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Raccoon found with critical burns near Barrie park prompts animal cruelty investigation

The Procyon Wildlife Centre, a non-profit animal rehabilitation centre, says the young raccoon is in critical condition with severe burns.
The Procyon Wildlife Centre, a non-profit animal rehabilitation centre, says the young raccoon is in critical condition with severe burns. Handout / Procyon Wildlife Centre

Barrie police say officers have launched an animal cruelty investigation after a young raccoon was found in critical condition with severe burns to half of its body.

The raccoon, which is believed to be three or four months old, was found by Dianne Baddeley in her backyard near Huronia North Park in the city’s south end Sunday.

“We didn’t even know what was standing beside us because she was so badly burned,” Baddeley told Global News.

She said the young raccoon is a part of a family of raccoons that frequently visits.

“For somebody who is very connected to wildlife, this is very disturbing,” Baddeley said, adding she subsequently took the raccoon to the Procyon Wildlife Centre.

Debra Spilar, director for the non-profit animal rehabilitation centre, said the raccoon is in critical condition and being kept in an isolation room.

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“She’s heavily medicated on pain medication. She’s also receiving antibiotics to try and prevent further infection and also on burn ointment that we have to apply twice a day,” Spilar said.

“We’ve never, ever come across a case like this – ever … nothing like this bad. Her skin is just like in chunks.”

She said the raccoon will likely be in the centre’s care for a year and will require extensive care.

Barrie Police Const. Sarah Bamford told Global News on Thursday that officers are investigating the incident. She said it’s believed the raccoon was purposefully burned.

“It is an act of animal cruelty … it’s believed a flammable liquid had been thrown on [the raccoon],” Bamford said.

She said anyone with information about the incident should call police at 705-725-7024 ext. 2926 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Fur-Bearers, a non-profit wildlife sanctuary based in Vancouver, is offering a $1,000 reward “on the assumption that members of the public may know who is responsible for the burns.”

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