Would you rather live with five dead raccoons or several live squirrels? One New York home had both.

A wildlife rehabilitator may be giving cat ladies a run for their money. Instead of being overrun with felines, she's letting in raccoons and squirrels, and her neighbors weren't happy.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received tips in early March about a wildlife rehabilitator accepting raccoons at her home in Merrick, New York. Officers were told the animals often escaped, roamed free in the woman's vehicle or could be found dead in the garbage.

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Turns out, the rehabilitator did not have a rabies vector species license, required to take in any raccoons. She also had animals everywhere, dead and alive.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Raccoons, Squirrels, Possum, Oh MY!

When Environmental Conservation Officers and DEC Wildlife Biologists searched the home, they found five dead raccoons and a possum in crates or the garbage outside.

Inside, a mourning dove, an eastern box turtle, and many squirrels were found. All animals the rehabilitator is not permitted to possess.

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Squirrels are allowed as long as the guidelines of preventing them from becoming habituated to human contact are followed.

Several Tickets Issued

Officers issued four violation notices for illegal possession and transportation of rabies vector species. The woman was also given tickets for two counts of illegal possession of protected wildlife, and failure to comply with terms of a wildlife rehabilitator’s permit. Her rehabilitator’s license is also under review by DEC’s Division of Wildlife.

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