PETA Offers up to $2,500 Reward for Help Nabbing Newport News Opossum Torturers

Woman Films as Neighbor Repeatedly Shoots Trapped Animal With a BB Gun

For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Newport News, Va. – In early December, an opossum became trapped in the recycling bin of a Newport News resident who lives on Langley Avenue near Ferguson Lane—but the woman who found the frightened opossum, instead of simply tipping the bin to its side to set the animal free, videotaped her neighbor as he repeatedly shot at the cornered animal with a BB gun while a young boy was present and watched. It’s unclear from the video whether or not the opossum died of the wounds—the video ends with a woman asking the shooter if the opossum is still moving, and the shooter reportedly responds, “Yes,” before the lid to the bin is brought down with the injured animal still inside. The video was posted on Facebook but has since been removed, and police have yet to make any arrests in connection with this attack. PETA saved the video, which is available upon request, and is offering up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime.

Would you please consider sharing this information with your audience? It might be the only way to apprehend those behind this senseless and violent act.

“This opossum needed a little bit of help, but instead, someone sadistically riddled him with BBs—and then boastfully posted the video online,” says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. “PETA urges anyone with information to come forward immediately.”

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department at 757-622-PETA (7382).

For more information, please visit To view PETA’s anti-violence public service announcement featuring Inglourious Basterds star and Hostel director Eli Roth, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind