Trapped Raccoon Set on Fire in Plainfield

Authorities investigating a case of suspected animal cruelty that occurred last week are seeking information from the public, acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport announced Friday.

According to authorities, shortly before 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, Plainfield Police Division patrol units responded to 429 John Street 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.

Police say arriving officers found the animal deceased 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 according to police.

The investigation to date has revealed that all of the cages were set up at the home by a contracted pest control company last month.

Police sat an accelerant is believed to have been used to set the trapped raccoon on fire, although what specific type of substance was used remains under investigation.

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.

For an overview of New Jersey’s animal cruelty statutes and information on how to report such incidents, go online to