To the editor:
In reference to May 19 letters by Stel Puskarich ("Animal laws don't make sense") and Robin Cibulka ("Meeko, owner let down") regarding Cora Peterson's pet raccoon, I agree with them 100 percent.
About 15 years ago, a mother raccoon in Steubenville was killed, so the city dog warden brought her tiny babies out to the pound on Fernwood Road. Kay Rollage and I were the poundkeepers and we decided to try to raise them on a baby formula with kitten nursing bottles. They thrived, and we gradually fed them peanut butter and vegetables and anything we had for lunch or dinner. At closing time, we put them in cages with food, water and kitty litter. During the day, they played with the cats and kittens, probably thinking they were felines, too.
We asked people not to say anything as we did not want the game warden to know. When they were about 4 months of age, we gave them distemper and rabies shots and gradually started to acclimate them to the outside world. That was a little difficult because they literally would pound on the door to be let in.
We always put the leftover dog and cat food outside for any raccoons, so they eventually mingled with them. We named out babies Hide and Seek, and I still have pictures of them. It is an experience I will never forget. I used to tell Kay that we should write a book and call it "The Poundkeepers" about our 30 years there, and the answer was "No one would ever believe us."
Stupid rules of the overstaffed Ohio Department of Natural Resources deprived little Meeko of his life and Cora of her lovable, harmless pet. There is an old saying that rules are made to be broken. If in doubt, just look at Washington.