RSPCA warning over keeping raccoon dogs as pets
The RSPCA has issued a warning against what it says is a growing trend for keeping raccoon dogs as pets.
It comes after one was found hiding under a water tank in a garden at Kirton Holme, near Boston, Lincolnshire, over the Easter weekend.
Inspector Becky Harper said: "While he is very cute, we'd like to stress that raccoon dogs don't make good pets."
"They are wild animals and we would strongly discourage people from buying or keeping one," she said.
"They need a great deal of space, and their needs cannot be met in a typical domestic environment."
The RSPCA said it had dealt with a number of call-outs in recent years to stray pet raccoon dogs that have escaped, or been deliberately released to the wild.
Ms Harper added that the animals posed a high level of threat to our native wildlife.
The raccoon dog - now nicknamed Cedric by RSPCA staff - is being cared for at a specialist centre after efforts to trace its owners failed.
He is due to be re-homed to a specialist keeper.
- Raccoon dogs are native to East Asia
- They have a similar face to a raccoon but are a member of the canine family
- Raccoon dogs stay with a partner for life
- They are known to feed on amphibians and ground-nesting birds, and are being culled in some countries due to the risk they pose to native wildlife