A resident of Richmond had been in contact with Critter Care regarding an injured raccoon. This raccoon was a frequent occupant of their yard and they had named him Harry. The resident was working with Critter Care to try and capture the raccoon, so we could help him.
Before Critter Care was able to take action, however, the resident witnessed a horrible incident, about which you can read below, in the residents letter to the media. Unfortunately Harry has not been seen since and we were unable to help him.
On the evening of Tuesday, July 8, a group of teenage boys on Vinmore Road near Francis in west Richmond did an unspeakable thing. They chased a limping racoon and shot at him with pellet guns in broad daylight. It was a deliberate action. They drove by on their bikes, saw him, went home (?), got the guns, came back on foot, and hunted him down in our front yard, where he felt safe. He was a sitting duck. The boys, when questioned what they were doing, said that the raccoon, struggling to get around because of his wounded feet, was “a nuisance”. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.
This letter is to the boys, and also to their parents, because we know that raccoon as a neighbourhood friend. Sweet natured, respectful to pets, and no trouble, he has sometimes slept on our back porch and has been around long enough that we call him “Harry”.
Dear Boys – we want you to know that we think YOU ARE A NUISANCE. What you did is illegal and immoral. Ask your friends and your girl friends what they think, and don’t expect to have any more friends or girl friends. No-one in their right mind will want to hang out with you. You definitely don’t need to ask your neighbours what they think – if you read this far, you know now that we think you should be ashamed, embarrassed, and punished. You just don’t measure up as human.
Dear Parents of the Boys - you need to keep a tighter rein on your NUISANCE children, out causing havoc and harming innocent wild creatures, intentionally, on a public street. Your kids were shooting weapons in broad daylight because they obviously don’t have enough to do. Children were around. This is “public endangerment” and “cruelty to animals”. I am writing in hopes that you see this and take away the pellet guns and dispose of them permanently.
Boys – In closing, we want you to understand that we like the raccoons far more than we like you. Poor Harry was seen just once after you shot him – his shoulder was so infected - we worry he may have died. We think of him every day, with great sadness that you caused him so much unnecessary pain and suffering. It is definitely not ok what you did, and it will come back on you, in some way, some how. The world works like that.
A concerned neighbour on Elsmore Road.