By William Lailey and Jess Grieveson-Smith
A couple treat their pet raccoon like he’s their child – taking him on road trips, for plays in the parks and even buy him presents for his birthday.
Kristy Gandy, 35 from Oklahoma, along with partner Richie, 49, a teacher decided to buy Freddie the raccoon from a breeder as an alternative to a baby.
Now five years old, Freddie loves to ride in the car, have a play on the swing and is usually found wearing a t-shirt and will sleep with his ‘parents’ in their bed.
Kristy said: “He is like our forever toddler – he absolutely loves to get into everything.
“He has to be doing something nonstop until he gets tired then he’s like a lazy house cat.
“Freddie’s favourite person has to be his Dad Richie but he does also get along with our three house dogs.
“He keeps as laughing and smiling all the time – he’s just perfect!”
The family of three take day trips together, taking Freddie out for boat rides on the like, and even going to catch frogs with Kristy’s three human nephews.
Kristy added: “Freddie loves to ride in the ranger in his swing turned car seat – he’s had his blue swing since he was a baby.
“But another Freddie favourite is boat rides at the lake – he love to walk down to the pond in front of our house to take a little swim and catch little frogs with my three nephews.
“He got a hammock chair swing for his birthday and he spends a lot of time hanging around in it lately but most of all, he just loves doing anything and everything with his humans.
“We take him on road trips to different ponds where he gets out and explores and then loads back up for the next adventure.
“He likes to look at the horses and cows but doesn’t care to get to close to them.
“As for food, he’ll usually eat hard dog food but his favourite snack is cheddar fries – we call them Freddie fries!
“He’ll sleep with us and he really is a one in a million pet.
“He’s our constant positive in all this negativity right now – he puts a smile on so many people’s faces from all over the world.
“Raccoon tend to get a bad reputation and we hope that Freddie will change the way people think about raccoons.
“They are amazingly smart and loving animals and we are blessed to have Freddie in our lives.”