Published: 13:00, 18 August 2014 |
Updated: 13:29, 18 August 2014
An animal conservationist has warned people against keeping raccoon dogs as pets after finding two locked up in an abandoned Dartford flat.
Wayne May, of Eysnford-based charity Artisan Rare Breeds, found the creatures in East Hill after the landlord got in touch to say his tenants had left them behind.
Raccoon dogs are about the size of a fox and look similar to a raccoon. They can be found in woods in central Europe and Asia.
Mr May, 43, explained they should not be kept as pets in any circumstances.
He said: "People do keep them as domestic pets, why on earth they do that I have no idea?
"As they get older they can get quite aggressive and they give out a pungent odour."
He added: "Raccoon dogs have glands similar to those of a skunk so if they feel threatened or scared they spray it everywhere.
"The flat absolutely reeked of it, God knows what the neighbours thought."
The dogs found by Mr May are now being held in a specially built aviary at Artisan Rare Breeds HQ.
He explained their image as cuddly pets is inappropriate and people should see them as wild animals.
He said: "They've got no fear of humans. Even though they're not related to raccoons they've got that same lack of fear.
“Unfortunately a lot of people are selling them on the pet market these days as cuddly little dogs, which they are as babies, but it’s a different kettle of fish as they get older.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.