Please don’t tell Pumpkin she’s not a dog.
The 1-year-old raccoon was rescued as a baby when she fell from a tree in Rosie Kemp’s Nassau, Bahamas, backyard.
Kemp and her daughter, Laura Young, waited for the raccoon’s mother to show up, but when that didn’t happen, they contacted the Bahamas Humane Society. The shelter couldn’t take the raccoon.
“So, with the guidance of friends who have had experience with raccoons, we cared for her,” Young told CBS News. They named her Pumpkin, and had her treated for a leg she broke in the fall, fed her every few hours and kept her warm.
As long as they are kept up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, raccoons are allowed as pets in the Bahamas. Young said if the baby raccoon hadn’t fallen from the tree, she would never consider having one as a pet.
“Raccoons are NOT pets,” Young told The Dodo. “They are wild animals, so they are quite moody. Unlike dogs and cats, they are not domesticated. Like a spoiled child, if she doesn’t get her way, she will let you know.”
Young said she and her mom intend to give Pumpkin the best life possible.
But it seems like a challenge to that best life would be two other rescued pets of Kemp and Young: dogs Toffee and Oreo. Could a raccoon actually live happily ever after in a house with two predators?
Amazingly, yes. Apparently the dogs think Pumpkin is a dog — and Pumpkin thinks she is a dog.
“Pumpkin considers the dogs her mums,” Young told CBS News. “She respects them when they have had enough rough play and she loves to cuddle next to them when she is tired.”
An Instagram account with lots of adorable photos of Pumpkin and her two besties currently has more than 134,000 followers.
“She is so wonderful and highly intelligent and always very entertaining,” Young told CBS News. “She is a cheeky little thing, but we love her dearly.”