Dogs are said to be man’s best friend, but this woman found another best friend that she even took with her when she went drinking.
On September 6, 38-year-old Erin Christensen went to Maddock Bar in Maddock, North Dakota during happy hour. One would usually bring their friends, but this time, Christensen brought a wild raccoon with her. She even showed it to bar attendees around the room.
A week later, she was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of lying to authorities, tampering with evidence, and illegal possession of an animal. Maximum punishment for the charges is up to two years in prison and a fine of $7,500.
According to North Dakota law, keeping wild animals, such as raccoons, is illegal. After her arrest, the raccoon was unfortunately euthanized, to the owner’s great distress.
About three months ago, the raccoon was found by Christensen and her family at the side of the road. She said that she was treating it for injuries. They were planning on eventually releasing it back into the wild. Christensen and her family named the animal Rocky, perhaps a reference to the famous Beatles song.
Christensen has also shared her side of the story. According to her, the authorities were not really worried about injury to people. Instead, they prioritized killing the animal and sending the owner to jail.
The animal was reported to have tested negative for rabies. Cindy Smith, the bartender at Maddock Bar, also said that it never harmed anyone when it was taken to the bar.
Maddock is a town of about 500 people, approximately 85 miles from the Canadian border.