This story will just break your heart but luckily it ends well. A Michigan girl named Charlotte was only 3 months old when she was lying in her crib unsupervised and the family's pet raccoon (yes, you read that right) crawled into her crib and mauled her face. In the 10 years since, Charlotte has had five reconstructive surgeries on her face. She just received her latest one, on her nose. And she may undergo another one after this, to replace her mauled ear. I can only imagine what this poor child has gone through in the past decade, because her parents had a pet raccoon!
After the mauling, Charlotte and her brother were taken from their parents, who lost custody. Her great-aunt, Sharon Ponce, adopted them and has seen Charlotte through her numerous surgeries. Of the latest, Sharon says that Charlotte's nose looks "beautiful." The child's face is scarred so badly it makes me want to weep looking at her, but everyone says her strong spirit is intact.
Sadly, the pet raccoon that Charlotte's parents had is not that unusual. People insist on keeping wild animals for pets. There was the pet hawk that recently attacked a toddler. And, of course, there's the chimp that attacked Charla Nash. People seem to have a deep-seated desire to tame wild creatures, and it's just not safe. Nor is it fair to the animal. And it's certainly not fair to any child who gets caught in the crosshairs of their parents' stupidity and ego.
Luckily, Charlotte and her brother now have a loving, caring home. And strangers have always come forward to help with the enormous cost of Charlotte's surgeries. If this story can reach even one person thinking about getting a wild animal for a pet this season, then it will be worth writing it. Go down to your local shelter and adopt a domesticated animal like a cat, dog, or rabbit. DO NOT try to tame a wild animal, no matter how cute it looks.
And remember all animals come with some risk. If you want a risk-free environment, don't have an animal. Okay, maybe a goldfish.
Have you ever had a wild animal for a pet or know anyone who has?
Image via News 8