Baby raccoon saved from attempted drowning; man charged with cruelty

Toronto is overrun with raccoons.

Some people don’t mind the masked critters and many absolutely hate them. But what happened in the city last week, is being called just plain “awful.”

The ordeal happened around 1 am last Thursday when a neighbour heard “crying noises” coming from a backyard in the Dufferin & Eglinton area

That woman was worried enough she called police.

What they found was nothing short of horrifying, according to the Toronto Wildlife Centre.

“In the yard, they discovered a small baby raccoon in a trap, and the trap was submerged in a can of water and weighted down with rocks,” the centre explained. “Luckily, there was a bit of air at the top of the can and the baby was light enough that the trap had floated up to the top. The baby had been struggling to breathe in the tiny air space for hours, his/her nose poking up out of the water just far enough to get the air the baby needed to stay alive.”

Police rescued the raccoon and arrested the resident in the house.

Luigi Derose, 67, was later charged with the Criminal Code offence of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

The frail baby raccoon was taken to the Toronto Wildlife Centre, where it was warmed up and given oxygen in an incubator.

It appears to be on the mend.

The centre — and animal lovers across the country — were outraged by what happened.

“Some people love raccoons and some people don’t, but this kind of action is always unacceptable,” the centre said. “Raccoons suffer and feel pain just like any other animal, and this baby didn’t deserve this awful attack.”

And, thanked police for stepping in.

Photos Toronto Wildlife Centre

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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