Friday, 30 August 2013

Violent raccoon attack sends dog and his owner to the hospital

A violent raccoon attack in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood left both a dog and its owner in need of medical attention. 

Jason Campbell says he let his dog out into their fenced backyard on Tuesday night, just like he does every evening.

He heard the confrontation between his pet and an aggressive raccoon even before he saw it.

"I heard him squealing, and I heard the raccoon hissing," he said. "And I was like Alfie, Alfie, get inside!"

His terrier mix, Alfie, quickly ran inside. That's when Jason says the raccoon followed, and then turned on him.

"It kinda pushed me back into the house, so I was kicking and yelling," said Jason. "It was scary, I think the scariest thing was thinking he was going to go up the stairs."

When Jason threw his cell phone at the animal, it eventually retreated, but not before biting Jason on the leg.

As a typical protective pet owner, he took his dog to the animal hospital before seeing a doctor himself.

Jason says the doctors at Harborview Medical Center seemed very interested in his wound.

"I think they were like, whoa, it actually bit you," he said. "I think I had about ten injections last night, and I have to go back for four rounds of rabies treatments."

Alfie also suffered some bites and scratches, but both dog and owner are expected to be okay.

There are some strict rules regarding killing or trapping raccoons. Your best bet, especially in an urban setting, is to contact a pest professional to catch the raccoon for you.

Jason's advice to neighbors is to keep pets on a leash at night, even if they're inside a fenced backyard. 

He's also considering additional backyard lighting.

According to King County Animal Control, raccoons have adapted to urban and suburban life and are becoming more and more common in King County. 

Bites and rabies aren't the only concerns - raccoons' feces and urine also carry diseases that can be spread to people and pets.

Wildlife experts recommend anyone who encounters an aggressive raccoon to run away. You should also keep your pet's food inside and trash cans tightly secured, to keep them from scavenging so close to your home. 

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