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Judge to decide if raccoons deserve protection from cruelty

December 06, 2017 02:23 PM

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.

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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.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com

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(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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