TORONTO, Ont. – A man who attacked a family of raccoons with a shovel because they were destroying his backyard garden pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelty to animals on Tuesday, his lawyer Peter Scully told CityNews.ca.
Dong Nguyen was given a conditional discharge that included a year of probation and 100-hours of community service.
A second charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.
Nguyen, 53, swatted at an adult raccoon and five of its babies in his yard near Bloor Street West and Landsdowne Avenue on June 1, 2011.
Neighbours called 911 after hearing the animals cry and seeing Nguyen bludgeoning them. One of the animals was injured and required veterinary care, which Nguyen must pay for.
Scully spoke to CityNews.ca on Tuesday, saying his client was remorseful, but didn’t understand the protocol for dealing with wild animals in an urban setting.
“He was aggravated by the destruction that the ‘coons were causing in his backyard and he didn’t know that what he had to do is call the animal control people. He thought he had to deal with it himself,” Scully said.
“He’s certainly learned his lesson, he’s never been involved with the court system in any way before and he never will be again.”