Animal Rights

A San Francisco carpenter saved a raccoon's life after he discovered his supervisors planned to kill it. The man was fired as a result. According to his attorney, the carpenter was making a personal moral statement that did not hurt anyone. For this reason, his attorney is arguing that firing the carpenter was a violation of his first amendment rights.

Trappers captured the raccoon at a construction site where the carpenter had been working. Allegedly, the raccoon was causing problems at the site and the builders hired a professional to take care of the situation.

When carpenter Todd Sutton reported to work last month, he saw the trapped animal and realized it was going to be euthanized. The 49-year-old man moved swiftly into action. He took the animal back to his truck, uncaged it and contacted animal control to ask what he should do. However, before Sutton could release the animal, his supervisors discovered his rescue plans and fired him immediately.

Carpenter: "Why (Are) You Going to Kill an Animal for No Reason?"

According to Sutton, "It was a cute little raccoon, it was a baby trapped in a cage. Why (are) you going to kill an animal for no reason?"

Fortunately for the raccoon, losing his job did not prevent Sutton from saving the animal's life. He let the raccoon go not far from the construction site by the Embarcadero.

Lawsuit May Seek Punitive Damages

Attorney Steve Jaffe is representing Sutton in an

The carpenter has since found a new job, but he is making less money. The lawsuit is claiming lost income as damages, and it may also seek attorneys' fees, emotional distress and punitive damages.