When most people think of raccoons, they picture wild creatures digging through trash cans late at night. But Pumpkin, a raccoon rescued by Rosie Kemp last fall, prefers eating watermelon, cuddling with the family dogs and using the toilet in her air-conditioned home in the Bahamas.
Kemp discovered Pumpkin, then 1 month old, in her backyard in Nassau, when the raccoon fell from a tree and broke one of her hind legs. After waiting for some time for the creature’s mother to show up to no avail, Kemp and her daughter, Laura Young, took Pumpkin in and cared for her until she recovered. When the Bahamas Humane Society told Kemp that they were unable to take in a raccoon, Kemp decided to give Pumpkin to Laura, 29, and her husband William, 31.
While Laura and William are currently traveling internationally with limited access to technology, Laura told TODAY via email that they consider themselves to be “animal lovers.” The couple rescued two dogs, Toffee and Oreo, before taking in Pumpkin. Toffee suffered from a broken hip and shattered knee, and Oreo had been abused by her previous owners. “[She] was used as a soccer ball,” Laura said.
Although raccoons are undomesticated animals, owning a raccoon is legal in the Bahamas, as rabies are not nearly as much of an issue for raccoons there as they are in the United States. Laura said that because Pumpkin was so young when she was taken in, she has adapted quite well to the life of a house pet, and is up to date on all of her vaccinations.
“When Pumpkin came into our lives, we were nervous because we had never raised a baby raccoon before but with the guidance of friends that had experience we cared for her,” Laura said. “We want and always will do what is best for her!”
Pumpkin quickly bonded with Toffee and Oreo. The three pets enjoy playing and snuggling with one another.
“Pumpkin considers the dogs her moms,” Laura said. “She respects them when they have had enough rough play and she loves to cuddle next to them when she is tired.”
Laura and Will created an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for Pumpkin when they took her in, documenting her growth and acclimation to the family. In these posts, Pumpkin is seen cuddling with the dogs, lounging around the house, and partaking in human activities such as eating at the kitchen table and using the toilet. After a year, Pumpkin has almost 20,000 likes on Facebook, 1,500 Twitter followers and over 150,000 Instagram followers.