raccoon_garbage.jpgAccording to an Examiner report, calls from San Franciscans represented by Supervisor Carmen Chu are pouring into her office, complaining about the same beasts that led to Old Yeller’s demise. The climate’s apparently to blame — apparently the Procyon lotor (sorry, I just saw Fantastic Mr. Fox) are still foraging for food due to unusually cold and damp weather this summer.

Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz urges Sunset (and other) residents to chill and adapt, saying that the raccoon-savvy will bungee-cord shut their garbage cans. Securing your pet doors is also a good idea — Katz told the Ex raccoons have even broken into residences by doggie doors. Their kind of unnerving little hands can untie knots, turn doorknobs, and open jars.

But remember what Old Yeller didn’t — raccoons have been known to carry rabies, so avoid confrontation with them, and, if you’re bitten, call the ACC at 415-554-9400 so they can come out, trap, and test the animal.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Greg Dewar

    they also like to take the bus too, I hear, especially by the Legion of Honor

    (cue that famous pic of the raccoons getting on the bus)

    seriously though, I’ve seen a few of ’em out and about late at night…they are not to be trifled with. I saw a family of em (2 parents and 3 little ones) all running in a line down 6th avenue…

  • Greg Dewar

    they also like to take the bus too, I hear, especially by the Legion of Honor

    (cue that famous pic of the raccoons getting on the bus)

    seriously though, I’ve seen a few of ’em out and about late at night…they are not to be trifled with. I saw a family of em (2 parents and 3 little ones) all running in a line down 6th avenue…

  • raqcoon

    “chill and adapt.” That’s pretty good advice, being that the mammals are nocturnal and probably slumbering in a tree or a hidden place in/near your abode during human waking hours. Maybe only feed outdoor KittyKatz and k9s during the day, lest share their food with a raqcoon and/or skunk.

  • raqcoon

    “chill and adapt.” That’s pretty good advice, being that the mammals are nocturnal and probably slumbering in a tree or a hidden place in/near your abode during human waking hours. Maybe only feed outdoor KittyKatz and k9s during the day, lest share their food with a raqcoon and/or skunk.

  • SF94122

    “…bungee-cord shut their garbage cans”

    I wish the bungee-cord also kept at bay the night crawlers that come out and go through my garbage for recycling!

  • SF94122

    “…bungee-cord shut their garbage cans”

    I wish the bungee-cord also kept at bay the night crawlers that come out and go through my garbage for recycling!

  • sayWhat?

    Yes, “chill and adapt” but also stay alert. Last night my 9 lb. dog was attacked after dark around 8 pm by a medium sized raccoon that was dining on worms or bugs in my garden soil. We live near Mt. Davidson. I’m super careful not to leave out food or water EVER. But without paving over my garden I can’t keep out all the worms or bugs they seek. My pup has only 2 punctures and had I not been steps away the vet said it could’ve been a hellava lot worse. Trip to the emergency vet = $200. Hopefully no infections or anything else will follow.

  • sayWhat?

    Yes, “chill and adapt” but also stay alert. Last night my 9 lb. dog was attacked after dark around 8 pm by a medium sized raccoon that was dining on worms or bugs in my garden soil. We live near Mt. Davidson. I’m super careful not to leave out food or water EVER. But without paving over my garden I can’t keep out all the worms or bugs they seek. My pup has only 2 punctures and had I not been steps away the vet said it could’ve been a hellava lot worse. Trip to the emergency vet = $200. Hopefully no infections or anything else will follow.

  • Eve Batey

    Oh my gosh, lucylu, you just hit on my biggest raccoon fear — the pet thing. I am so glad your dog wasn’t more seriously hurt, and am glad it was not too horrifyingly expensive. Hope your pup heals fast and well!

  • Eve Batey

    Oh my gosh, lucylu, you just hit on my biggest raccoon fear — the pet thing. I am so glad your dog wasn’t more seriously hurt, and am glad it was not too horrifyingly expensive. Hope your pup heals fast and well!

  • DT

    Make absolutely sure there are no nooks or crannies in your building that would permit raccoons access to the space between floors (look very carefully under your decks and back stair landings) or between you exterior and interior wall where they can pup. A space as small as 3×6 will let a mom in to nest.

    Once a litter is born, the pups will do their best to come back to nest with their offspring.

    Brooms and mops are not effective to shoo them away.

    Go to a boat supply store and get an air horn. Also purchase a very bright portable light. Shine and Blast!

    Do not EVER leave garbage cans outside. Keep them in your garage and secure the tops. Raccoons can and do figure out bungee cords.

    Been there, done that in the inner sunset 30 years ago. Raccoons then were generally the size of my coffee table. There was no ACC, SPCA did not come in the evenings and SFPD was no help at all.

  • DT

    Make absolutely sure there are no nooks or crannies in your building that would permit raccoons access to the space between floors (look very carefully under your decks and back stair landings) or between you exterior and interior wall where they can pup. A space as small as 3×6 will let a mom in to nest.

    Once a litter is born, the pups will do their best to come back to nest with their offspring.

    Brooms and mops are not effective to shoo them away.

    Go to a boat supply store and get an air horn. Also purchase a very bright portable light. Shine and Blast!

    Do not EVER leave garbage cans outside. Keep them in your garage and secure the tops. Raccoons can and do figure out bungee cords.

    Been there, done that in the inner sunset 30 years ago. Raccoons then were generally the size of my coffee table. There was no ACC, SPCA did not come in the evenings and SFPD was no help at all.