Category Archives: raccoons

The raccoon crackdown in Bremerton begins now


 Problematic raccoons, and those who feed them, take note: Bremerton’s crackdown has begun

The city’s new ordinance, which stiffens fines for those who feed the animals and creates a contract with the federal government to neutralize the most dubious critters, takes effect today.

The City Council passed the new ordinance 7-0 at its April 2 meeting. For the Council, putting more weight into the fines and hiring a United States Department of Agriculture wildlife specialist for up to 80 hours a year (at a cost of $3,500) was a slam dunk.

The thornier issue between Mayor Patty Lent and the Council was deciding who the point of contact for raccoon complaints would be. The Council had been pretty adamant at a meeting the prior week that City Code Enforcement Officer Janet Lunceford should be involved, and that, in a worst-case scenario, raccoon feeders could be hauled before the city’s hearing examiner.

Lent asked that the raccoon point person be City Clerk Shannon Corin. She was backed by her Department of Community Development Director Andrea Spencer, who pointed out to the Council that Lunceford has no experience in the animal control field — and has plenty to do already.

But Younger said at the City Council’s March 26 meeting that he “would not budge on this.”

In the end, the Council did, in fact, budge.

Lent would’ve vetoed the ordinance had it crossed her desk with code enforcement involved. That puts the Council in a tough spot — they’d need five of seven members to override the mayor. Plus, the task of implementing the ordinance falls to the city administration.

Younger, in a meeting just before the vote April 2 with the mayor, decided the ordinance sans code enforcement was better than no ordinance at all.

“I felt the buy-in by the mayor was more important than the additional language concerning the hearing examiner,” he told me. “In reality, I can pass all the ordinances in the world. But the administration is the one that carries them out.”

For now, the City Clerk will be that point of contact. Corin will respond to complaints and refer them to different sources: Kitsap County Animal Rescue, Kitsap Public Health District and the wildlife specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Raccoons to take center stage at Bremerton City Hall


It’s finally on the agenda. On Wednesday night, the Bremerton City Council will tackle an issue long discussed, but never dealt with — not recently anyway.

Yep, we are talking about raccoons.

Councilman Eric Younger told me he’s lived in different homes in Bremerton and has seen problems with raccoons in each one. He is most concerned with neighbors who feed them, thus creating a reliant critter population that can create problems in neighborhoods.

“I’m trying to come up with a solution,” Younger said. “To the best of my knowledge, no one has addressed this.”

Here’s what’s on the table.  The city administration has responded with a potential change to city code that would include making it unlawful to feed raccoons outdoors at anytime. Violators would be subject to a $125 fine for a first offense; $250 for a second offense in the same year and $500 for a third and each subsequent offense in the same year. 

Failing to respond to an infraction would become a criminal misdemeanor offense as well, and could be subject to civil action from the city.

Here’s the other part of the plan: the city would hire a United States Department of Agriculture wildlife specialist for up to 80 hours a year, at a cost of $3,500. They will assist the city “in the form of educational information, non-lethal techniques or direct control.”

“If direct control is necessary, the most effective and safe tools and techniques available will be utilized,” the program plan says.

I think that means the wildlife specialist will have the ability to use traps and to shoot raccoons in the city.

I’d like to hear from my fellow Bremertonians about this issue. Do you have a raccoon problem? Do you love them and keep one as a pet? (Not recommended.) Drop me a note below or email me at We’ll be keeping a close eye on this issue.