According to the Bismark Tribune, Erin Christensen was arrested after taking her raccoon to a bar.
She said authorities searched Christensen’s home and immediately killed the raccoon and recovered its body for disease testing.
The family held a fundraiser to pay Christensen’s legal fees and make a donation to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
The family of a North Dakota woman who fled police is raising money after she says local police shot dead a raccoon with links to rabies.
Erin Christensen, 38, and her family are raising GoFundMe to help cover legal costs after she was accused of causing a panic at a local bar in Maddock, North Dakota when she brought a raccoon for her family, she wrote in the Fundraiser.
According to The Tribun de Bismarck, the family has been fostering a raccoon named Rocky for three months, who has recovered.
According to the fundraiser, Christensen found the animal on the side of the road in June.
“Rocky was found about 3 months ago in the evening, he was alone, scared, hungry, we decided not to involve him because maybe his mum would come to help him, the next day he was still at home. same spot so we took his family tapped on the fundraising side.
“We worked hard to rehabilitate him and put him back into the wild, we bottle fed him, fed him, he was still bottle fed when he left and he was still learning to eat to eat that we put around trees and stumps,” added the family.
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According to the Tribune, police said Christensen took Rocky to a local bar in Maddock during happy hour on September 6.
Cindy Smith, who worked at a bar at the time, said there were about 10 people in the bar and that Rocky never hit anyone in the five minutes he was inside from the bar.
“I saw her wearing something and I asked her what it was and she showed it to me and I was like, ‘You’ve got to get her out of here,'” Smith told the Grandstand. “I had no idea what she was thinking. »
According to the Tribune, the incident prompted the state Department of Health and Human Services to issue a warning about possible exposure to rabies.
“Rocky never left my arm when I visited Maddock’s Bar. So who was at risk of contracting rabies or other diseases? Christensen said on GoFundMe.
Christensen was arrested Wednesday after the Benson County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Department of Fish and Fish issued a search warrant, according to the Tribune.
Scott Winkelman, head of the game and fish department, told the Tribune Christensen tried to evade authorities.
The Benson County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to an insider’s request for comment Sunday.
According to the family’s statement on GoFundMe, authorities have promised to quarantine Rocky and let him go as long as he shows no signs of anger.
According to the Tribune, authorities searched Christensen’s home looking for Rocky and killed the raccoon on the spot and took his body to be tested for the disease.
“Police brought in a disturbing 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 that went into finding and killing Rocky, with simultaneous raids on three different homes, is impressive. The Shock and Awe Campaign. »
According to GoFundMe, Rocky tested negative for rabies.
Christensen was arrested for providing false information to law enforcement and tampering with evidence. And according to the Tribune, she also received a Game and Fish violation for unlawful possession.
The charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to several years in prison and fines of up to $7,500, the outlet reported. The Tribune said Christensen is currently available on a $1,500 bond.
“The impact on my family is that my children are confused and traumatized by the excessive violence with which this animal was kept,” Christensen said on GoFundMe. “It undermines the trust they have in local law enforcement. My children are broken and heartbroken. »
The family raises money from GoFundMe to not only pay for Christensen’s legal fees, but also to donate most of the money to wildlife rehabilitation centers in Rocky’s memory.
“Rocky was only a few months old, he was the cutest, most adorable little baby ever and everyone loved him, there was never a dull moment around him, Dang was always smart and happy,” she said on GoFundMe.
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