With the raccoon population in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) increasing rapidly, it’s no surprise that David Suzuki called Toronto the “raccoon capital of the world” in the CBC documentary Raccoon Nation. Sometimes referred to as masked bandits, these nocturnal creatures find their way into uncovered chimneys, luscious vegetable gardens, bird feeders, and family rubbish bins, which is why they are often considered a nuisance to homeowners. However annoying raccoons may be, they still need to be extricated from one’s property correctly with the help of specialists in animal removal and wildlife control like Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control.
Toronto resident Dong Nguyen learned this the hard way. On June 1, 2011, a neighbor saw Nguyen attacking a family of raccoons in his backyard with a shovel, causing injury to one of the creatures. Nguyen was then reported to the authorities and duly charged with cruelty to animals.
Last March, the Toronto Sun reported that an Ontario Court of Justice judge ordered Nguyen to render 100 hours of community service at a Humane Society branch in Toronto, which shelters and cares for displaced animals. The article also mentioned that Nguyen’s defense counsel actually proposed a conditional discharge and that he only render 40 hours of community service. The judge, however, more than doubled the number of the proposed service hours, but granted Nguyen the discharge.
On top of community service, Nguyen was also ordered to pay $1,365 to cover the veterinary expenses for the injured raccoon. This expense could have been easily avoided had he tapped on the services of humane wildlife control specialists, rather than going after the creatures with a shovel. Of course, it goes without saying that he probably also had to fork over some resources for legal and attorney fees.
Had he not pleaded guilty to the animal cruelty charge, Nguyen would have also faced charges of possession of a dangerous weapon (the shovel). The prosecutor later withdrew the charge.
Nonetheless, Nguyen’s fate definitely remains a cautionary tale for homeowners to rely on GTA wildlife removal professionals to deal with the unwanted presence of animal visitors in their properties.
While raccoons and other animal infestations may be unwelcome in and around homes, proper and humane removal of these creatures should always be observed. Homeowners should make it a point to call professional animal and wildlife removal services to deal with the situation instead of taking matters into their own hands. This way, charges of animal cruelty and their corresponding legal consequences can be avoided altogether.