North Dakota Woman charged with bringing pet raccoon into bar

North Dakota Woman charged with bringing pet raccoon into bar

A North Dakota woman was charged with bringing her pet raccoon into a bar Wednesday.

Erin Christensen, 38, had nurtured the raccoon for the last three months before her arrest. Christensen brought the pet to a bar during happy hour, holding it during her entire stay. Bartender Cindy Smith asked her to leave upon noticing the animal, which she did after about five minutes.

The interaction sparked an investigation by North Dakota Game and Fish and Benson County Sheriff’s Office, which resulted in Christensen’s arrest and seizure of the animal. It was subsequently put down to be tested for rabies.

Christensen was charged with North Dakota Game and Fish violations, tampering with evidence, and providing false information to law enforcement. She was booked into the Lake Region Correctional Facility.

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There were roughly 10 people in the bar at the time Christensen was there with the raccoon and might have to seek medical care if the animal tests positive for rabies or another disease. Anyone that came in contact with the animal’s saliva is recommended to do the same.

North Dakota reported six rabid animals this year, including two bats, two cats, one bovine, and one skunk.

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