Believing Raccoon on His Property to Be Sick, New Canaan Man Shoots the Animal Dead


Concerned that a raccoon he judged to be sick would travel off of his own property and come into direct contact with a person somewhere else, a Lukes Wood Road man last week took the rare step of shooting the animal dead, officials say.

It happened at about 7:33 p.m. on Monday, Sept 8, according to a police report. An animal control officer responding to a call about a sick raccoon at the arrived at the 4-acre residential property and found that the owner had killed the animal with his own shotgun, police said.

Animal Control Officer Maryann Kleinschmitt said the man’s weapon is legal and registered, that he’s a licensed hunter and that technically he’s within his rights to do what he did.

“But I do wish he hadn’t done that because if something does happen [such as with a stray bullet], then it is a police matter,” Kleinschmitt said.

It isn’t clear just why the man didn’t wait for police to arrive, since raccoons that are sick typically are very slow-moving.

Asked how often New Canaanites take matters into their own hands in this way, Kleinschmitt said, “Not too often, but this guy is a hunter.”

It happens “every once in a while,” she said.

Since the animal is not believed to have come into contact with a human or domestic pet, police didn’t have the raccoon’s carcass tested for rabies, Kleinschmitt said. Another reason police prefer to dispatch animals themselves is that in cases where contact is suspected, it’s important not to damage the brain in shooting an animal dead, since the testing for rabies involves sampling brain tissue.

One thought on “Believing Raccoon on His Property to Be Sick, New Canaan Man Shoots the Animal Dead

  1. Thanks to this homeowner for doing the right thing and destroying this possibly rabid animal before it could infect another animal or person. I hope he does not get into trouble for doing the right thing when it needed to be done and not waiting for someone to show up from town – which might have been too late and the sick raccoon might have gotten away.

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