Baby Girl Mauled By Parents' Pet Raccoon Is Still Undergoing Surgery 10 Years Later (VIDEO)

Heartbreaking 22

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

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Misty... Misty.Dawn

i know someone who has a fox inside. Thankfully its never hurt anyone.

undrc... undrcvrmom

My heart breaks for this little girl..God bless her.

dirti... dirtiekittie

my godmother had a pet raccoon when i was a kid. it was a wild one that she had kind of 'adopted'. she fed it, it would come up and let her pet it and it would hang out with the family. the key here though is that at no time did we EVER forget that it was a wild animal. at no time was i or any of my younger cousins ever left alone with the raccoon. no one was ever bitten, scratched, or harmed by that animal. 

what happened to this little girl is terribly tragic and i'm glad that her spirit has remained so strong. i'm so happy that she and her brother were able to find a loving home and help with the medical bills. 

but please, don't lump all pet owners into one category. these people were irresponsible, and that can be dangerous whether it's a dog, cat, or any of the 'wild' animals you may encounter. 

Pinkmani Pinkmani

What the hell? Animals (including dogs and cats) are not supposed to be pets. Good luck to her. There's all sorts of problems that the family will have to deal with. (Low self-esteem, bullying, preparing and recovering from surgeries, cost of surgeries, etc.)

Mommy... Mommy2justone

A dog from the shelter could do the same damage. So saying to go to the shelter and adopt a dog, it might not prevent this.

Austin Keenan

I had neighbors who adopted three little squirrels that appeared to be abandoned.    They were unbelievably cute but absolute terrors as they grew.  After a few seconds in their house I'd thank my lucky stars that I hadn't been the one to find them.      It worked out ok,    they didn't have kids at the time and once they were old enough to be  introduced back into the wild they chose to be outside even in bad weather.

The teeth and claws of raccoons should have been sufficient warning to this couple.  One swipe could do serious damage,  it wouldn't have to be an intentional mauling.     My guess is that their parental judgement was lacking in other ways too.     

MomOf... MomOf2AndAZoo

That poor girl. I hope the doctors can finish her plastic surgery soon so that she doesn't have several more years of surgeries ahead of her. It's wonderful that she is maintaining such a positive attitude. As for keeping a wild animal, years ago when I was in high school I took in 3 orphaned baby raccoons & my sister & I bottle-fed them until they were big enough to put in an outdoor enclosure that we built for them. We didn't go looking for a pet raccoon, but we didn't want the poor little things to die and I have bottle-fed countless puppies & kittens so we took care of them. They were not suitable to release back into the wild, so we kept them. They were wonderful, & I miss them. But, at no time did we ever let anyone go in the enclosure with them without us being there, because any animal can bite no matter how friendly it is. And I certainly knew better than to let them be around kids unsupervised.  And this was when I was a teenager. The issue isn't keeping a different kind of pet, it's irresponsible people who are the problem. There aren't a lot of people who would truly be able to keep an exotic pet responsibly. Most of these problems happen because people get an exotic pet for the 'cool factor' & for attention, and those types of people don't care to learn how to properly own an exotic animal.

Kate Sandberg

Unfortunately, the parents were stupid, and this poor girl will pay for it for a very long time.

THAT BEING SAID - animals can make EXCELLENT companions, for adults & children, if they are treated appropriately and trained.  I would never lay one bit of the blame on the animal.  When I was younger, an adult friend of my family used to raise abandoned baby raccoons.  As a girl, I would go into their enclosure (supervised) and let them climb all over me, into my hair, down my shirt... and I would feed them mini marshmallows.  I was NEVER nipped, scratched or, g-forbid, mauled by those critters. 

Pit bulls, raccoons, large cats... what undeserving creature can we vilify next?  How about HUMANS? (No, wait.  They actually deserve it!)

cherylam cherylam

my FORMER brother in law used to 'tame' raccoons as family pets, as well as Artic Foxes, prairie dogs, 'sugar babies' flying squirrels etc.  The way they were tamed was cruel, and he was turned in numerous times, but always managed to slide by county authorities, and at one time had a federal permit to raise exotic animals.  There was no reasoning with him about his methods, ever.  Thankfully he has stopped raising animals, after several tiny imported deer died under his care.  None of the animals he raised attacked anyone, but wild is wild.  I never understood the psychology of trying to tame wild animals.  Taming dogs to where they are now took thousands of years, what makes people think it can be done in weeks or even months?

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