The Toronto Wildlife Centre says a pest control company, which is not being named, is being investigated for animal cruelty after a mother raccoon was found trapped in a cage in the heat for hours.
The centre initially said the company was charged, but has since said there is now an investigation.
Sharing the post online on Thursday, the TWC wrote the animal was exposed to the heat for at least four hours, the “mother raccoon had been trapped in a metal cage set on a downtown Toronto rooftop in 30+ degree weather, with no shelter from the blazing sun.”
It said that time was long enough for the animal to become “very dehydrated, with the metal bars heating up underneath her paws.”
“We all know how hot asphalt or sand on a beach gets in the summer sun… imagine how scalding hot the bars of a metal cage can become?” it added.
After seeing a post online, a member on the TWC team called for help and rushed the animal into the centre. The rehabilitator “placed the terrified and overheated animal in a kennel with a frozen towel and frozen water bottle for relief. The dehydrated and very thirsty patient was given Pedialyte, which she drank from a bowl immediately.”
RELATED: Relocating raccoons could separate mothers from babies, Toronto Wildlife Centre says
Staff noticed the raccoon was lactating, but her babies were left back at the property. It’s unclear what happened to the little ones, but the TWC said it appears they are gone “and the company has admitted that last year in a similar situation babies, were taken away and killed.”
“Tragically, we see too many orphaned wild babies as a result of these unregulated, unlicensed (there is no licensing body) companies that capture and take away parents either for relocation (a death sentence) or euthanasia, or use techniques in their work that otherwise cause suffering or injury,” the TWC wrote.
Now, the TWC is reminding residents that “humane harassment techniques” are effective and less stressful for getting the wild animals to move out of your property.
It also said if you need to hire a company for help, it’s important to do your research to find reputable companies.
If you have any wildlife removal questions, you can contact the Toronto Wildlife Centre, and it also has tips on its website.
680 NEWS has reached out to the City of Toronto and the province for comment.
UPDATE: unfortunately the pest control company has actually NOT been charged, but they are being investigated for animal cruelty. Hopefully charges will be laid for their negligence.
— Toronto Wildlife Centre (@TWC_Wildlife) June 11, 2021