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Samantha The Raccoon Is At The Centre Of Controversy

A Toronto Ontario man took a shovel to a family of raccoons that were damaging his gardens. Neighbours, woken by screams, called Animal Services. Meanwhile the mother raccoon  came down to the injured baby that had been hit with the spade and picked it up and carried it away. A second pup was taken to Procyon Wildlife, a Beeton, Ont., wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Samantha, named by a volunteer, now sports a bright pink splint. After quarantine, she will be socialized with other young raccoons rescued from the same area before being returned to a green space in the fall within 15 kilometres of the Bloor St. W. and Lansdowne Ave. area where she was attacked, as is required by law. Residents in the neighbourhood said Samantha’s mother kept returning to the backyard looking for her missing baby in the days following, but has since given up her search.

This story has hit a nerve in Toronto where raccoons have become an issue. It has raised ethical and practical questions about how humans deal with wild animals in an urban environment.


Anybody who can beat an screaming animal, baby animals no less, with a shovel is undoubtedly a terrible person. There is no way there isn't something wrong with someone who can look at how terrified those animals were and still do something like that. I certainly wouldn't feel bad if I found out someone beat him so severely that he had broken limbs, it would serve him right. I am not saying I could go do that myself but I wouldn't be able to help but feel that justice was served. I hope someone tells him that.
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"Dong Nguyen, 53, of Rankin Cres, ... is to appear in court July 13. "

I think he would be pretty easy to find, given that information in the article.

I am reminded of the lady who put a kitty in the dustbin, and how the community responded to her.

Just saying.
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No person should kill animals unless he or is family is in danger. He was using a shovel to kill baby racoons??? Come one! He could have taken a different route and got cage traps or got a dog. Any person who could do this has few feelings for other living things, and is probably not safe around people either.
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i have many problems with animals: squirrels,ground hogs, raccoons. I trap them in various sized humane traps and take them all to one location in the country.
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If you get a raccoon in your home, it can ruin your life. Here is a Youtube video with raccoon in a home.

I'm not saying he should have beat it with a shovel, but they aren't so cute when you realize how dangerous and destructive they can be.
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Good video, I am surprised he was feeding it.

They have such beautiful hands.

Eradication doesn't seem to work for a lot of Synanthropic species. I mean we don't have to catch and release cockroaches.

Domestication is not an option, but perhaps some other form of co-operation.

Link to a TED talk about the intelligence of crows. Kind of relevant. At least introduced me to the word "Synathropic".
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Problem Solved.

//and no screams - just glub glub glub//

People they're pests - if you want them wrecking your property - good for you - on my property they're varmints and they're nothing but target practice.
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"..or got a dog..."

What? How is having a dog rip a baby raccoon apart more gentle then clubbing it to death with a shovel?

This guys only problem was that he was too much of a wuss to get the job done. You don't give them love taps (that is cruel), you have to give them a few quick, strong whacks on the skull (quick and relatively painless) to get the job done right.
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I take that people who aren't uniformly for the extermination of vermin have never actually had to deal with them. Raccoons aren't cute, they are disgusting disease carrying nuisances. A properly wielded shovel should be plenty to take care of them.

A friend of mine has had problems with small possums somehow making their way into his apartment. He just wrings their necks (and, I guess, never stops washing his hands).
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I live in the deep woods. We have skunks, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, coy dogs, the works. There are so few, if any at all, that actually wreak havoc or that become a disease risk. Anybody that kills animals is a paranoid, hateful freak - period - no matter how you cut it. Violent stupid humans.
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I *really* hope all you people screaming 'OMFG ANIMAL CRUELTY SUX!!" don't eat meat, wear fur or leather, buy certain products from companies that test on animals or consume animal products. Else you'd be hypocrites.
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Hypocrisy is almost as bad as bouncing up and down on that poor high horse's back.

Pests should be gotten rid of, but if there's no need for cruelty, then it should be avoided.
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Really screwed up, specially those trying to justify this a-hole's actions.
I understand that people consider them pests, but to kill the raccoons w/ a shovel, BABY raccoons no less is just twisted. I don't care how you want to try to spin it.
I know no one would probably be making a big deal about this if it had been a rat instead, but that IMO would still have been twisted and sick.
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"Raccoons aren't cute, they are disgusting disease carrying nuisances. "

BS. That baby racoon is as cute as can be. Yeah I'm sure they were annoying but give me a break. I'd want nothing to do with someone who'd take a shovel to a baby racoon. Then again, I don't like clubbing babies seals either..

Nasty, brutish, vile behaviour. Shameful.
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What # 4 said..... it's not about getting rid of animal problem, it's about the kind of person that can whack animals with a shovel as they scream in pain. That's not a neighbor I want.
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It's not the killing that's bothersome, just that it wasn't a clean execution. As far as it being cute, baby rabbits and chipmnuks are cute, but they're a nuisance that a cat can control very easily. My mom's cat catches them all the time.

If you can't kill something humanely, pay someone to get rid of the animal.
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It's very simple really. If you can kill an animal, especially in an intimate way (smashing its head, wringing its neck, etc.), it's a small step to doing the same to a human. All you need to do is ask any serial killer how they got started.
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Raccoons are pests. Seeing how this happened in Toronto I imagine that the homeowner isn't allowed to keep a gun, and a shovel is all he had available to use to dispatch the animals.

To all you idiots (and yes, I mean IDIOTS) who think killing an animal is wrong, piss off. If I get a raccoon that keeps coming around tearing things up I use my shotgun to deal with the problem.

Stop anthropomorphizing animals. And to Bozko (or is that BOZO) who said it's a small step from killing an animal with a shovel to killing a human, you've got it backward. The act of killing an animal doesn't turn you into a serial killer, it's that sociopaths sometimes start out killing animals. Don't even start to try to make this homeowner, who was only trying to rid his home of pests, into some sort of murderous beast.

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Bozko, you've been watching too many episodes of Dexter. As far as we know, this man wasn't taking a sick pleasure in killing - he was likely just unable to do it right. But that's for a court to decide.

As for the people showing off their false bravado - "where does he live?" - give me a break. He's easy enough to find, and threatening someone with harm is still illegal.

And a raccoon is not a baby seal. For one thing, baby seals aren't climbing into your attic, having more babies, and wreaking havoc.
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"If you can kill an animal, especially in an intimate way (smashing its head, wringing its neck, etc.), it's a small step to doing the same to a human. All you need to do is ask any serial killer how they got started."

Using your logic, every livestock farmer in America is a nascent serial killer. Get a clue.
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I hunt. I also love animals. I think raccoons are cute. I also know that raccoon dropping are dangerous (brain worms, yuck). Personally, I trap raccoons and woodchucks in non-lethal traps and drive them up into the mountains. I've always felt there's something spiritually wrong about killing animals for no reason (e.g. not for food, or in self-defense).
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It's not about cute animals, it's about treating or exterminating animals humanely. And yes I would be up in arms about rats being beaten to death with shovels as well.
Guy is a loon, plain and simple.
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I hope giants descend on all of you who think that this is okay, and beat you to death with shovels. Slowly. While you're screaming in pain, and your mother watches helplessly.

Yes I wish that on you, and no it doesn't bother me one bit.
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People have a right to get rid of pests that are damaging their property. But that doesn't mean it's OK to club baby animals to death with a shovel.
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Wow, what extreme comments. Of course it's not okay to treat any animal cruelly. Enjoying your lobster, by the way?

The knee-jerk reactions are showing just how little thought people are putting into their comments before posting them. I don't think anybody here really supports a long, drawn-out, agonizing death for any animal. Although chelly's false bravado pushes the hyperbolic envelope; It hope it doesn't really reflect how little chelly values human life.

It's for the courts to decide whether this man was acting deliberately or just incompetently; either way, it's cruelty.
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"Raccoons aren't cute, they are disgusting disease carrying nuisances."

Actually, raccoons are cute AND they are disgusting, disease-carrying nuisances. The cognitive dissonance between those two facts, both of which are true, is why this post has 30-some comments on it while most others have one or two.
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Did you guys know that free-will is an illusion? This kind of behavior is indicative of an act of passion. As mentioned; if premeditated you would go and buy traps. This strikes me as more of a "OH! There is that dang raccoon again! Quick give me that shovel before he gets itno the trash." Like a spurr of the moment, temporary act of passion.

We all have them, but we like to pretend we are more calm, cool and rational than we are even metaphysically possible of being. We are deluded if we think we know what we would do in any given situation. You are deluded if you are able to sit back in your chair and say "There is definitely 'something wrong' with that man." There is something wrong with all of us! We are partially driven by passion, mostly driven by fear and desire, and only employ reason as an after-thought to justify our emotions or to condemn someone else.

I know few of you give a damn about physical neuroscience, but suffice to say that the entire organism is controlled somewhat through the limbic-system and brain-stem (Reptilian Complex). That is all emotional, reflex and instinct. Your thinking brain sits on-top and partially inhibits or excites your reptilian brain, but all of this is somewhat conflictory and disorganized and fed through the brain-stem before reaching the extremities.

A person like... drumroll... Phineas Gage, a 19th century railroad worker who was impaled in the frontal lobes by a tamping iron and is well known to introductory to psychology students, clearly indicates you cannot hold someone responsible in this traditional sense that some of you are doing here. It's not a "He's that kind of person". That is childish talk and totally deluded about what human is.
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Who the hell says human beings have more right to the planet than anything else? BTW anybody who puts forward any form of religious argument is on a hiding to nothing. If you can't justify your viewpoint without recourse to a mythical deity then you can't justify your viewpoint at all.
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A few million years of evolution gives me the right to decide between "me" and "them".

Being on top of the food chain has it's perks. As does larger brain capacity (which most humans seem to not use), opposable thumbs, and superior reasoning skills.

For all the bleeding hearts out there - have you ever watched animals (of any sort)? They are not kind, or sympathetic, or nice, they are eat or be eaten.

It's called Nature.
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Holy flying F.. the amount of ignorance in this thread is just mind boggling.

Raccoons, etc can be pests to an extreme degree, but being downright barbaric to them with abuse is not excusable. It disgusts me how many people can rationalize it. You people do realize we have been taking over their space with our ridiculous urbanization right?

Like the few on this thread, trap and release is a much better option.
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I live in a rural area and we have squirrels, moles, voles, skunks, porcupines, prarie dogs, and the occasional badger. Yet the only thing that ever destroys my garden is the neighbors cat.

I use a lot of methods to keep pests out of my garden. None of them involve whacking or stabbing at critters with implements.

If you live in the city -contact animal control or whatever wild life service in you area. Both usually offer a cage to trap the animal in and they take care of it from there.

Skunks and raccoons are beneficial because they dig up the grubs, eat mice and small pocket mice.

As for the "brain worms." We have problems with hantavirus out here. You need to treat raccoon scat the same way. You need to be aware of the diseases that wild animals carry.
What are you doing ingesting it anyways? Really.
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In my book, our species are ACVs [Aberrant/Arrogant Chimpanzee Vermin]. We ARE the only vermin on the planet! Native Americans are the only TRUE Human Beings. Some people in Highcliffe, Dorset, UK, back in the 70s were moaning in the local paper about Vipers living on the local clifftops, and scared their goddamn stoopid mutt would get bitten. There are two points here: Vipers [or Adders] were there, in all likelihood, before we chimps walked over from France, and, if a damnfool dog is allowed off the lead and sticks his nose into a snake`s coils, then he deserves all he gets - if he survives, he`ll know better next time! As to this gooker subhuman who whopped the Raccoons - I guess it`s too much to hope he`ll spend time in jail & get the physical abuse and vilification he deserves! Shoulda stayed in `Nam..!! Remember, folks:"Fur and feather and scale and skin - different without but the same within.." People who harm `other` life inspire anti-hominid feelings and actions....
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