A baby raccoon was euthanized after a woman brought the animal to a Maine Petco store for a nail trim and let strangers kiss it, authorities said.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in a Facebook post said the agency is seeking information about the woman who brought the potentially rabies-infected raccoon to the Auburn Petco store on Mt. Auburn Avenue to have its nails trimmed at around 1:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
The raccoon tested negative for rabies, meaning anyone who came into contact with the animal won’t need to seek treatment, the agency said. The test requires that the animal be euthanized, according to the CDC's explanation.
Many people handled the racoon and some even kissed it while the woman waited at the store, the agency said.
Raccoons are one of the state’s most common carriers of rabies.
Once the store manager became aware of the situation, they asked the woman to leave the store and contacted the Maine CDC and the Maine Warden Service.
It is illegal to possess wildlife in Maine, and Petco reportedly does not trim raccoon nails.
“Keep Wildlife Wild” and “If you care, leave them there,” the agency said.
Anyone with information about the woman with the raccoon is asked to contact the Maine Warden Service at 1-800-452-4664.