Raccoons Eating Dog Food
Occurred on August 6, 2016 / Shawnee, Kansas, USA
Info from Licensor: "We moved into a house in 2009 with lots of woods and wildlife around. We put up bird feeders in 2010 and then began noticing other wildlife cleaning up after the birds.First, we saw an opossum and eventually some raccoons, fox, skunks, and bats. The raccoons were the most exploratory. They weren't satisfied with just cleaning up after the birds, they wanted to get to the feeders. We then found them coming up to our deck and trying to reach the feeders. After raising them, they'd still spend time on our deck looking for alternate ways. Eventually, we decided to throw some peanuts on the patio below to try and keep them off the deck. That worked, for a while. Then they seemed to call all their friends and family.Peanuts can be expensive, so we threw out some cat food one night and they seemed to be happy with it. We then got some cheap dog food from Wal-Mart. We've had the same alpha male coming up for at least 6 years. He disappears during the spring and summer when the babies arrive, but returns in the fall. We had a severely injured female several years ago that would drag herself up to the patio with only the use of her front/left and rear/right legs. We tried to trap her to take her to a rehab place but she was too smart to ever enter the trap.
She eventually got enough food to survive that first winter and has been returning now for 3 or 4 years. That 2nd year, she returned with a litter of her own babies. The alpha male's name is Lefty because he originally came up limping without the use of his front left paw. He eventually healed and although we assumed he was a female (because he was so docile and seemed to let all the others eat first), we eventually saw his junk and realized he was a male. We then saw him turn very aggressive when a strange raccoon would try to come into the patio area. Within a few years, summers would bring 20+ raccoons as they started bringing up their babies each spring. Each fall, it seems like the male babies head off to other territories (or road kill) and we see the female babies returning with their own babies the following spring.
They are a lot of fun to watch, have not been destructive, don't bother our cats in the rare instances where they've escaped. The dog food keeps them happy. It's not a good idea for anyone to do this on purpose and if I could go back in time, I'd NOT go down this route but since I'm here, I have to admit I like them." - John P. McConnell