PLAINFIELD, NJ — PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, issued a press release on Thursday stating that the organization is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible for setting a raccoon on fire earlier this month at 429 John Street in Plainfield.
Authorities responding to a call about a fire on the morning of July 4 reportedly discovered the burned body of a young raccoon caught in a live trap. The animal had apparently been carried to the curb, doused in accelerant, and set on fire. Officials determined that a contractor had recently set several traps at a nearby home, and they retrieved two additional raccoons from other traps, both unharmed.
Police are investigating but have yet to make any arrests. That's why PETA is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction on cruelty-to-animals charges of the person or persons responsible for this crime.
"The terror and agony that this animal must have felt when set on fire are almost unimaginable," says PETA Senior Director of Cruelty Casework Stephanie Bell. "PETA urges anyone with information about this horrific crime to come forward immediately so that this raccoon's killer can be held accountable and stopped from hurting anyone else."
Anyone with information about this case should call Police Lt. Edward Hafekin at 908-753-3131 or Prosecutor's Office Sgt. Vito Colacitti at 908-527-4670.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that "animals are not ours to abuse in any way"—offers tips, available here, for coexisting with wildlife. The group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information about PETA's work for animals, please visit PETA.org.