Baby raccoon found burned in Barrie dies unexpectedly
A $1,000 reward has been offered to determine who threw a flammable substance on a raccoon located near Huronia North Park in Barrie last month. The raccoon has since died. SUBMITTED
BEETON – A baby raccoon that was set on fire died at a shelter, Thursday.
The tiny two or-three-month old raccoon was found dead in her crate at dinner-time by staff, said Procyon Wildlife Shelter’s director, Debra Spilar.
“She had been responding well to treatment, but it could be her young lungs had ingested too much of the lighter fluid,” Spilar said Tuesday afternoon.
The young raccoon, named Phoenix Rose, was found by a Barrie woman near the Huronia North Park, just north of Big Bay Point Road, on Aug. 6.
It’s believed the little raccoon had been doused with lighter fluid and set on fire.
She suffered burns on her body, face, head, eye and inside her mouth.
Phoenix Rose was taken to the Procyon shelter 50-kilometres south of Barrie and immediately put on heavy-duty pain medication, antibiotics and medicated ointments.
Barrie police Const. Sarah Bamford said police were saddened by the news of the young raccoon’s death.
“She had proven to be a fighter while healing from her injuries, which we believe to have been a direct result of individual(s) setting her on fire after pouring an accelerant on her,” said Bamford. “This inhumane act of animal cruelty is unforgivable and the investigation is ongoing.”
To that end, the shelter hosted a booth at the Dog Tales Festival in King City two weeks ago, handing out flyers and asking the public to spread the word about the shelter’s burn-victim and requesting tips leading to the arrest of those who had harmed her.
The tiny raccoon’s fate spread across the internet, said Spilar, adding the story had more than 26,000 views.
A contest was held to name her, and a woman from the United States won by naming her Phoenix Rose, Spilar added.
“We had hundreds and hundreds of people contacting us with well wishes and prayers,” Spilar said. “Even though it’s a raccoon, nobody wants to wish any harm on anything so small like that.”
Police are appealing for anyone who has information to contact them at 705-725-7025, or to remain anonymous, contract Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.tipsubmit.com.