Venice, the family pet and our baby. Rescued victim of the BP oil spill
About a month after the BP Oil spill, my girlfriend and I went down to Venice, LA to see the staging areas for the clean-up of the oil spill. We fish there often, twice a month, the wildlife, the cypress trees and the lilies; and marks it one of our favorite places to fish. Due to the staging area we had to pull off the side of the road to allow the unusual heavy traffic pass us. While on side of the road we decided to take some pictures of some lily flowers that were growing on the water’s edge. Near the edge of the overgrowth, we discovered a raccoon that had been hit by a car and crying beside her was a new-borne baby raccoon. He was only a day or two old. The mom was dead, and both were full of ants. His eyes weren’t open, his ears weren’t open, and being that close to the water’s edge, they were bound to be eaten by the ants and gators. My girlfriend picked him up, brushed him all off and got out the first aid kit and put Neosporin on his little hands and feet that were eaten up by the ants. We brought him home, and downloaded instructions and did some research on how to take care of him and how to feed him. We had to bottle feed him every 3 to 4 hours for the first 6 weeks. After that it went to only 4 or 5 times a day. Rachel, my girlfriend, nurtured Venice as if it were her child. And in fact, it was. His eyes started to open up and would play as a puppy would. Venice is now 3 months and 8 days old. He lives inside and uses a litter box and pretty much roams the house as a dog or a cat would. Every night he would climb into our bed and curl up between us and sleep. We had a long cable run in the back yard where he could travel the distance of the back yard on a leash. You would find Venice playing and splashing in the pool with my 4 year old son, they were best friends. Every morning and every afternoon, we would get out the leash and Venice would get so excited, he would run around in circles because he knew it was time to go for a walk to the bus stop to wait for Chris to get off the bus. Then on Thursday, August 26, 2010, at 4 pm, Rachel and I, got out the leash and headed to the bus stop, only to find St. Tammany Parish Animal Control waiting for us to walk with Venice down the street. The officer informed us that a neighbor reported that we had a raccoon as a pet, and that it’s against the law to own one in St. Tammany Parish. They took away a part of our family. My girlfriend feels like somebody stole her child from her and my 4 year old is devastated.
They would not tell us where Venice would be going, and having the vision of him locked up in a cage angers me. We don’t live in the city, and wouldn’t really call it the country, but I have had deer walk through my back yard, even a fox or two, and there are about a dozen or two wild raccoons that have roamed this neighborhood for the 19yrs that I have lived in this house! I realize they are considered a nuisance to most, but Venice never hurt anyone. It has been reported in some cases, that pet raccoons tend to get aggressive when they get older and, it has also been reported that they can be very good pets and lifelong friends. On the other hand it has been reported that dogs like pit bulls boxers and other medium size dogs tend to attack children, turn on their owners and have even killed in some instances and they roam my neighborhood every day. I ask why someone would do this to a four year old and his family. They confiscated the family pet! ONE WOULD HAVE TO BE A VERY SHALLOW AND MISERABLE PERSON IN LIFE TO DO SUCH A THING TO THI NEIGHBOR.