Police: Costa Mesa man shot two raccoons

COSTA MESA — A 69-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of shooting two raccoons.

Samuel K. Gregory, of Costa Mesa, was taken into custody on suspicion of felony cruelty to animals and willfully 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 two were taken to All Creatures Care Cottage in Costa Mesa between 8 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, said wildlife director Debbie McGuire.

Residents in the area reported shots fired, and police discovered Gregory had been shooting raccoons earlier in the day, Chamberlain said.

Gregory's bail was set at $25,000. He made bail about 10:40 a.m.

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

The kit was shot at point-blank range and was dead upon arrival to 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."

McGuire said another kit was seen running away from where the other two raccoons were discovered.

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