Joint Agency Collaboration Rescues Juvenile Raccoon From Drowning in Foster City Lagoon

By Hope Bidegainberry on May 11, 2021

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA  teamed up with San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department to save a juvenile raccoon from drowning in a Foster City, CA lagoon. The rescue took place on May 10, 2021.

“We received a call from a concerned resident who spotted the small raccoon stranded in the water in the Foster City Lagoon near Catamaran Park,” said PHS/SPCA’s Communications Manager Buffy Martin Tarbox. “Even though raccoons can swim, where this animal was marooned, one side of the shore was too far away for her to swim to safety, and the other side of the shore had a tall levee wall which the raccoon would not have been able to climb. Our staff determined a boat would be required to save the raccoon.”

PHS/SPCA does not have a boat and contacted the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department to inquire if they would be able to dispatch a boat to assist with the rescue.

“The Fire Department was able to free up a small boat and a few staff from Engine 28 to assist our staff in rescuing the raccoon,” according to Tarbox. “The Firefighters maneuvered the boat while PHS/SPCA staff was able to capture the animal with a net and bring her safely to the shore.”

The raccoon was transferred to PHS/SPCA’s Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame for evaluation. “Despite being sopping wet, and a bit cranky, thankfully the raccoon didn’t suffer any injuries from her ordeal and was cleared to be returned to the wild,” said Tarbox. “When we were returning to her the area, but not near the lagoon, our staff spotted the raccoon mom who came out to reclaim her wayward baby from us. The mom even seemed to be giving her baby a reprimand for all the fuss she caused!”

It is likely the juvenile raccoon was crossing the bridge with her family and fell from the bridge into the water.

San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department has two engine companies stationed in Foster City, so lending their support in this animal rescue did not comprise the availability of engines for human emergencies.

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