Author Topic: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden  (Read 249045 times)

Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #210 on: November 16, 2017, 07:12:04 PM »
New to this forum. We lost 5 hens 2 days ago from a raccoon or a group of them. I believe they were late getting in the coop, coons scared them and they scattered, then the hunt was on. . No 2 were close together, front yard, back yard, 100 yards away. Happened right after dusk. We raised them from chicks and they were like pets. The coop is coon proof, custom built and zero places for a coon to get in. 2 hens survived. 1 made it into the coop before door closed, another somehow survived the night and came back next morning. 1 we found in front yard looked to be dead but was still alive and we are treating her. I do NOT like seeing my wife cry. Today I am getting a trap AND some of this Golden Malrin. Its war and game on!
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #211 on: November 18, 2017, 07:36:15 AM »
New to this forum. We lost 5 hens 2 days ago from a raccoon or a group of them. I believe they were late getting in the coop, coons scared them and they scattered, then the hunt was on. . No 2 were close together, front yard, back yard, 100 yards away. Happened right after dusk. We raised them from chicks and they were like pets. The coop is coon proof, custom built and zero places for a coon to get in. 2 hens survived. 1 made it into the coop before door closed, another somehow survived the night and came back next morning. 1 we found in front yard looked to be dead but was still alive and we are treating her. I do NOT like seeing my wife cry. Today I am getting a trap AND some of this Golden Malrin. Its war and game on!

Man, oh man... I feel for you two.   

Coons love sweet soda & Golden Malrin (several different names), known as "Fly sugar".   The 10ft rule - they'll not get 10' away.
Bob Cats won't touch it, neither do Possums, weazels.... all who seem to enjoy hunting and killing birds.

Keep in mind, Raccoons & Possums can manipulate locked cages with those little "hand-like paws", any latch that is released by just pulling something, they can open.  Those old movies of a hasp, with a stick or pin through it to hold it shut - a coon will just pull at everything, eventually pulling it out, and walla!, it's open season on the roosting birds.  The only lock that *always* works for us, is a padlock & key.   I've had cages with heavy wire we used fencing staples to wooden posts - they pulled out the staples.  Switched to "barbed staples" - impossible to remove without destroying the wood.   Metal siding nailed to wood, they loosened that up too, switched to drywall like screws with big washers.  Plastic roofing material, again, screws with big washers at least every 12" close. 

Weazels & rodents are really good at finding & exploiting tiny gaps.  We had a 1" size hole in the hatchery wall, and notice the newborn chicks were disappearing.  After a couple of days the chicks growing rapidly, one of the kids said a chick was stuck in this tiny hole in the wall.   It's body was too big to fit, the rats had eaten off it's head.

Dogs, Cats, bob cats, weazels, etc., like to get the birds scared, running back and forth, in circles, tiring them out, and then grab the ones they can reach through the wire - these people who sell these lawn cages with 1x2 or 2x2 or chicken wire, are making & selling bird death-traps. 

Owls and hawks are the silent killers.  Hawks by day, owls by night.  Beware of what you don't see, can't hear and leaves no trace, not a feather, nothing behind. 

Those wonderful looking, movable cages, and those "tractors" (met and talked to Andy & Joel, years ago), those cages are far from varmint proof.  Any cage open to the ground can be penetrated, because it's "open".   Someone called those cages "inhumane", and quit using them, because they were losing more birds than the commercial chicken houses - at least they were being honest, instead of pretending they were eco-friendly & the birds were healthy & happy.  I heard one guy say he was making more money on books than on the bird business...  1"x2" wire across the bottom is a waste, making it difficult to move, and the weight of the birds, legs getting caught/broken between the wires... nope.   What did work, is a 6-12" wire skirt, laying flat around the outside of the cage, stapled to the bottom, so when you move the cage, it's permanently attached to the cage edge, it lays flat on the ground.   A varmint walks up to the cage, when they get close, they're standing on the wire mesh, and can't dig under the 6-12" of wire, nor can they lift it to get closer.

Even 1x2" hard wire is too big of an opening for the sides, any bird cage.  If the birds sleep within a foot of the walls/wire, the coons, cats, possums can reach in, pull them to the wire and decapitate or completely consume their chest in a night.  Ever see a domestic cat reach through a tiny opening - they can stretch almost 12" - right up to their chest and then hook something with a single claw, pulling it back to them.  1/2"x1" is the only wire we use to keep out everything, including snakes... we use triple galvanized, after welding, or the black plastic coated stuff... 15yrs in the weather, and it still looks like new.  Plus, the birds can walk easily on the coated stuff, especially the ducks, and nothing has ever reached up through the wire to get a duck, chicken, turkey, egg, chick, rabbit, quail, pheasant.  (doesn't mean they don't get scared, they don't get killed or ate).

The *only*, and I mean absolutely fool-proof, animal, rodent, snake, hawk, owl, etc., cage is the simplest one we ever built.
a satellite dish on top of metal posts, with wire welded on the outside, and wire welded to the inside.   Ours is 6' tall, with a people size door, and 11' across, the dish on top.   the inside cage wire 1/2"x1" goes up 3', the outside wire 1"x2" covers the entire outside, top to the ground.  So there is a 2" gap between the wires, and the cage is so heavy, nothing, I mean nothing, can lift it and crawl under, or dig under that big gap.  I can look at the DVR recordings of the cameras on our cages, deer, rodents, owls, and all kinds of varmints, pace back and forth, pull on this and that, circle them half the night, and the roosting birds (chickens & turkeys) are just quiet and peaceful.  The ducks will sound off - as ducks do, but with the right kinds of wire, too small to reach through, we quit losing birds.  As a bonus, it has no corners where young chicks can pile up and suffocate each other.   Takes a bunch of people to move, or the tractor's front-end loader.

For ducks, an elevated cage, 12-24" off the ground, coated 1/2x1" wire for the floor, double wire (as I described) around the outside, it can be square, round, rectangular (like ours is), and a solid ramp with railings on the sides for getting in and out.  15yrs old, it's wood framed, wire on 3 sides, with a corner sort of boxed in with sheet metal, smoked Plexiglass roof.  Ducks LOVE it.  It's been repaired 3-4 times, mostly wood aging & breaking from moving (it's on long skids, easy to slide around with a tractor, truck or little riding mower.  Like I said, the Ducks love it.  It's shady and cool in the summer (they'll nap under it, on the ground), and at night, after a week or so of routine training, they march up the ramp for food, treats & water, the door swings down, locked shut, and they "happy quack".

If you already bought one of those designer cages, or plan to build one for chickens or turkeys, attach heavy tree branches for roosting.  1"-4" gradually tapered tree is just about right, they'll pick the diameter they like (they tend to like bigger than we imagine for roosting).  If the ends of the branches are close to the outside wire, either cover that area of the wire and/or add a ball or wire ball so the birds can't roost next to the outside wire... to keep them out-of-reach of predators.

BTW... a rooster is not necessary for hens to lay eggs... but, a good rooster, with 2" spurs can tear the hell out of a dog or cat, protecting his "girls".  Same with Turkeys, a couple of big Toms can quickly bloody a dog.  It's quite unnerving watching 5-6 Toms take apart a would-be varmint, they stalk and attack like true predators.  Hens are totally helpless, add a Tom or Rooster, and they'll sleep good!  You might not, with the crowing at every passing car, shooting star, lightning bug, full moon, bathroom light going on, etc...

Speaking of light, to keep 'em laying all year long, 14hrs of light will keep the eggs coming.

There.  I wrote all that, because predators will never stop showing up on your farm, farmette or back yard.   Once they get an easy meal (and share it with their kids & friends), they'll be back, hungrier & bloodthirstier than ever.  The best protection is prevention, cages that are varmint proof, anything less is... as one guy put it, "inhumane".
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #212 on: November 18, 2017, 08:03:31 AM »
One thing I've learned from others failures, is chicken wire is for chickens, not predators.
One neighbor spent more than a thousand on his professional grade brooding house and coop, only to discover predators are still stronger than cheap fencing material.
This individual finally resorted to having a chainlink enclosure with a cement boundary as well as intruder lighting, bells on wires etc.
He hasn't lost a chick for several years now.

When Toy retires, I'm having a low ground, half wall parking structure built with no-climb wire surrounding the enclosure from ground to roof as well as a covered open area for sunlit winter days.
They'll still be able to wander during the day freely outside the enclosure, but at least at night, they'll be protected.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts where housing bait is concerned, you have to do it right from the very beginning. (that's what chickens are, bait to the predator world).

Sounds like Hivoltage did everything right, just got caught off guard one time, and that's all it takes, considering the predators are always checking their regular haunts, waiting for the right moment to strike.

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Offline Hoofer

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #213 on: November 18, 2017, 03:14:26 PM »
Typically, I hate crows, they steal the birds food.  Last week, they made such a racket, I went outside to see what was going on.

A Hawk was trying to get a full grown Duck next to the pond... the crows were having none of it, and ran the hawk off.
Couple of weeks ago, we found a dead chicken in the same area, claw marks on it's back.
When Owls and Hawks start moving in, you lose birds so fast - the vanish without a trace.
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

Offline Hivoltage

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #214 on: November 19, 2017, 05:29:33 AM »
I DID do everything right or so I thought. They were free ranging which I know is risky. They always stayed close to us and we checked them every evening to make sure the auto door shut. I think daylight savings time screwed them up. We went in, took showers and when I came out to check them seen feathers all over the yard and you all know the rest. Have a trail cam out to see if I can find out for sure what I am dealing with. No bodies, only piles of feathers all over the place. I wanted to put a pic of the coop but not sure how.
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Offline Hivoltage

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #215 on: November 19, 2017, 07:10:56 AM »


This is the coop. The bottom, windows, and door are all covered with small mesh heavy guage sheetmetal type screen. That heavy door gets shut every night. The "screen" looking door has 2 latches on it.


Adjusted jpg size.
walks
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 07:37:40 AM by walkstall »
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Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #216 on: November 19, 2017, 07:17:23 AM »
I DID do everything right or so I thought. They were free ranging which I know is risky. They always stayed close to us and we checked them every evening to make sure the auto door shut. I think daylight savings time screwed them up. We went in, took showers and when I came out to check them seen feathers all over the yard and you all know the rest. Have a trail cam out to see if I can find out for sure what I am dealing with. No bodies, only piles of feathers all over the place. I wanted to put a pic of the coop but not sure how.
Dogs, a German Shepard, one from Europe, preferably so as to avoid health issues. You can't beat the love of a Shepard over their flock, always vigilant and on duty 24/7.
That aside, you just made the best argument I've heard to date, for eliminating the "Daylight Savings Time" bull shit!
Sure, man can reset his clock, but animals don't run on man's clock. What you just described, has probably happened to tens of thousands of people over the decades.
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Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #217 on: November 19, 2017, 07:23:11 AM »


This is the coop. The bottom, windows, and door are all covered with small mesh heavy guage sheetmetal type screen. That heavy door gets shut every night. The "screen" looking door has 2 latches on it.
Looks fine, the only change I'd make, is to cut back the foliage, assuming it's on your property,. if not, drag the coop out in the opening more.
Be it rats, coon, coyote, and everything below and above the food chain, they all depend on foliage for defense, be it from their own predator, or avoiding being seen by their prey, dense foliage is much of your problem.


Adjusted jpg size.
walks
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 07:39:28 AM by walkstall »
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Offline Hivoltage

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #218 on: November 19, 2017, 08:00:28 AM »
Thanks all....I joined Tinypic to get the photo up. Youtube video showed me how. AS far as dogs, we have 3 of them. All got along fine with the chickens. Only problem is they come in when we do. Foilage, it just goes on and on we live in the middle of 30 acres of it. What you cant see is the coop is not far from the house. Even has lights on the front. That little fence was for when they were chicks. They all went in at dusk. I opened the front of the fence so they could come and go. Yeah, the daylight savings time......they should have been in the coop and the auto door shut. 1 made it in. Also if the weather was nicer we would have been outside to make sure they got in like we did all summer. Never a problem. I know better now. They will not free range any more unless we are home for the day and make sure they get in. Also we are going to fence in a large area, maybe 80 x 80, 6 foot chain link buried a foot and covered. Fence people coming tomorrow. We like having chickens and will do what is needed to keep them safe and not an easy meal. Oh, and I will take any fencing tips. The fence will be in that foilage area which is only a couple hundred feet from our yard.
 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 08:16:29 AM by Hivoltage »
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Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #219 on: November 19, 2017, 10:11:07 AM »
Thanks all....I joined Tinypic to get the photo up. Youtube video showed me how. AS far as dogs, we have 3 of them. All got along fine with the chickens. Only problem is they come in when we do. Foilage, it just goes on and on we live in the middle of 30 acres of it. What you cant see is the coop is not far from the house. Even has lights on the front. That little fence was for when they were chicks. They all went in at dusk. I opened the front of the fence so they could come and go. Yeah, the daylight savings time......they should have been in the coop and the auto door shut. 1 made it in. Also if the weather was nicer we would have been outside to make sure they got in like we did all summer. Never a problem. I know better now. They will not free range any more unless we are home for the day and make sure they get in. Also we are going to fence in a large area, maybe 80 x 80, 6 foot chain link buried a foot and covered. Fence people coming tomorrow. We like having chickens and will do what is needed to keep them safe and not an easy meal. Oh, and I will take any fencing tips. The fence will be in that foilage area which is only a couple hundred feet from our yard.
Excellent! Chickens love the foliage as long as they feel safe because they can bug the shit out of it, from ticks to gnats, they love it, only problem I can see is laying in the brush like my brothers chicks did, of course, they'd lay under the hood of the car, they didn't care.
Sounds like you have it under control, really. Aside from sleeping with them, there is only so much one can do to keep them safe.
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #220 on: November 19, 2017, 12:01:32 PM »
Thanks all....I joined Tinypic to get the photo up. Youtube video showed me how. AS far as dogs, we have 3 of them. All got along fine with the chickens. Only problem is they come in when we do. Foilage, it just goes on and on we live in the middle of 30 acres of it. What you cant see is the coop is not far from the house. Even has lights on the front. That little fence was for when they were chicks. They all went in at dusk. I opened the front of the fence so they could come and go. Yeah, the daylight savings time......they should have been in the coop and the auto door shut. 1 made it in. Also if the weather was nicer we would have been outside to make sure they got in like we did all summer. Never a problem. I know better now. They will not free range any more unless we are home for the day and make sure they get in. Also we are going to fence in a large area, maybe 80 x 80, 6 foot chain link buried a foot and covered. Fence people coming tomorrow. We like having chickens and will do what is needed to keep them safe and not an easy meal. Oh, and I will take any fencing tips. The fence will be in that foilage area which is only a couple hundred feet from our yard.

https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/starbar-quikstrike-fly-bait-1-lb?cm_vc=-10005

Stopped at TSC today to get a couple of bags of feed.

There's a guy buying a big trap, he left before I made the suggestion.  Kid behind the counter had never heard of it, but told me the poor guy was losing chickens from something.  Well, it is that time of year, an easy meal once had almost guarantees a return visit.

We freerange all our birds, but have no woods for cover - about 75 yards to the closest woods.  Open space really makes a difference, but it does nothing to stop an aerial attack.  I expect to lose a few birds, but with the 24/7 cameras on them, I can figure out what's going after them, maybe head it off before the varmint gets their 'buddies' addicted to Duck, Turkey & Chicken.

The really BAD situation you're in, something has tasted chicken, and LIKES CHICKEN enough to come back, over and over.  If it was one of your dogs, you tie a dead chicken to their neck and let them live with it a few hours or days, till they hate the idea of killing Chickens.  funny how they seem to tell other dogs, "don't do this... master doesn't like it!"  Ours got the message from a single bird kill.

Feathers all over the place... and no sign of a bird carcass?   Look for a blood trail into the woods, paw prints, etc., 'cause that doesn't sound like a Raccoon.

Cage up what you have left, put wire on the top of the outside run area, and get a DVR, couple of Cameras - just look through it daily, for the Varmint trying to get to the birds.

Another method, a two compartment trap, one for the Varmint, and one for the live bird.  Bird must be completely enclosed in a wire cage.  Cover 3 sides of the bird's cage, and top, leaving one side open.   Park the open side against the live trap, so the only way the Varmint can "see" the bird is through the live trap.  Get a big enough trap (or build it) that a FOX can get into it.   When I think Fox attack, it's a single bird disappears.  Coyote attacks, I'm thinking a pack that's killing for fun, feathers everywhere - like a feral dog.

Also as a preventative, once you figure out what it is, try Urine repellents for different species.  Unfortunately, it'll also keep Deer away, if you're a hunter.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 12:08:34 PM by Hoofer »
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Offline UrbanOrganicFarmer

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #221 on: December 15, 2017, 07:43:16 AM »
I would love to grow corn but between the squirrels & the raccoons, I'd be lucky to harvest one ear. Took years to evict raccoons from the attic. Tore up the roof & caused $$$ thousands in water damage. Not to mention the disease causing filth they left behind. They're lucky I didn't know about the spiked grape soda solution then! Trappers caught nothing. I would have gladly paid them to remove carcasses. Had to chase a mother & babies away myself with a bb gun & water hose after I had their access tree cut down & caught them climbing gutters. Recently I found burrows in ground where their access tree once stood. I mixed up a half gallon of super hot paste made from super hot peppers & poured into the holes.
I despise toxic chemicals more than most but I am not above using them in a desperate situation. I am thinking if I have ever feel the need to resort to the spiked grape soda solution, I'll rig up some kind of disposable feeder bottle to contain the poison.

Anyway, I appreciate the information. It's good to know there are effective options. I have had a few face to face encounters with these disease causing vermin. They are dangerous and not afraid of humans. If I lived in the country away from municipal rat poison, I'd put up little box homes to attract large predator birds to handle the Raccoons & squirrels. Owls in particular will kill them for food and avoid people. They are also nocturnal like the raccoons. Owls are already endangered though & wouldn't want to expose them to poison.

Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #222 on: December 15, 2017, 08:04:29 AM »
I would love to grow corn but between the squirrels & the raccoons, I'd be lucky to harvest one ear. Took years to evict raccoons from the attic. Tore up the roof & caused $$$ thousands in water damage. Not to mention the disease causing filth they left behind. They're lucky I didn't know about the spiked grape soda solution then! Trappers caught nothing. I would have gladly paid them to remove carcasses. Had to chase a mother & babies away myself with a bb gun & water hose after I had their access tree cut down & caught them climbing gutters. Recently I found burrows in ground where their access tree once stood. I mixed up a half gallon of super hot paste made from super hot peppers & poured into the holes.
I despise toxic chemicals more than most but I am not above using them in a desperate situation. I am thinking if I have ever feel the need to resort to the spiked grape soda solution, I'll rig up some kind of disposable feeder bottle to contain the poison.

Anyway, I appreciate the information. It's good to know there are effective options. I have had a few face to face encounters with these disease causing vermin. They are dangerous and not afraid of humans. If I lived in the country away from municipal rat poison, I'd put up little box homes to attract large predator birds to handle the Raccoons & squirrels. Owls in particular will kill them for food and avoid people. They are also nocturnal like the raccoons. Owls are already endangered though & wouldn't want to expose them to poison.
Maybe you could borrow the neighbors' dogs for a few nights in a row?
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Offline UrbanOrganicFarmer

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #223 on: December 15, 2017, 09:02:06 AM »
Thanks but unfortunately any dog big enough to intimidate these vermin must be restricted by a fence. Raccoons are not deterred by fences. Chasing them myself, I've watched them climb & slip under fences and between horizontal gaps. Motion lights & sonic repellants so far seem to be a better deterrent for the raccoons, at least. Horse of a neighbor's dog never deterred them. I think I scared them more screaming bloody murder with bb gun, water hose & long handled hoe.  Got a few hits with bb gun too. Unlike squirrels, raccoons move slow. Didn't seem to hurt them though.

Offline Solar

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Re: How To KILL A Raccoon That's Raiding Your Garden
« Reply #224 on: December 15, 2017, 09:46:05 AM »
Thanks but unfortunately any dog big enough to intimidate these vermin must be restricted by a fence. Raccoons are not deterred by fences. Chasing them myself, I've watched them climb & slip under fences and between horizontal gaps. Motion lights & sonic repellants so far seem to be a better deterrent for the raccoons, at least. Horse of a neighbor's dog never deterred them. I think I scared them more screaming bloody murder with bb gun, water hose & long handled hoe.  Got a few hits with bb gun too. Unlike squirrels, raccoons move slow. Didn't seem to hurt them though.
I take it you don't have a good fence?
It takes two dogs to tangle with one raccoon, by the way, one is generally not going to fight one by itself, coons are quite formidable.
I had a wolf/Husky mix and a small German shepherd take one on one night, lasted 15 minutes till I broke it up and the coon walked away without serious injury.
They tag teamed for a bit, then the Shepard took it on alone, while the wolf had a hold of its tail.
Problem is, coons are fighting for their life, while dogs are simply guarding territory and would rather not actually tangle with a coon, which was not backing down which is why I broke up the fight, I didn't want vet bills.

I've had one menacing the house lately, but that's because my new Shepard is still young, but as soon as I have two, they both go outside and the coon problem will be eliminated, I guarantee it.

The other dog is a Chihuahua mix, I call her bait. :laugh:
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