How Can I Humanely Kill a Raccoon in a Cage?

Your plan to capture that pesky raccoon finally worked. You purchased a trap, set it up, put in some bait, and now it is captured. That is one big load off your mind.

Now you have to worry about what you're going to do with it. While you could take it to a preserve or try to take it out into the woods and let it go, you have concluded that the most sensible thing would be to just end its life. You don't really want to take the risk of endangering yourself to take it somewhere else. Maybe animal control will come to pick it up. So what do you do now? Your only option is to kill the animal in the cage, but you want to know how you can humanely kill a raccoon?

Poisons Not Really Humane

It is true that a poison would be quite effective. You could just drop some poison inside some food, weight up to 24 hours and the animal will be dead. That sounds like a quick and effective means, but it really is not very humane.

The truth of the matter is that poisons can be extremely painful. The way that they work will cause severe abdominal cramps and pain. It also can be quite a mess, as the animal will likely have diarrhea or vomiting. Those are things you really don't want to clean up.


There is a device that you can purchase that is very much like a harpoon. Some traps come with this automatically. Others you would simply purchase the harpoon separately. It works just as the name describes. A mechanism when released shoot a harpoon like projectile into the raccoon. It takes but a brief few moments before the animal is dead. It's rather gruesome, but it does work effectively.

Very much in the same way you could use a crossbow or a pistol to kill the animal as well. As long as you are an area where you can use a gun, you could just shoot the thing. If you don't have a pistol or can't use it in the area, then consider using a crossbow. It works just as quickly. There will be some cleanup here, but your animal will be dead quickly.

Don't Do This

Some have used ideas like hitting the raccoon over the head with a hammer or other blunt object. The problem with this is that you have to reach into the cage to try something like this. That's a danger to you, not only because you risk the animal biting or clawing you, but you also could get its blood on you. Many of these raccoons carry diseases that are dangerous to you. No sense putting yourself at risk.

In fact, one of the things that makes this whole process kind of dangerous is that the fluids of these animals pose a health risk to you. Whether you stabbed the animal, poison it, or shoot it, fluids, such as blood, are going to be present. Make sure you protect yourself whenever you remove and clean up.

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