Best Of 2008

BEST WAY TO ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF THE FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION: Burn a raccoon alive, show no remorse.

In April, Pinellas Park roofing company foreman Eric L. Hill was charged with felony animal cruelty and did brief jail time for killing a raccoon that could not be coaxed out of a tar-heating machine. Hill and his employees were working on the roof of Northside Hospital in Pinellas Park when they discovered two raccoons inside the machine. They were able to remove a singed-haired baby but the other, an adult and likely its mother, would not come out. Hill apparently told his employees that they were wasting time and to turn on the machine, raccoon or no. When they refused, Hill did the deed himself, burned the raccoon alive and caught the attention of local animal activists, who posted his address on a range of message boards and encouraged people to harass the hell out of him. We figured we’d issue this reminder.