A woman in North Dakota was recently sentenced to a year of probation after bringing a wild raccoon into a bar.
According to North East District court documents, Maddock resident Erin Christensen pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of giving false information to law enforcement, unlawful possession of a live furbearer and tampering with evidence.
Judge Donovan Foughty gave the 38-year-old a suspended six-month-jail sentence and a year on probation for bringing the raccoon, named Rocky, to the bar.
Christensen said that her family found the raccoon on the side of the road and was nursing it back to health.
She eventually brought the animal to a bar on September 6. According to a bartender, the animal did not get loose or bite anyone.
Still, state health officials issued a warning after regarding potential rabies exposure.
Christensen was arrested a week later on September 14 after search warrants were issued for the woman and her raccoon. Court documents say the woman would not disclose the animal’s location.
According to state law, keeping a wild raccoon as a pet is illegal due to their being rabies carriers.
Authorities ultimately found and euthanized the raccoon even after it tested negative for rabies.
Christensen said the treatment of the animal left her and her family traumatized.
Christensen was also fined $1,100.
Initially, she faced a maximum sentence of two years in jail. “So, the state killed a healthy animal. Way to go, ND,” one commenter wrote.