Chimneys make ideal living quarters for raccoons. When a raccoon sees an uncapped chimney, they see an open invitation to a safe and sheltered space to live in, give birth and raise her young. In the Spring, chimneys make for the perfect play pen for baby raccoons. Baby raccoons born inside a chimney typically take longer to start foraging with their mother as it takes more strength and skill to make the climb up the chimney before doing so.
Squirrels and birds often fall into open chimneys and become stuck at the bottom. In this case they would need rescuing in order to survive. Sometimes these animals enter the living space of the home, which will result in a very scared and frantic wild animal running in all directions looking for a way out. If this ever happens to you, it is best to open all doors and windows to ensure a direct path out for the animal as they will look for the daylight and head towards it.