North York Man pleads guilty to animal cruelty after trapping raccoon for two weeks.

NEWMARKET, ON (April 20, 2011) - The Ontario SPCA reminds citizens that live trapping is a serious responsibility and could lead to charges if not performed properly.


On April 12, 2011, Giovanni Marchese of North York, plead guilty, under the Ontario SPCA Act, to causing an animal to be in distress. Marchese admitted to confining a raccoon to a live trap for over two weeks without providing it food, water or proper shelter.


On January 4, 2011 an Ontario SPCA Agent responded to a call in North York regarding a raccoon that was left in a live trap. The investigation revealed the raccoon had been there for approximately two weeks without any food, water, or shelter. Due to the time of year the raccoon went into a state of torpor, a type of hibernation mode to survive during its confinement.


Marchese was sentenced to $1,000.fine, prohibited for life regarding the use of live traps, and was given a two year probation.


“Live trapping may seem like an immediate and easy fix to your wildlife problem; however, it is only a temporary solution. The homeowner should take action to determine what attracted the animal to their property and remove and/or repair the sources of attraction. Otherwise, another animal will take up residence once the other (trapped) animal has been removed, which can turn into a frustrating, recurring problem.” Says Chief Inspector Connie Mallory, Ontario SPCA, “Wildlife-proofing your home and property is a long-term, preventative, and humane solution.”
Why can't I trap wildlife and move the animal(s) to another area?
Many people think that live trapping is a humane option because it does not result in the animal's immediate death. In reality, live-trapping and relocation is inhumane, cruel and ill-advised for the following reasons.


    • Live-trapping causes great stress for the trapped animal, and they may seriously injure themselves as they desperately attempt to escape.
    • The trapped animal is exposed to the elements and can suffer from painful cases of frostbite and heat stroke. If an animal is left in the trap it will suffer for days and will eventually die of exposure or starvation.
    • Domestic animals and other wildlife may harass the trapped animal causing further stress or injury.
    • Trapped and relocated animals may be separated from their young, and the dependent young left behind will die an inhumane death.
    • Relocated animals are at an extreme disadvantage in a new environment. They have to find food, water and shelter in an unfamiliar territory. There may be territorial disputes between the relocated animal and resident animals that can lead to injury and even death. Relocated animals may also spread disease to the resident wildlife population, therefore causing other animals to become ill and/or die.
    • In Ontario, it is illegal to trap and relocate animals more than one kilometer from the site where they were captured according to the Ministry of Natural Resources' Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
    • Improper use of a live trap, which results in animal suffering, could lead to animal cruelty charges through the Ontario SPCA Act.


For humane alternatives to live trapping please read our Wildlife Proofing Your Property fact sheet or our species-specific fact sheets. Or call our Wildlife Hotline at 1-888-668-7722 ex 386.




Ontario SPCA Provincial Media Contact:
Alison Cross
Manager, Communications
Ontario SPCA


The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA): Protecting animals since 1873, the Ontario SPCA is a registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities relying primarily on donations to fund animal protection, care and rehabilitation; advocacy; and humane education. The Ontario SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and provides Society investigators with police powers to do so – making the Ontario SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. The Ontario SPCA is affiliated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.



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