‘Tremendous hearts’ take on 20-hour raccoon rescue attempt

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A raccoon believed to have been trapped in a drain in Watsonville, California for more than 24 hours brought out the biggest and most compassionate hearts working almost as long to free him and actually digging up a parking lot to rescue him.trapped-raccoon

On December 30, a homeless man heard grunts and cries emerging out of a drain off Freedom Boulevard near the la Princesa Market. The man alerted the Santa Cruz Animal Shelter, who alerted the Watsonville Fire Department  and Wildlife Emergency Services asking for help. For more than eight hours, the rescuers worked to free the little creature, but were sadly unsuccessful. According to CbsNews, Rebecca Dmytryk, president of Wildlife Emergency Services stated her employees are experts in “difficult and technical animal rescues, this was really bad.”

And the important rescue attempts continued. With more than 20 hours spent trying to free the raccoon, rescuers had to cut through the pavement and dig into the pipe where the animal was caught. Luckily the owner of the market is an animal lover, and granted permission for rescuers to dig up her parking lot to save the raccoon.

And here’s the “tremendous hearts” part of this rescue – many of the workers would have been done at 5:00; most did not leave until 10:30 and until the raccoon was freed and placed on heating pads and administered warm fluids. A Santa Cruz veterinarian offered to help the wild animal as its temperature was so low it didn’t register on the thermometer. Sadly, Rebecca’s update on Facebook about the little guy left many in tears:

“I am sorry to say the raccoon, in the end, did not make it. We just received word. According to NAR, he started to look better. He was even able to walk a bit, but then collapsed and died. We believe it was due to exertional myopathy, where an animal strains too long.”

But the tiny little guy’s life did not pass away unnoticed or without compassion. Rebecca added:

“What’s more incredible than us getting this animal out alive, was the tremendous heart that went into its rescue – people giving their time and energy to help this poor creature. This – this heart gives me hope for the new year.”

Rest in peace little raccoon, and thank you everyone for your service. Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

(Photo and video of raccoon rescue Wildlife Emergency Services.)

Check out the video here.


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  1. So sad the little guy didn’t make it. I think it was great how the fire department and others worked so hard to save him.

  2. So sad that he didn’t make it … but with the people who got him out did a wonderful job and not leaving him there to die alone u were his angles thank u everyone ….there are some good passionate people in this world ….

  3. Thank u for sharing this! Funny…ALL the people get together to save a raccoon…making tremendous efforts, & then u will hear of a sad situation where dozens of people will pass an ailing animal on side of road hit by car, or…U ALL GET WHAT I’M SAYING!


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