racoon

In perhaps the strangest and most ridiculous way to promote responsible pet ownership, a UK raccoon at the Bluewater Shopping Center near Dartford, Kent was forced to ride a bicycle at a pet expo event this past weekend.

The RSPCA, the UK’s leading animal welfare nonprofit, quickly condemned the act and said it was “shocked” and “deeply saddened” by the stunt, reports the Mirror.

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Photos of the stunt were posted on Twitter, and showed a raccoon wearing a red bow tie with white dots that was tethered to a red rope (like in the photo above).

Who in the world would think a raccoon on a bike could ever symbolize responsible pet ownership? Certainly little thought was put into the display and was nothing more than an entertaining stunt that has little to do with proper animal care. It’s disheartening to see this blatant lack of care and consideration for animals, and especially at an event that is supposed to promote animal welfare.

RSPCA’s head of communications, David Cowdrey put it right in a statement: “It is just such a demeaning way to portray a wild animal and implies that animals are here just for our amusement. It entirely contradicts the idea of ‘responsible ownership’ and consideration for the interests of animals.”

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Image source: Mirror Online