A baby raccoon that was abandoned by her mother has now found a loving home with the Kemp family in the Bahamas and their two rescue dogs.
It’s hard not to say no when your kid brings home a dog they might have found walking alone, or an animal that looked to be in some kind of trouble. They promise to take care of it, pick up after it, and even give it a nice bath in your squeaky clean bathroom. Soon this dog or whatever creature they find is part of your family, and do you know what is the best part? You made your son or daughter the happiest person on earth. What could be better than that?
For one resident in Nassau in the Bahamas, it wasn’t a dog that she found abandoned and alone. Rosie Kemp found a baby raccoon with a broken leg in her yard. While raccoons get bad raps for destroying gardens, rummaging around in garbage cans and being a nuisance to homeowners, Kemp believed she needed to help out this little animal. Kemp saw that the baby cub had fallen from a tree in her yard and waited to see if its mom would show. After not seeing the little animal’s mom for some time, Kemp did the next best thing – she took it home with her, named the baby girl Pumpkin, fed her and kept her warm until she recovered from her injury.
The one-month-old raccoon was now a part of the Kemp’s family. Pumpkin moved in with Rosie, her husband William and the couple’s two rescue dogs, Toffee and Oreo, whom Pumpkin has gotten on extremely well with. “Raising her was (and still is) a full-time job,” Kemp’s daughter, Laura Young said, adding, “They are so unbelievably intelligent, very aware, and I would say they are even able to express emotions.”
It is true that raccoons are very intelligent animals. These animals possess amazing dexterity with the ability to open doors and latches. They are also skilled climbers, which allows them to access food and shelter. According to Havahart, raccoons can communicate with one another using over 200 different sounds and 15 different calls. While these animals live up to 2-3 years in the wild, they can live up to twenty years in captivity. The Kemp family is going to have Pumpkin for a very, very long time.
Raising Pumpkin with her two other dogs, she has begun to act like them as well. Now a year old, Young has said that Pumpkin likes to play rough with the two adopted dogs but knows when it’s time to back off. Images show the raccoon hugging one of the dogs and even “instantly bonding” with the pups, following them around all the time. The dogs love Pumpkin too, with one happily licking her when she got sick. “She instantly bonded with us and our two rescue dogs and follows me and our two dogs everywhere we go,” Young said. “She now thinks she is a dog … she is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough.”
Thankfully, owning a raccoon in the Bahamas is legal and there isn’t the same threat of rabies as there is in the United States. However, these animals are wild and can get “moody” when confined in a small space or house. Because the Kemp family took care of Pumpkin at such a young age, she missed developing in the wild and according to reports, “it is unclear whether she would now be able to thrive on her own.”
It does appear that Pumpkin is developing well living in a house. Young said that she enjoys the air conditioning and “people food” like watermelon and eggs. In fact, the raccoon even knows how to use the toilet.
Pumpkin is also a social media maven. The one-year-old is on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can follow her and watch videos of her playing with Toffee and Oreo and eating some of her delicious meals. There are also tons of cute photos of Pumpkin lounging around, exploring her home and touching noses with one of Kemp’s dogs.
Before you consider a raccoon as a pet, check if the state you live in allows it. In many states it is illegal to own a raccoon and some states require a permit. However, taking care and raising a raccoon is not an easy task, they are wild animals and need different attention and care.