Judge to decide if raccoons deserve protection from cruelty



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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.

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

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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