Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


He's In the Slammer! And None Too Happy About It

For a week now, there have been baited Have-A-Heart traps on my second floor veranda waiting for The Raccoon (The Beast in the Attic) to go for the sardines.

The guys from Adcock's Trapping Service, the professionals I had to call in, were becoming concerned that this fellow might be what they call "trap smart".  Like he'd been through the drill before.

I accused Trapper John of coddling the raccoon.  I wanted him gone. 

He's been quite happy, sleeping in my warm attic by day, then crashing in and out as he leaves for a night of carousing and knocking over the neighborhood garbage cans, then comes back early in the morning.  By Monday, when Trapper John showed up to re bait the existing trap and add a couple of others, I was getting sick of the beast.  Sunday night, Dick actually went online to see if he could find out what the penalty might be for shooting this pest - would he just have to pay a fine, or would they throw him in jail? 

I'd actually had a conversation with Adcock about the possibility of using a "lethal" trap, then my liberal guilt kicked in, and I decided to give him another couple of days.

Finally, last night at about 11:30, I heard some crashing around on the veranda, the location of the baited traps.  I turned on the light, and I could see that one trap had been sprung and there was somebody furry - and pretty pissed off - trying to get out.

So the saga is over.  They will seal up the spot where he was letting himself in, and they'll take the animal to a better place.  I'm told he'll be relocated to a beautiful 4-H camp ground far enough away that he won't be able to find his way back.

Living near Rock Creek Park is wonderful.  There are hiking trails withing an easy walk from my house.  The place is teeming with deer, raccoons, possums and even a few foxes and coyotes.  And I guess the price I have to pay is the occasional visit from someone who is supposed to be living in the park - especially when it's cold and icy outside! 


If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help!  I am licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  You may call, email or text me at:, 202-549-5167



Comment balloon 38 commentsPatricia Kennedy • January 24 2012 12:34PM


Well done and now where will they take him?

Posted by James Lyon, 916-521-1214 (LyonSF) over 8 years ago

Great ending to the story It is good you decided to take the raccoon to a better home in his environment.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) over 8 years ago

Good job, I had one come in my house and it was pretty scary! Glad he has his own place now.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 8 years ago

That is a good ending and he should be happy to get back to the campground!

Posted by go to & get 20 Listing Appointments per month (Real Estate Faster) over 8 years ago

Can't say I blame the little fellah, he was smart to find a warm cozy place to hang out. He just needs to learn to be a little quieter when he finds his next abode.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 8 years ago

Lucky to have him out the door. A few years back two little critters were in my garage. We never saw them, but once in a while we heard them ever so quietly in there. I even thought it was my imagination. Turns out we had two baby skunks... one sick and the other one his brother. That was interesting as they could not be trapped in the traditional way and well, even baby skunks grow up and spritz their surroundings. The critter control came and  both were successfully removed. We were lucky not to get sprayed, but when the control guy took them down the road.. he was not so lucky...

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) over 8 years ago

James, he'll go to a 4-H Campgrounds somewhere in rural Maryland.  They promised it would be at least 25 miles from here.  It sounds like Raccoon Heaven!

Ralph, if he'd come into our living space, it would have been a different story.  I might not have been so patient about his taking his time to move.

And Janis, skunks.  Oh lord!  Not good!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Patricia, We have racoons but have never seen them anywhere close to our home. They can be pretty smart about setting up living quarters and glad you are now relieved of his presence without harm to him.

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Red Rock Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Pat, I think he's adorable but he will do much better now at the park. I began feeding mine at one point and that was TOTALLY WRONG. It wasn't long till eight of them showed up every day! Live and learn!


Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 8 years ago

Raccoons are adorable, but a major pain.  I'm glad you had the patience to do the Have-a-Heart trap. 

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 8 years ago

Pat, I'm really glad you got him and he's getting a new home.  It's always great to live near the wilds, we do; but we have skunks (the dog got skunked) and mountain lions (there's a warning sign on the trail behind me house) and bears (they caught one on said trail right behiund my house the summer before last)and the list goes on.

Posted by Linda K. Mayer, Realtor, SRES, SoCAL, A REALTOR YOU CAN TRUST (License # 01767321) over 8 years ago

Pat  Quite an episode..Thank goodness it is over !!!  Mr Raccoon will find a new home -everyone will be the happier !


Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 8 years ago

Hi Patricia,  Be glad you only have one, we have 5 to 7 that come and visit outside almost every night.  One got in the garage last August and it cost me a new garage door,  He got out and bend the door so bad I had to buy a new one.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 8 years ago

yeah... and they said my childhood dog was being retired to a 300 acre farm in upstate new york to live out his life in peace and tranquility.

Posted by Alan May, There's no place like home. (Jameson Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

I'm sure he is going to miss his nice warm attic but glad to know he will have a new place to roam in the countryside.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

When it gets cold this seems to happen more often. I think its because of all the new houses taking up their habitat. I am glad he found a new home with a little help!


Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) over 8 years ago

Pat... I'm so glad your ordeal is finally over!  You can now get some uninterrupted sleep and Mr. Raccoon can find a new home futher out in the country!

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) over 8 years ago

You've got this blonde girl laughing again Pat!  Glad to see your Adventures in Raccooning has come to a safe ending!  :)

Posted by Kerrie La Guardia, Let it Rain! (ActiveRain, Community Manager) over 8 years ago

Looks like he needs a new set of Glasses!  Where to go from here?  Be sure they take him far, but they already know that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Pat - I am glad to hear he was finally caught.  I think knowing he was going in and out of my house would drive me nuts.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 8 years ago

Pat-Never had a racoon in the attic. A squirrel was noisy enough and that fellow is a big one and a lot meaner and more destructive than a squirrel. Glad you got him;

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 8 years ago

Ah!  What a sweet little face.  And oh what mischief those little guys can get into.  I am very glad you gave him the opportunity to live out a good life.  


Posted by Cathy McAlister, Sacramento DRE#00648507 (Cathy Ashley McAlister, GRI CDPE - Broker / Sacramento ) over 8 years ago

Alan, they promised me it was a beautiful woodsy place with a nice stream running through it where the little guy could catch fresh fish to eat.  And he'd have lots of little girl raccoons to play with. 

Oh no!  The trapper had eight live raccoons in the back of his van.  Do you think they are bringing them someplace else where they could turn into raccoon coats?

I actually had a raccoon coat that I wore for about eight years until it finally fell apart. But it was the '60s before PETA raised awareness about how evil fur coats are.  It was a great coat.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago


The raccoon is big enough to get a job and to sell a house to.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 8 years ago

Glad to see the beast has been caught...but I fear you may miss him.

Maybe Willie would have liked a friend?


Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 8 years ago

Hi Pat - I'm glad the little guy was captured unharmed.  We have all kinds of critters here too.  The only ones who have come into our house have been an occasional mouse (usually brought in by the cats as "gifts" to me) and skunks, who walk right past us to eat anything left in the cat bowls in the kitchen.  We've had to start closing the cat door at night so they will stay out.

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) over 8 years ago

I am so glad you didn't harm the poor guy, Pam.  And I am sure he will be happy in his new surroundings.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 8 years ago


This has been quite the saga. Racoons tend to get rather testy when they don't get their way in my experience. Hope the relocation company treats him or her well and the new home is more than satisfactory, even if not quite as warm.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Pat - Palos Verdes has its fair share of critters seeking shelter too.  Raccoons are smart and curious--if they see an opening they will enter--they love dogie doors!

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) over 8 years ago

Poor baby! I know raccoons can be pests and even dangerous.......but we had one as a pet, so they will always have a place in my heart.

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Norma, I used to have a cat door leading from the kitchen to the back yard.  Then one day I came home to find the cats behaving oddly, and found a raccoon in the kitchen eating the cat chow!  Next day, she came back with a family of baby raccoons, and they formed a circle around the cat food.  After that, I had to close off the cat door.  They all left with no drama. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Congratulations on the capture.  I'm glad he wasn't Trap Smart.  But now he is.  No Davey Crockett raccoon skin hat?  We too have raccoon, skunks, possum, but none in the attic.

Posted by Lloyd Binen, Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411 (Certified Realty Services) over 8 years ago


At least he is okay and not hurt. WE all have a time these days surviving the best we can

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 8 years ago

Pat ~ I'm glad the little guy was caught, but unharmed.  Now he can start a new life in a new neighborhood that will want him around.

Posted by Dawn A Fabiszak, The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience! (Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado) over 8 years ago

Congratulations on the capture of your unwanted furry resident. It is good to have the name of a trapping service that can be recommended in the area.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 8 years ago

Just as long as they don't drop him off near my house. It seems the DC rats are being relocated to Maryland already!

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Central Maryland (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Good morning Pat, That's a very interesting story and I can totally tell that you are a nice and kind person. i am happy that you caught him and found a suitable evironment for him. LOL~ Thanks god that story does not happen on me!

Thanks for sharing your cute story with us! Have a good day!

Posted by Jark Krysinski *PREC (Personal Real Estate Corporation), TeamYVR Team Leader, BA,ABR,IRES,IMSD,LLB (REMAX CREST REALTY WESTSIDE) over 8 years ago

What a relief...hopefully, he will like his new home and not return to yours!!!

Posted by Holly Weatherwax, A Great Real Estate Experience ( Associate Broker, Momentum Realty) over 8 years ago