Erin Christensen was arrested after bringing her pet raccoon to a bar, The Bismarck Tribune reported.
Authorities raided Christensen’s home and killed the raccoon at the scene, and collected the body for autopsy, he said.
The family has set up a fundraiser to pay Christenson’s legal fees and donate to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The family of a North Dakota woman who ran away from police is raising money after local police shot and killed their pet in connection with a crazed scare.
Erin Christensen, 38, and her family are raising money. GoFundMe She wrote in the fundraiser that she brought her family’s pet raccoon after she was accused of causing rabies at a local bar in Maddock, North Dakota, to cover legal fees.
The family has nursed Rocky, the raccoon, back to health for three months, The reported Bismarck Tribune.
According to the fundraiser, Christensen found the animal on the side of the road in June.
“Rocky was found at night 3 months ago, lonely, scared, hungry, we decided not to adopt him because maybe his mother would come to help him, the next day he was still there, so we took him in,” the family wrote on their fundraising page.
“We’ve been working hard to get him back into the wild. We’ve bottle-fed him, we’ve been taking care of him, he’s been bottle-fed when he’s gone and he’s still learning how to eat food that we put around trees and obstacles,” the family added.
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On Sept. 6, police said Christensen brought Rocky to a bar in Maddock during happy hour, the Tribune reported.
Cindy Smith, who was bartending at the time, said there were about ten people in the bar and that Rocky never bit anyone in the five minutes he was at the bar.
“I saw her carrying something, and I asked her what it was, and she showed me, and I said, ‘You’ve got to get it out of here,'” Smith told the Tribune. “I didn’t know what you were thinking.”
According to the Tribune, the incident prompted the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue a rabies alert.
“Rocky never laid hands on me when I visited Madoc Barn, so who’s susceptible to rabies or some other disease?” Christensen said on GoFundMe.
Christensen was arrested on Wednesday after the Benson County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department executed a search warrant, the Tribune reported.
Game and Fish Enforcement Division Chief Scott Winkleman told the Tribune that Christensen tried to elude authorities.
The Benson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a request for comment Sunday.
According to the family’s statement on GoFundMe, officials have promised to isolate Rocky as long as he doesn’t show any signs of rabies.
According to the Tribune, authorities raided Christensen’s home in search of Rocky, killed the raccoon at the scene, and took the body for autopsy.
“The police brought in a battering ram to break down the front door of the house where Rocky was staying at the time of his death,” Christensen said on GoFundMe. “The amount of manpower used to find and kill Rocky, raiding three separate residences at once, is staggering. A shocking and terrifying campaign.”
According to a statement on GoFundMe, Rocky tested negative for rabies.
Christensen was arrested on charges of providing false information to law enforcement and tampering with evidence. According to the Tribune, she was issued a game and fish violation for illegally possessing a barber.
The charges are felonies that carry a combined sentence of several years in prison and a total fine of $7,500, the newspaper reported. Christensen is currently free on a $1,500 bond, the Tribune said.
“The impact on my family is that my children are confused and hurt by the excessive force used in purchasing this animal,” Christensen said on the GoFundMe. “This erodes their trust in local law enforcement agencies. My children are very anxious and insecure.”
The family is raising money on GoFundMe to not only pay Christensen’s legal fees, but to donate most of the money to wildlife rehabilitation centers in Rocky’s memory.
“Rocky was only a few months old, he was the sweetest and most loving little boy ever loved by everyone, there was never a dull moment around him,” he wrote on GoFundMe.
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