COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus Police officer received praise from his department after he rescued a baby raccoon from under the hood of a car Saturday night.
According to a post on its Facebook page, Officer Mark Hauenstein responded to a call for an “unauthorized passenger” in a motor vehicle that traveled from Worthington to campus.
The animal was only discovered when the car’s driver lifted his hood to give someone a jump start.
“It was clear the infant raccoon was cold and exhausted from her long journey,” Hauenstein recalled in the post. “And not having the momma around, we decided the right thing to do would be to take the raccoon to the OSU Veterinary Hospital.”
When Hauenstein arrived at OSU, he was told that due to the animal being a wild animal, it would have to be euthanized and would not be able to survive on its own.
Hauenstein attempted to contact Ohio Wildlife Center, but they were closed.
“I would have gladly drove the raccoon all the way to Powell,” Hauenstein wrote in the post. “But if there was no one there to accept her, then it would be pointless to drive her all the way there.”
With no other alternative, Hauenstein said he left the raccoon with OSU. However, before he left the hospital, he contacted a friend.
“Before I left the OSU Veterinarian Hospital, I tried thinking of people who I might know that would be capable of caring for the baby raccoon until the Ohio Wildlife Center opens back up,” Hauenstein wrote. “So I contacted my neighbors on the phone who said they would check with their adult daughter and they would call me right back. Meanwhile, I just sent this helpless little creature to it’s death bed. I got a call back 5 minutes later and they said they WOULD take the baby raccoon!”
Hauenstein was able to get the raccoon back from the veterinary hospital and took it to his neighbor’s home, where she was taken in.
“I wanted to share this because I felt others could use a feel good warm and fuzzy story with all that is happening in our world right now,” Hauenstein wrote. “We should always seek to treat others both human beings and animals with dignity and compassion.”