Raccoon Trap Leads to Charges for 2

By Randy McIlwain
|  Thursday, Jul 28, 2011  |  Updated 7:38 PM CDT
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Criminal charges have been filed against a trapper and a rescuer over one raccoon trapped at a Richardson apartment complex.

Randy McIlwain, NBCDFW.com

Criminal charges have been filed against a trapper and a rescuer over one raccoon trapped at a Richardson apartment complex.

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One trapped raccoon in Richardson has led to criminal charges for two people on opposing ends of the urban-wildlife spectrum.

Bonnie Bradshaw, who works for a wildlife rescue, faces attempted theft charges. The owner of the company that trapped the raccoon faces a charge of inhumane treatment of an animal.

Both charges are Class C misdemeanors.

How did it all begin?

Stacie Hughes called 911 Wildlife Rescue last month after she noticed a raccoon was in a box trap all day.

She called property management after she saw when when was leaving her Richardson apartment for work. But when she returned home 12 hours later, the raccoon was still there.

"I was heartsick," she said. "It was obvious he was near death."

Bradshaw, of 911 Wildlife Rescue, was given custody of the raccoon.

"The animal needed immediate attention," Bradshaw said. "It couldn't wait for anything."

But she took the trap and another trap that was empty.

"I wanted to prevent another animal from going through that same torture," Bradshaw said.

But Cridder Catchers called it theft and filed a complaint with police.

"She does not have the right to take that property from him so you're looking at a property rights issue," Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich said.

Bradshaw turned the traps over to Richardson Animal Services, which started its own investigation based on Bradshaw's and Hughes' statements.

"The city ordinance that we have actually goes above and beyond state law that says any animal you will not treat in an inhumane way," city spokesman Greg Sowell said.

Bradshaw requested a jury trial, which has been scheduled for Aug. 17.

Cridder Catchers did not respond to interview requests Thursday. It has two weeks to respond to the city citation.

Richardson police urge anyone who sees an trapped animal that is jeopardy because of injury or weather conditions to contact police or animals services.

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