PLAINFIELD, NJ – Authorities are investigating a case of suspected animal cruelty after a dead racoon was found in a cage last week. They're seeking information from the public, acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport announced Friday.

Shortly before 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, Plainfield Police patrol units responded to 429 John St. on a report of a trapped raccoon that had been deliberately set on fire, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin, who heads the humane animal treatment subsection of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit.

Arriving officers found the animal dead in a cage, which was resting on a curbside. Members of the Plainfield Fire Division responded to the scene and retrieved two additional cages from the home’s exterior, both containing live raccoons that were unharmed.

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The investigation to date revealed that all of the cages were set up at the home by a contracted pest control company last month, authorities said. An accelerant is believed to have been used to set the trapped raccoon on fire, although the specific type of substance used remains under investigation, authorities said.

Anyone with information about this matter or the identity of the person or persons responsible is being urged to contact Plainfield Police Lt. Edward Hafekin at 908-753-3131 or Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Vito Colacitti at 908-527-4670.

A Facebook post by Traveling 4 Paws Rescue stated there is a reward being offered for information.

For an overview of New Jersey’s animal cruelty statutes and information on how to report such incidents, go online to http://ucnj.org/prosecutor/animal-cruelty/.

Westfield NJ Local News

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