slammed on the brakes and she slid off the truck, grabbing onto the side mirror. I thought she was off, so I tried to go forward again, DRAGGING HER, who was still holding onto the side mirror, in the process. I stopped fairly immediately once I realized that no, she had not, in fact, let go of the truck.
She wasn't hurt, but she screamed for her children (who were inside) to call 911, presumably because I had "stolen her raccoon and I was going to kill it." She had 911 on the phone and I told her "Ma'am, if you get the police to come out here, you will get fined and possibly jail time for keeping a raccoon as a pet. This raccoon will be euthanized and tested in that situation." She hung up the phone.
I explained to her that the raccoon is not showing any neurological symptoms right now and I don't suspect she will, but I have people sign that liability waiver just in case. I said it was to protect me and my family in the event that anything happened, and if she refused to sign it, then I would need to submit the raccoon for testing. She started yelling at me and calling me every name in the book. I opened up my window a crack, offered the paper for her to sign, but she refused and threatened to tell everyone she knew not to contact me if they had wild animals that needed to be saved. Okay, crazy lady.
She also proceeded to tell me that there was a vet's office in Alpharetta who could do a test that wouldn't require euthanizing the animal (while there IS a test like that available, it is NOT FDA approved, it's in the early trial stages, and the test manufacturer warns that it is not very accurate). I explained this to her, and also explained that when it comes down to it, her children's lives are more important than the raccoons. She was calmer now, and had managed to step back some, had stepped far enough back from the truck that I felt comfortable driving off without possibly hitting her, so I drove off.
I managed to keep my cool pretty well while in the situation, but it was extremely scary. When she was on the hood of the truck, there were only two things flashing in my mind: Get Out Of This Situation Now and Don’t Hurt Her. Those two thoughts could not be accomplished at once.
Crazy lady never told me what she named this raccoon, so Dustin came up with a name for her “CBR” (pronounced “Coober”) – Crazy Bitch’s Raccoon. ;-)