Critter cruelty on the rise according to animal rehabilitation centre

Sean Holden / November 27, 2018

Human caused injuries to animals vary throughout the year. According to CCWS Animal Care Supervisor, Nathan Wagstaffe, most animal conflicts in urban centers occur in the summer, and accidental ones occur in the winter.
(LauraTara / Pixabay)

WARNING: Readers may find some content disturbing.

Critter Care Wildlife Society had 1,600 cases of human caused wildlife injuries so far this year, according to Animal Care Supervisor Nathan Wagstaffe.

That’s 100 more than the entire year of 2017.

“I can guarantee three quarters of them have been from animal conflicts,” said Wagstaffe.

“There’s more development, there’s more people, there’s going to be more conflict with wildlife.” – Nathan Wagstaffe, Animal Care Supervisor with CCWS

The rehabilitation centre takes in animals with a diverse range of human caused injuries.

But, last Friday Wagstaffe says they had one of the worst they’ve seen.

“My colleague got a call about a raccoon, and he proceeded to go rescue the raccoon basically,” recalls Wagstaffe.

The call came from a Burnaby resident who found the raccoon stuck in a cage that was left in a garbage can, as rain slowly filled it. The raccoon had been in there for a week.

The resident explained that the cage had been put there by their landlord.

“When it arrived at the centre, we got it out of the kennel and it could hardly move,” stated Wagstaffe. “She had water in her lungs, equally she had hypothermia.”

Wagstaffe and his colleagues attempted to warm the raccoon up with an electric blanket. The fur on its tail had nearly rotted off from the rain, and it was suffering from dehydration.

The team took to social media to update the public on the status of the raccoon.

However, after several rounds of pain medication,treatment  and warm blankets, the raccoon died that evening.

“We did the most we can… It was just too late.” – Nathan Wagstaffe, Animal Care Supervisor with WWCS

He adds that this sort of practice isn’t uncommon to see though.

The centre dealt with one incident involving an older raccoon that had been shot multiple times with different calibers of guns. The centre has also had to deal with more and more incidents of bear traps breaking the limbs of animals.

“I was disgusted. This should not be happening in the modern day,” said Wagstaffe.

“I’m from England. Our laws are a lot stricter then they seem to be here. There’s the five freedoms and cruelty should not be one of them.”

Wagstaffe believes the way forward is to educate the public on how to humanly deal with animal conflicts as well as tighter protections of wildlife in urban centers.