A Wyoming County couple who brought a raccoon to a pet store to get food and supplies for it face $500 fines each for unlawfully possessing the animal, the State Environmental Conservation Police reported.
According to the report, a conservation officer used information from store surveillance cameras, license plate images and a pet store rewards card to trace the man and woman to Attica.
Police said the officer persuaded them to surrender the raccoon, which was taken to a veterinary hospital to test it for disease. Rabies tests proved negative.
Police said that a pet store employee, concerned that the raccoon might be rabid, contacted the Erie County Department of Health, which called the State Department of Environmental Conservation on June 2.
The DEC noted that raccoons are considered dangerous wild animals because they frequently carry and transmit the rabies virus.