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Raccoons shot to death in Costa Mesa; suspect arrested

August 4, 2011 |  8:52 am

Man arrested for allegedly shooting two raccoons A Costa Mesa man has been arrested on suspicion of shooting two raccoons, allegedly riddling them with hundreds of pellets, possibly from a shotgun.

Photo: Samuel K. Gregory. Credit: Costa Mesa Police Department Samuel K. Gregory, of Costa Mesa, was taken into custody on suspicion of felony cruelty to animals and willful discharging of a firearm, said Sgt. Ron Chamberlin, who oversees the jail.

A badly injured mother raccoon and a dead kit were discovered at Arbor Street and Whittier Avenue, the Daily Pilot reported.

The raccoons were taken to All Creatures Care Cottage in Costa Mesa between 8 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, said wildlife director Debbie McGuire.

Gregory was arrested after residents in the area reported shots fired, Chamberlin said.

The mother raccoon had an elbow fracture and had been shot, McGuire said. Because of the extent of her injuries, the mother raccoon had to be euthanized.

The baby raccoon, called a kit, was shot at point-blank range and was dead upon arrival at All Creatures Care Cottage, McGuire said, adding that the weapon used in the crime was possibly a shotgun.

"It was horrifying," McGuire said. "There were just hundreds of pellets in both of them. There's no excuse, absolutely no excuse for that."


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Top photo: A baby raccoon, or kit, was shot in Costa Mesa. The white dots are pellets, and possibly came from a shotgun fired at close range, police said. Credit: All Creatures Care Cottage

Bottom photo: Samuel K. Gregory. Credit: Costa Mesa Police Department