Meet Cody: a North American raccoon living in Stevenage, England.
Four months ago, Kasey Valentine acquired 6-month-old Cody from a local man who was keeping him in cat carrier and unsure how to care for him. The pair bonded as she weened the young raccoon from milk.
Kasey Valentine is 24. Years prior, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and a connective tissue disorder, and was told to quit her job. Stuck at home, she felt lonely and disconnected from the world.
The pair soon became inseparable. Valentine says that caring for Cody has allowed her to become more sociable, meeting people whilst taking Cody for walks and visits.
“He naps with me during the day when I’m feeling very unwell,” Valentine said. “Without him I would probably never leave the house so he has been a huge confidence boost.”
Because of his good work as a therapy pet, Cody has been given special immunity from a new EU law which could ban people from keeping raccoons as pets. Valentine said on the subject, “I wrote a very emotional letter to my local MP. He took it further to the Secretary of State for the DEFRA and we received a signed letter from the House of Commons giving us permission to keep him even if this law comes into effect.”
Cody has a Facebook page to document his rewarding life.