- According to The Bismark Tribune, Erin Christensen was arrested after bringing her pet Raccoon to a bar.
- Authorities raided Christensen’s house and killed the raccoon on the spot, taking his body to be tested for disease, she said.
- The family organized a fundraiser to pay Christensen’s legal costs and make a donation to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The family of a woman in North Dakota who sneaks out to police collects money after saying local police shot their raccoon over fear of rabies.
Erin Christensen, 38, and her family raise money for GoFundMe to cover legal costs after she was accused of causing panic at a local bar in Maddock, North Dakota when she brought a domestic raccoon back, she wrote on a fundraiser.
The family looked after a raccoon named Rocky, which recovered for three months, The Bismark Tribune reported.
Christensen found the animal on the roadside in June, according to the fundraiser.
“Rocky was found about 3 months ago this evening, he was lonely, scared, hungry, we decided not to involve him because maybe his mom will come to help him, the next day he was still in the same place so we took him in,” the family wrote on the collection site money.
“We worked very hard to rehabilitate him back in the wild, we bottle-fed him, we looked after him, he was still bottle-fed when he left, and he was still learning how to feed the food we put around trees and obstacles,” added the family.
According to the Tribune, on September 6, police reported that Christensen was taking Rocky to a local bar in Maddock during happy hour.
Cindy Smith, who was a bartender at the time, said there were about ten people in the bar, and Rocky never bit anyone in the five minutes he spent at the bar.
“I saw that she was carrying something and I asked her what it was and she showed me and I said, ‘You have to get it out of here,'” Smith told the Tribune. – I had no idea what she was thinking.
According to the Tribune, the incident prompted the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to issue a warning about the potential exposure to rabies.
“Rocky never left my arms when I visited the Maddock bar, so who was at risk of rabies or other illnesses?” Christensen stated on GoFundMe.
Christensen was arrested Wednesday after the Benson County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department executed a search warrant.
Scott Winkelman, head of the game and fish protection division, told the Tribune that Christensen was trying to evade the authorities.
The Benson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Sunday.
According to the family’s GoFundMe statement, authorities promised them to quarantine Rocky and release him unless he showed any signs of rabies.
According to the Tribune, authorities raided Christensen’s house in search of Rocky and killed the raccoon on the spot, taking his body for disease testing.
“Police brought a battering ram to break down the front door of the house Rocky was in at the time of his death,” Christensen told GoFundMe. “The amount of manpower used to find and kill Rocky, with the simultaneous raids on three different residences, is impressive. A campaign of shock and admiration ”.
Rocky tested negative for rabies, according to a statement on GoFundMe.
Christensen was arrested on suspicion of giving false information to law enforcement and manipulating evidence. According to the Tribune, she also received a violation of the rules of the game and the fish for illegal possession of a furry.
The accusations are offenses that together would result in a maximum penalty of several years in prison and a total fine of $ 7,500, the portal said. Christensen is currently free of $ 1,500 bonds, the Tribune said.
“The impact on my family is that my children are confused and frightened by the excessive force that was used in purchasing this animal,” Christensen told GoFundMe. “This is undermining the trust they have in local law enforcement. My children are devastated and inconsolable ”.
The family raises money for GoFundMe to not only pay Christensen’s legal fees, but also donate most of the money to wildlife rehabilitation centers in memory of Rocky.
“Rocky was only a few months old, he was the sweetest, most loving little boy everyone loved, there was never a dull moment around him, he was so damn intelligent and always happy,” she told GoFundMe.