Maine woman brings raccoons to Petco for unconventional pet spa experience

Petco employees in Maine were asked to trim an unusual customer’s nails after a woman brought a feral raccoon into the store to have her nails trimmed.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said in a Facebook post that it was not a good idea and illegal. The agency first said the woman may have exposed humans to rabies when she brought the mammals to the pet store on Tuesday, May 23.

“Owning wild animals is illegal in Maine and Petco does not clip raccoon nails,” according to the wildlife agency said in a Facebook postthat she “may have exposed herself and others to rabies.”

A woman and a raccoon

On May 23, 2023, a woman brought a raccoon to a Petco store in Auburn, Maine to have its nails trimmed, prompting the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife to ask for help finding her. (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife)

While waiting at the store in Auburn, Maine, people’s curiosity got the better of them and they held the raccoon, some even kissed it, officials said.

“A lot of different people touched the raccoon and some even kissed it,” officials said.

Two young children injured in bear attack in Pennsylvania: officials

Eventually, the store manager found out about the wild raccoon and asked the unknown woman with the raccoon to leave the store.

The store manager promptly called the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Maine Warden Service because officials didn’t know if the raccoon had exposed unsuspecting shoppers to rabies.

Women hold raccoons

Officials released surveillance photos of a Maine Petco showing the woman holding the raccoon. (TMane Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife)

In an update on Friday, May 26, the agency said the furry friend had tested negative for rabies and buyers were not required to seek rabies treatment.

The Wildlife Authority advised residents of the potential dangers of bringing wild animals indoors and reminded residents to “keep the wildlife wild.”


Raccoons are one of the most common carriers of rabies in Maine, the agency said. Rabies is fatal unless treated after exposure.

The agency said that rabies is transmitted through the saliva or nerve tissue of a rabid animal, and a person can be exposed if that saliva or nerve tissue of the rabid animal contacts a person through a bite or scratch, a cut in the skin, or the like gets in your eyes, nose or mouth.

Woman holds raccoon

In an update to their original post, they said the raccoon had tested negative for rabies, so those who came into contact with it would not need to seek treatment. (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife)


Authorities are still looking for the woman who brought the animal for a pedicure at Petco. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife shared images of the woman clutching the raccoon at the Petco store.

Petco urged residents to contact the Maine Warden Service at 1-800-452-4664 if they have any information about the woman depicted in the surveillance video.

Related Articles

Back to top button