Reporter Helena B. Evich saw the little bandit gripping the ladder of the trash truck on her drive to work in Rosslyn. She said she immediately alerted the driver and the company, American Disposal Services, to the animal she nicknamed, "Trash Raccoon." Evich said the driver and the company were helpful and responsive when she alerted them to the situation.
Once she spoke to the company, she posted a picture of the sneaky stowaway on Twitter.
This raccoon is having a rough morning-just wanted some trash & ended up in Rosslyn!— Helena B. Evich (@hbottemiller) February 17, 2017
>And yes I alerted the driver pic.twitter.com/L3y3JFBpFx
Within a matter of minutes, the photo was re-tweeted thousands of times and someone even turned it into a meme.
Evich continued to tweet updates on the raccoon.
P.S. I also called the company to get the driver some help - I felt bad for the little bugger even tho raccoons are kind of the worst.— Helena B. Evich (@hbottemiller) February 17, 2017
FYI, animal lovers: The company was super responsive, has the truck #, etc.— Helena B. Evich (@hbottemiller) February 17, 2017
And eventually #trashraccoon started to trend.
Evich tweeted she was crying at her desk reading all the #trashraccoon content and then she tweeted a major update.
It turns out "Trash Raccoon's" journey has a happy ending.
"As soon as we found out that the raccoon was on the truck, the driver pulled over because we didn't want the raccoon to get injured," Anna Wilkinson, communications director for American Disposal Services, told ARL Now.
The raccoon ended up travelling seven miles on the garbage truck from Rosslyn to Falls Church.
American Disposal Services called Falls Church animal control to help handle the situation, but the little raccoon wanted one more adventure.
"The raccoon avoided capture and escaped towards the Larry Graves park area," said a news release from the city of Falls Church. "This raccoon did not appear to be sick, and citizens should not be alarmed if they see a raccoon during daylight hours."