A wild raccoon walked into a bar at happy hour — and, no joke, a woman earned a year’s probation for getting it there.
Erin Christensen, 38, earned her sentence after she was arrested in September for bringing the raccoon, which she named Rocky, into a bar in Maddock, North Dakota.
Christensen pleaded guilty Tuesday to providing false information to law enforcement, tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a furbearer.
Keeping a raccoon as a pet, as well as a bat or skunk, is illegal in North Dakota because the animals are known carriers of rabies, according to the state’s Game and Fish Department.
Rocky was euthanized by authorities after testing negative for rabies.
Christensen’s other charges stem from her refusal to disclose the location of the raccoon when questioned by authorities, the Bismark Tribune reported.
Christensen faced up to about two years in jail and a $7,500 fine, but Northeast District Judge Donovan Foughty gave her a suspended six-month jail sentence and a year of probation, as well as a $1,100 in fines and fees, instead.
Her family found the raccoon on the side of the road and were nursing it back to health when it was brought into the bar on Sept. 6, Christensen said.
“She took him into the bar not knowing raccoons were such a big deal, someone who has a huge problem with her in the first place reported her to the department of health,” Christensen’s family wrote on a GoFundMe page created to raise legal fees for Erin.
“Rocky was the sweetest boy ever and did not deserve to be put down,” the family continued.