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Trap found on raccoon in Boca Raton illegal, inhumane

Posted: 5:42 PM, Oct 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-20 21:13:15-04

A raccoon got stuck on a wooden fence Wednesday morning near Spanish River Boulevard in Boca Raton and left bite and scratch marks behind, according to Mary Helen Miller.

Miller was first alerted by a neighbor walking her dog.

When Mary Helen walked into her backyard she saw the animal and called Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.

"He got the raccoon off and that's when we could see the canned trap that the paw was into. But it also had some type of long chain," Miller said.

It’s unclear who was trying to trap the raccoon, but Palm Beach Animal Care and Control says the leg-hold trap that captured the animal should not have been used.

"It is a trap that's illegal here. From our perspective it's very inhumane way to catch an animal," said Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Captain Dave Walesky.

He said they see these types of traps about once a year. And because the trap clamps down on an animal's paws, it can also seriously injure your pet.

"Generally it's wildlife that gets caught in it, raccoons and things like that. But we have had situations where cats have been caught in some of these and I believe we have had a couple of dogs too," Walesky said.

Miller said that after what she witnessed, she hopes people will avoid using that type of trap. "I hope that people if they are having a problem with raccoons, that they do it humanely."

Animal Care and Control officials believe many people don't know they shouldn't use that type of trap. Their investigation will be turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.