Police come to the rescue of raccoon with jar stuck on its head: ‘Never know what you’ll see on night shift’

One of nature’s bandits found itself at the mercy of the law when a team of Ohio police officers helped it out of a precarious situation.

“You never know what you’ll see on night shift.”

Raccoons haven’t earned the nickname “trash panda” for nothing, and a July 13 video posted by the Painesville Police Department demonstrated just how capable the masked mammals are of getting into trouble.

Officers of the suburb located roughly 30 miles outside Cleveland, Ohio were seen in a traffic cam video shared by the police department as they engaged with a raccoon that had managed to get its head stuck in a mayonnaise jar.

Taking to Facebook, the PPD wrote, “Early morning hours of Thursday, July 13, sightings of a masked bandit with a mayo jar stuck on its head were reported in the Bank Street area near E Walnut Avenue.”

In the video, Officers Chad Balausky and Steve Ettinger, as well as an individual identified as police intern Gill, could be seen pursuing the distressed critter as it darted down the street. When one of the first responders had secured it with an animal handling pole, the other stepped in to remove the jar before releasing the skittish creature whose beeline toward Gill sent the intern darting out of the way.

The PPD made note of that when they wrote in their post, “Officers Chad Balausky and Steve Ettinger rescued the distressed raccoon, while police intern Gill added a little hop to his step. You never know what you’ll see on night shift.”

Reactions to the nocturnal rescue were overwhelmingly positive as respondents chimed in about the myriad duties that tend to fall on the shoulders of first responders and how kindness towards animals was indicative of the character of each man in the video.

“Thank you to the officers who showed compassion for this raccoon in its moment of distress. Fortunately, it lived to see another day due to the kind-hearted action taken by these men,” one person wrote on Facebook while another chimed in, “Thank you for all that you do — including rescuing this poor raccoon. You guys ARE the best!”

The post, for which the original video had already been viewed almost 20,000, spread on social media where reactions were equally grateful for the service from the boys in blue.

“Kindness to animals is a sign of goodness. Help when you can, it comes back to you,” a comment read.

“Three very kind people!!!” said another

According to The Humane Society, there are a number of things on people’s property that can attract raccoons including gardens, ponds and trash. “When raccoons get into the trash it’s not a raccoon problem,” they argue on their website, “it’s a trash problem.”

As a solution, they recommend keeping cans inside a garage or shed if possible until garbage pickup. Otherwise, use cans designed to keep out wildlife or secure lids with ropes, bungee cords or weights. An extra precaution would be to freeze waste with strong odors like fish before throwing it away.

Kevin Haggerty

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