February 12, 2018 1:24 am
Updated: February 12, 2018 1:15 pm

Okanagan woman struggled to find help as raccoon camped out in back stairway

An Okanagan resident is speaking out in frustration after a seriously-injured raccoon spent nearly three days in her back stairway. Jules Knox reports. A warning some viewers might find some of the images disturbing.

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UPDATE: Conservation officers have euthanized the raccoon.

Original story

A Penticton resident had an unwelcome guest at the bottom of her back stairway for nearly three days.

On Friday afternoon, Shery Halliburton found a raccoon in her back stairwell.

She later heard the animal scrap with other raccoons, and he hasn’t moved from her stairway since. She thinks he has broken bones.

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“He’s not eating. He’s not drinking. I don’t think he’s able to go,” Halliburton said.

Three days later, her 11-year-old daughter has now named him Jefferson Cutie Pie.

Halliburton said she’s given the raccoon food and water, but he doesn’t appear to have touched it.

“I feel like he’s suffering. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lay there and have nobody to help you, and he’s dying, he has to be dying,” she said.

READ MORE: How to handle raccoons properly

Halliburton said she’s called multiple agencies seeking help but without luck.

“I phoned the RCMP again last night, and they told me they had too many files, and they said that conservation doesn’t deal with this. They said phone the SPCA. I phoned the SPCA. The SPCA doesn’t work after five o’clock and not on Sundays and holidays, so I got the emergency number at the coast, and they said call the RCMP,” she said.

“So I’m going around and around and around in circles,” she added. “And whether or not he’s a pest, he’s suffering.”

Halliburton’s daughter turned to Facebook to explain the situation, and people in the community came forward.

Stephen Bradley, a stranger to the family, saw the post and came over to offer help on Sunday morning.

“It can’t just stay down there like that to suffer, so I thought if no one’s going to come deal with it, I’ll come give them a hand,” he said.

“It’s frustrating. I think conservation should be available on weekends to deal with problems like this a lot quicker.”

Halliburton said a conservation officer finally did show up on Sunday afternoon and took the raccoon away.

Halliburton is still disappointed official help took so long.

“It’s pretty frustrating. It’s a living thing, and whether or not it’s a pest, it still shouldn’t have to suffer,” she said.

The fate of the raccoon is unknown, as conservation officers could not be reached for comment.

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