A rescue mission was staged in the early morning hours on a Fort Salonga driveway to free a raccoon with its head stuck in a peanut butter jar.
Linda Henninger, 56, of Fort Salonga, said her son spotted the raccoon blindly walking around midnight Tuesday and herded the confused animal onto the family’s driveway. They trapped it under a garbage can and called for help, Henninger said, though she didn’t think anyone would be able to help them so late at night.
“We were pretty stressed trying to get a hold of someone,” Henninger said. “It was the middle of the night.”
Luckily, Bobby Horvath is a light sleeper. The animal rescuer, who helps run Wildlife in Need of Rescue and Rehabilitation with his wife, Cathy Horvath, from their home in North Massapequa, received the call about 12:30 a.m.
He drove from his home to the Henninger house. He was met by Nella Arif, 24, of Holbrook, a receptionist at Animal Emergency Service in Commack, who received a call from Henninger and decided to pitch in after getting off work.
As Henninger’s sons lifted the trash can, Horvath grabbed hold of the young raccoon. A little cooking oil was used to loosen the jar and Arif slipped it off the raccoon’s head.
The critter squirmed and hissed as Horvath gripped it by its neck and then it scampered away.
Horvath said it’s common for scavengers to trap themselves in open containers and asked residents to seal jars before throwing them out.
Horvath then headed back home to catch some sleep before rising for his 5:30 a.m. shift as an FDNY firefighter in Far Rockaway, Queens.
“It was good it turned out so well,” Horvath said. “I’m happy we’re able to help and give her a second chance.”