Local news of the weird: ‘Racoon trainer’ sought in Asheville

A new job listing on Asheville Craiglist seeks a “Racoon Trainer” who hopes “to do well while doing good.”

However, at a suggested compensation level of $20 a week, the anonymous poster apparently isn’t referring to doing well financially. The low-paying, risky job also requires that a worker “sign a rabies waiver.”

Here’s how the poster describes the position:

I am in search of someone who is willing to domesticate raccoons. These rodents are dying in droves and we need to keep them off the streets. Raccoons also happen to be highly intelligent, and the tasks that they are capable of performing far outshine those of a service animal. In one year’s time, the progress would be documented and we would assess our direction based on the performance of both raccoon and trainer. Pay is negotiable, but this must be thought of as a public service. Interested parties would be required to sign a rabies waiver. Weekly updates required by photo to document progress.


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10 thoughts on “Local news of the weird: ‘Racoon trainer’ sought in Asheville

  1. murphy

    Aren’t there State laws about this sort of thing… if one can’t catch an opossum for a New Year’s eve celebration it seems highly unlikely that a “raccon ‘ranger” would be legal.

  2. I found this (below) from the state senate. Seems like it’s legal as long as you’re over 16, etc, etc.

    SESSION 1995
    S 1
    Short Title: Raccoons As Pets. (Public)

    8 “( g) The Wildlife Resources Commission shall issue a captivity license authorizing
    9 the possession of a raccoon as a personal pet to an individual providing satisfactory
    10 documentation of the following:
    11 (1) The person possessing the raccoon is 16 years of age or older;
    12 (2) The person has, or is able to provide within 30 days of the issuance of
    13 the license, adequate caging facilities for the raccoon. Adequate caging
    14 facilities for a raccoon are as follows:
    15 a. For each raccoon, a cage six feet by five feet, by six feet high,
    16 with two climbing limbs and a resting shelf;
    17 b. For each additional raccoon, increase case length by two feet;
    Page 2 SENATE BILL 722 version 1
    1 (3) The raccoon will be kept in an appropriate neighborhood such that
    2 neither possession of the raccoon nor the required caging facilities will
    3 violate local zoning or building ordinances;
    4 (4) Certification from a licensed veterinarian that the raccoon has received
    5 the following schedule of vaccinations:
    6 a. Rabies, initially at 16 weeks of age, and annually thereafter;
    7 b. Canine distemper virus, initially at eight weeks, 12 weeks, and 16
    8 weeks of age, and annually thereafter.
    9 If the raccoon is too young to have completed the schedule of required
    10 vaccinations at the time it is acquired and application for the license
    11 made, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall issue a temporary
    12 license valid for the period of time necessary to complete the
    13 vaccination schedule, not to exceed 16 weeks. If the vaccinations are
    14 not completed and certification is not provided prior to the expiration of
    15 the temporary license, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall take
    16 possession of the raccoon.

    It goes on and on… but the simple answer seems to be that, within the proper parameters, it is legal.

    And check out this for fun, and a more concise answer for anyone that needs it: http://mypetraccoons.com/raccoonwebsite_006.html

    • murphy

      That legislation is dated 1995… I feel certain that it has been updated in the 20 years since then.

      • They should make the current laws available if they have changed shouldn’t they? That was all that my search turned up, and no one has posted anything official to counter that. I am not saying that it seems like it SHOULD be legal, I just can’t find any information saying that it isn’t.

  3. Ritchie

    I think there’s potential here for a smart and overpopulated animal to perform a service. If it would help, I’ll kick in $5 too. But at the end is like to meet the raccoon.

  4. Kevin

    In my old neighborhood there was a raccoon that could sort the trash, very ably separating recyclables from non-recyclables, with no training whatsoever. I think that individual might have been a bit of an outliner on the raccoon intelligence scale, but still, it speaks to the tremendous potential of the species. I’d like to contribute to the cause by offering another $5 towards weekly compensation of a qualified candidate for the position.

  5. Laurie

    It’s illegal in NC to even rehabilitate an injured or orphaned raccoon. I am guessing that information is outdated. It’s not legal to possess any indigenous wildlife as pets. I helped Fish and Wildlife confiscate red squirrels from someone that was keeping them as pets and it’s not even rabies vector.

    • Watt Age

      Laurie, do you have any info that you could pass along to help the parties responsible for the Craigslist ad so that they might move along as close to the letter of the law as possible?

  6. Big Al

    Any reason why such a hostile raccoon image was picked for this story? Raccoons are people too… sort of.

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