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PITTSBURGH (AP) – A Pennsylvania judge will decide whether raccoons are protected animals or vermin meant to be disposed.

Allegheny County officials say 68-year-old William Killgallon has been charged with felony animal cruelty after Pittsburgh police say he admitted to drowning trapped raccoons in a barrel. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Killgallon’s attorney argued Tuesday that his client should not have been charged in the first place.

He argues raccoon are vermin that are not protected under an animal cruelty law.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer DiGiovanni disagreed, saying “a raccoon is very different from a cockroach.” DiGiovanni contends animals like raccoons should be killed humanely, not drowned in a barrel.

The judge says he will issue a decision if the two sides can’t reach an agreement.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Oscar Diggs says:

    What a waste of money. Good only for the lawyers. Should have trapped the coons and released them on the porches of the “Allegheny County Officials.”

  2. Rebecca Reid says:

    Thank you to the Allegheny County DA’s prosecution team for having the courage to prosecute this case. Raccoons are actually a lot more intelligent that many of the people who trap and kill them, and it’s time for the cruelty to stop. The way ill-treatment of wildlife has been tolerated in the City of Pittsburgh until now is way out of line with the City’s otherwise progressive stance.

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