DSPCA rescue stray raccoon in Dublin
A stray raccoon has been rescued by the DSPCA after it was found in the back garden of a house in Dublin.
The male raccoon had escaped from its enclosure in a neighbouring property in south Dublin and was described by DSPCA officers as "hungry and threatening a small dog".
Under current animal welfare legislation exotic animals can be bought and sold freely in Ireland.
The DSPCA's Gillian Bird is now appealing to the public not to buy exotic pets unless they understand the care required.
She said: "He was quite hungry, he was scavenging for food but there wasn't a huge amount available to him.
"He was hungry and scared and it took him a few days to recover from that.
"Please research any animal you're going to get, make sure you get it from a regular source and make sure you have a vet who will be able to care for the animal properly before you start investing in them."