Last night the two terriers awoke and began barking loudly at something just outside my window. The 'something' turned out to be a raccoon. Which creature responded by gazing at them serenely from his place in the camellias while emitting a soft chuffing noise.
This was too much for the dogs, who went berserk and had to be taken under the covers of my bed, our remedy for many canine difficulties from the mailman to thunderstorms.
We have plenty raccoons in Pasadena. We also have--well, it would be better to say what we don't have. Alligators, for one thing, and I've never seen an elephant, but much of the world's extant fauna seems to love it hereabouts. Whether native or invasive, you can find a lot of interesting creatures here in what's supposed to be Urban America.
Some of these animals the dogs are out to destroy. They do a fine job on roof rats, mice, voles and crickets. There have been notable failures concerning skunks. I would give anything if they would take to eating snails, but they ignore them, although I have found crows and jays eat snails like candy.
I often have need of a guide to the denizens of this stuccoed jungleland, and have always been happy to own copies of the Audubon Society books. These Field Guides are excellent and moreover entertaining. I find them at the thrift store (usually in excellent shape) and use them until I have multiple copies, sending the extras to a home with children who can profit by the gift.
In the Field Guide to North American Mammals I find the observation "Raccoon meat is good (tasting somewhat like lamb) but nearly all fat should be removed."
There is some information that the Field Guide fails to provide. An Internet search gets me the lowdown on nutrition: For a serving size of three ounces, raccoon meat provides 217 calories, of which 111 come from fat; there are very few vitamins but a lot of iron.
[As for everything else made of flesh, serving portions are given in rather small amounts, so your raccoon will likely go further than you would think just looking at it dead on the kitchen counter. And of course there is that lovely pelt!]
By way of comparison, dog meat contains 224 calories for the same size serving and has higher levels of vitamins. I have two terriers available but only one itinerant raccoon, whose diet consists primarily of grubs and detritus from trash cans. I know exactly what the dogs eat: it runs me a lot more per unit than my own food, not including the occasional cricket, which comes gratis. If
the dogs keep up this barking I may begin researching recipes.