New figures have revealed the number of tropical animals living in households has doubled in the last year in Cumbria.
Two racoon dogs were amongst the 90 exotic pets and 10 exotic fish rescued by the RSPCA in the county, in 2018.
Officers were called to Burneside twice, in February 2018, when two raccoon dogs were spotted.
The first was found hiding under a van after collapsing, it was breathing heavily. The second raccoon dog was found behind a bike in the garden of a house less than half a mile away.
- What is a racoon dog?
The species, otherwise known as a tanukis, are native to east Asia and are a member of the canidae family - which includes dogs, foxes and coyotes etc.
With their raccoon-like faces and long brindled fur they can be mistaken for dogs, but they are wild animals and not suitable as pets. There is a growing trade in the UK.
The animals found in Kendal were rescued by officers and later placed in specialist centre after their owner could not be traced.