In South Dakota, we love nothing more than being able to poke fun at our neighbors in North Dakota.

But sometimes a story comes across that leaves you wondering 'that didn't actually happen, did it?'

Well, this did. And it happened in the Peace Garden State.

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According to, North Dakota health officials have issued a warning about a possible rabies infection at a bar in the tiny town of Maddock (population 402), in Northeast North Dakota, about 40 miles from Devils Lake.

It happened last Tuesday (September 6) night when a raccoon made an appearance inside the establishment.

Now I know what you're thinking - someone left a door open and the animal wandered in, right?


According to the bar's manager, Cindy Smith, it all started when:

'A local girl came in, and she had been drinking.'

But she didn't come in empty-handed.

According to Smith, the woman had a raccoon tucked under her arm. And not just any raccoon, but one that she had just found on the side of the road, half dead.

The woman was asked to leave the premises immediately but not before stopping to show the raccoon to a few patrons on her way out the door.

Smith says the animal never touched the floor or any of the customers.

Officials still issued the rabies warning and were forced to put the raccoon down in order to be tested for rabies and other diseases.

The woman at the center of the incident, 38-year-old Erin Christensen of Maddock, was arrested this week on suspicion of providing false information to law enforcement, tampering with evidence, and North Dakota Game & Fish violations.

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