Banner_credit_NFADejan Radic Banner_credit_NFADejan Radic Watch the video

Imagine being a raccoon in Germany: Decades ago, your ancestors were dragged from America to Europe so their skins could be used in the fur trade, later escaping or being released when furriers shut down. Today, you fight for survival on harsh city streets, villainized by citizens and government alike, and facing dog attacks, deadly cars and poisoning by locals.

Image1_credit_NFADejan Radic

Credit: NFA/Dejan Radic

Now imagine being scooped up by humans – only to be transported directly to your death.

This is the reality for the estimated TWO MILLION raccoons who call Germany home. Living on the edges of society, these intelligent animals are being targeted by the law, which considers them as pests at best, and harmful at worst. Tragically, many German citizens agree and want nothing more than to exterminate them, leaving just a few kind-hearted souls to look after raccoons who are injured or orphaned.

According to the law, rescued raccoons taken to local vets must be euthanized with no thought to the animal life they are cruelly cutting short!

Image2_credit_Image Supplied

Credit: Image supplied

For the raccoons that escape the clutches of those who wish them dead, life isn’t easy. Forced to venture into dangerous urban environments in a desperate search for food, they struggle to find adequate shelter and nutrition.

Even worse, culling of raccoons is not only legal but openly encouraged by many sectors of society. In the hunting season spanning 2021 and 2022, over 200,000 raccoons were killed by hunters in a misguided attempt to control the population – despite the fact that mass cullings can lead to a population increase as their reproduction goes into overdrive.

Since 2016, raccoons have been listed as ‘invasive species,’ effectively robbing them of their right to life. There is no hard evidence supporting this claim and with your help, we will save as many as possible from injury and death.

Image3_credit_iStock (3)

For illustration purposes.
Credit: iStock

While working in Germany, my team uncovered the harrowing reality and visited our new partner, Hauptsache Waschbär – the only raccoon sanctuary in all of Germany – to discuss the problem and assess its needs. We also learned some surprising things about raccoons!

These fascinating animals are known for their problem-solving skills and playful nature. Contrary to popular belief, they are more closely related to dogs and cats than rodents and use their hands to explore their surroundings. The sensitive nerves in their hands function better when wet, which is why you’ll often see them ‘washing’ their hands, as well as rinsing their food before they eat. This characteristic behavior also earned them their German name: waschbär, or ‘washing bear.’

But as adorable as these creatures are, our partner is struggling to care for the constant stream of injured and orphaned raccoons flooding into their shelter.

Image4_credit_David Hup

Credit: David Hup

Hauptsache Waschbär (HW) is supported by dedicated unpaid volunteers, assisting raccoons in distress. The project is spearheaded by a qualified veterinarian, and includes a sanctuary and a vital raccoon and cat foster home.

But with around 70 raccoons and 100 baby raccoon cubs to care for, the team is forced to choose between feeding themselves or purchasing crucial milk formula for the helpless cubs. The specialized milk formula the cubs need to survive costs $300 per cub every month, and as funds and donations dwindle, they urgently need your help.


Credit: iStock

Every $300 (£236) we raise can supply crucial milk formula for a baby raccoon for an entire month. Each cub needs this special milk for eight to ten weeks to ensure their survival and well-being.

Please donate generously today!

Donate today

For the animals,

Gloria Signature

Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
CEO and Founder
Network for Animals

P.S. Our partner has a plan to humanely control Germany’s raccoon population through targeted sterilization programs – but while it waits for approval from the authorities, please do your best to help look after orphaned and injured raccoons. Please donate as much as you can today!

Banner credit: NFA/Dejan Radic

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