A Lincoln pet shop has introduced Freddie the racoon dog to their expanding list of exotic animals.
Freddie, now seven-weeks-old, was bought after Alyss Dickinson, owner of Lincoln Reptile and Pet Centre, and her partner were torn between a dog and a racoon.
“We didn’t want a boring pet, we wanted something different,” Alyss explained.
Freddie will be used alongside Lily the skunk in charity events and outings, if his behaviour stays the same.
“We wanted to do charity work with Phoebe the skunk but unfortunately she was too ill.
“Hopefully by using Freddie and Lily instead, we are able to share the happiness they bring to us with others.”
At home, Freddie spends a lot of time outside, and goes everywhere with owner Alyss.
“He is currently being harness trained to walk around and wander through the shop providing his behaviour stays tame, thats the aim,” Alyss said.
“We want to spend all of our time with Freddie (and Lily obviously) to get the best out of him.”
However, Alyss is keen to stress that great care should be taken when choosing to take on an exotic pet.
“There is always a risk in social media with exotic animals,” Alyss explained.
“We don’t agree with animals just being taken out of the wild. We get exotic mammals which have been hand reared.”
Racoon dogs are not recommended as pets to people with little experience in animals.
When the cuteness fades and the animal grows, there is a real danger that both the animals and owners could be harmed due to the animal not being in the right environment.
In the near future, the Reptile and Pet Centre hope to continue with events and charity work with their animals.
Alyss also hopes to get an Asian Palm Civit as their next pet, or potentially another skunk from previous skunk Phoebes’ mum.
On Saturday July 12, an open day is being held to introduce Freddie along with Lily and the other animals including the meerkats and owls to visitors.
“We have people travelling from Manchester and Norfolk to see the animals!”
There is also an Exotic Pet Awareness Day on Sunday August 3 at Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club, where Freddie and Lily will be attending to.