Flyer warns of raccoon attack

There have been raccoon sightings pretty regularly around here. Even most recently in a parking lot along Market Street.

We received an email from a neighbor who lives near 73rd & Alonzo who says that she came home and found a flyer that says:

Attention Neighbors!
A family and their dog were attacked by a raccoon last night 9/10/09 around 10:00pm. All were injured and are being treated for rabies. Be watchful of your animals and children as this “wild” creature has become a threat. Please do not feed this animal.

Update: We spoke with the family who was attacked. Updated story here.


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eric
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eric

“attacked”? or the dog and that raccoons started brawling?

hope everyone is ok…

Ellen
Guest
Ellen

Our little Yorkie was attacked by a raccoon about a month ago, luckily my husband was close by and was able to get it off. He did get bit in the leg though. When we brought it to the vet, she said she has seen many small dogs and cats killed by raccoons. She said we didn't have to worry about rabies, apparently there isn't a problem in the state of Washington with raccoons.

Edog
Member
Edog

The only raccoons I have ever seen in Ballard were so timid that this is pretty hard for me to belive. I came across 6 or 7 once with the dog, and they all froze.

If this report turns out to be true, I hope the dog and family are ok.

e/c
Guest
e/c

The racoons in our neighborhood of Sunset Hills are vicious and HUGE, but have ripped out lighting and garden hoses in the yard. They can be heard snarling in the wee hours. A friend told me they use her pond and fountain for a spa, killing fish and tearing apart underwater lights…

aballardgirl
Guest
aballardgirl

I live on Sunset Hill – no problems with raccoons for quite awhile. Thank goodness for that. But having to deal with oppossums – who are really no threat- they will hiss at you but they are more afraid of us.
I've heard of raccoons attacking but it was when they were 'threatened' by a dog barking/advancing or a cat going toward them. In my personal experience, they turn tail and head for the hills.

Balmont
Guest
Balmont

Salmon Bay Park neighborhood: we had raccoons coming in our cat door, up the stairs, and onto tables in the dining room to eat chocolate sitting there! Unreal, and hard to believe. We set traps, almost caught one, and they “shifted their pattern”, as they are nomads that will avoid potential problems, and never came back. Scary, though.

SPG
Guest
SPG

Just because the raccoons you ran into didn't attack, doesn't mean those same ones won't next time. They're very unpredictable and they really aren't afraid of most things. If they think they can get away with an attack, they will try. If they think it's easier to get into your trash they'll do that instead. Don't count on raccoons to just run away.

Balmont
Guest
Balmont

Raccoons are afraid of vacuum cleaners, but when you have to aggressively come at them with a Hoover due to their being in your home, it's less than reassuring. Yelling, menacing behavior, they just watch and stand their ground. Yikes!

wildernessbarbie
Guest
wildernessbarbie

Balmont… I had this problem as well. They were coming in the dog door and eating my dog's food. He got attacked one day while I was at work. A blind 9lb dog is no match for a raccoon. Luckily he healed quickly. Ballsy “little” suckers, they would stare at me through the dog door waiting for me to leave again. Yeah, right.

The way to keep them out (I swear this works, I've used this trick at three different houses) is to have a man “mark his territory” across the steps or area leading up to the entrance. Have them do it once or twice a year. It stopped working once and they came back, and then I realized I'd had that part of my deck replaced. Friend came over and did it again, no more raccoons. :-)

Stephomy
Guest
Stephomy

Aren't raccoons just a fact of life in the city? They haven't “become a threat” they've always been there. There have been raccoons on my backyard every night for the past seven years. There were raccoons in my backyard when I was a kid.

HeardOnthe44
Guest
HeardOnthe44

I hope the family and their dog heal well. I have not seen any Raccoons in Ballard however there is a family of Skunks that passes quietly through our neighborhood, nightly.

Tastyviddles
Guest
Tastyviddles

We have at least two that hide out under our deck. We've had quite a few soccer balls bitten and flattened. They are constantly trying to get in our garbage can too. And they are HUGE! When we first moved in, I was gardening in the early morning and out of the corner of my eye – THOUGHT I saw a dog walking passed me…then realized it was a HUGE raccoon!

ducksinseattle
Guest
ducksinseattle

The raccoons were here before us, and they'll be here long after us. They are definitely survivors, and will do whatever it takes to stay alive. If humans simply open their door to let their dogs outside, before first surveying their yards to make sure the yards are safe, then certainly the raccoons will do what it takes to make sure they survive. If there are dog/cat doors into houses, the raccoons are smart enough to get inside. Once they've found food upon entering, it's hard to get rid of them. What would you do if you lived outside, had hands and clever brains, and families to feed? It's smart to secure your pet doors before it gets dark, and/or make sure there's no food available inside your house. There are easy measures you can take to live peacefully with raccoons. I had a beautiful koi pond, full of goldfish and koi, underwater lights, fountains, and plants. It took the raccoons a while to disover the pond, but once they did, it was goodbye pond! Now, that space is a vegetable garden, very boring as far as the raccoons are concerned, but really more productive. Raccoons are smart creatures, and… Read more »

Name
Guest
Name

I just had a family of 5 in my yard at 28th and Market last night. They seemed unconcerned by my presence at all, and eventually made their way under the fence and on down the road.

motorrad
Member
motorrad

Raccoons can slice and dice most cats and dogs when cornered, startled, and sometimes, I guess, because they can. Even if a dog does win the fight they will pay a bloody price. Raccoons are cunning vicious fighters with strong kung fu. No matter what breed or how bad ass the dog the raccoons will do damage. Most of the time they seem timid but do not rely on past behavior. It was a pain but I always walked the yard before I let my dog out at night. Just not worth the risk.

stokejason
Guest
stokejason

I always check the yard. Saw one raccon on our fence one night. Didn't seem interested in my dogs but went when it saw me on our deck. Seen them on 25th NW a few times and saw two going into a neighbours yard a few weeks ago!

ducksinseattle
Guest
ducksinseattle

motorrad, that's very smart. Walking the yard first, before your dog, is an excellent tactic. In our yard, we have powerful flood lights that come on with any movement after dusk, which helps a lot. Our little 15-pound JR terrier is a 135-pound dog in a 15-pound body. What kind of opponent is that to a raccoon? Our 13-year-old black lab mix who can barely make it down the stairs, again, what kind of fight could she wage? And who wants to see it happen? Check your yard, thoroughly, including the neighbors if your fence has wide slats, before you let your dogs out.

Cats, OTOH, have some kind of a peaceful impasse, for the most part, with raccoons. Like, “Hey, dude, wuss happenin' how's it hangin' I'm juss doin' mah thang” and they go their separate ways.

Balmont
Guest
Balmont

Ducks eat slugs? Very handy! :)

Ballardmom
Guest
Ballardmom

We have a family of raccoons who live somewhere near our yard. I see them frequently scurrying around the backyard after dusk and they did come out during the day on the day I brought home my chickens. So far they are ballsy and unafraid (they go through my next door neighbor's cat door to eat their cat food) but have not attacked and don't seem to be on the offensive. They will fight if cornered though.

If that story is true and the raccoon attacked the family completely unprovoked there is a good chance it was rabid because rabid animals are extremely unpredictable because they're not in their right mind. That is really sad. I've heard that rabies treatment is not pleasant at all and involves a lot of series of shots. Not to mention how terrifying to worry about possibly contracting rabies.

Ballardmom
Guest
Ballardmom

Oh yeah … and is there any chance this flyer is a left over prop from the movie they're filming in Ballard?

Silver
Member

Excerpted from this page: http://www.nwcphp.org/docs/rabies/Rabepi.html “Animal Rabies in Washington State Currently, Washington has no terrestrial animal reservoirs of rabies. Bats are the most commonly rabid animal in this state. Of the 5175 Washington bats examined from 1960-2000, 433 (8%) were rabid. Rabid bats have been found in almost every county in the state. The virus has been identified in the bat species common here, and likely occurs in all of the 16-18 bat species present in Washington. Other than bats, only eight individual animals from this state have tested positive for rabies since 1960. In 1976, an unvaccinated cat from Thurston County was found to be rabid. The following year, a five year old unvaccinated dachshund tested positive for rabies. These were the last confirmed rabid cat and dog in the state. Two other domestic animals have been diagnosed with rabies since 1960: a horse from Benton County in 1992; and a llama from King County in 1994. The llama was found to be infected with a bat variant of the rabies virus. Because the specimens from the horse were fixed in formalin, the virus strain infecting that animal could not be further characterized at the time. The only other… Read more »

HeardOnthe44
Guest
HeardOnthe44

I was kinda thinking along that same train of thought……and wondering.
Still, feel very sorry for what the family went through and hope they heal up fast.

patooties
Guest
patooties

Raccoons used to harass us and our Sunset Hill/Ballard (transition area) house all the time. They liked to come up on the roof, urinate and defecate nightly. I did not appreciate that. Trying to gently shoo them away, using various potions made from everything from chili powder to coyote urine had no effect on them whatsoever. When I would confront them, on the roof or in the yard, they would just stand their ground and just give me a dirty look, as if they were the ones making the big mortgage payments and I had no reason to come crap in their home. Eventually I got tired of the routine and decided it was either them or me. I went out and bought a pellet gun. Now when I hear one on the roof, I pop my head out the window and shoot the little creeps. They're big fluffy fur-balls, and it's just a cheap (low power) pellet gun (like a kid's toy BB gun), so I'm very confident they're not being harmed in the slightest way (too bad…) but once I started popping them, they've learned to go shit somewhere else. They come back once or twice a year,… Read more »

Sean McClintock
Guest

Our dog got into a fight with a raccoon in our backyard late one night. It was pitch black and my wife was out there and couldn't see what was going on. All she could her was them screaming at each other an rolling around on the ground. Surprisingly our little three-legged dog held her own and walked away without a scratch. However it took all she had in her because the next day she couldn't move. When I say she couldn't move, I mean it. She was so sore she couldn't really lift herself off the floor. I had to carry her outside so she could go potty.

Crazy raccoons.

Edog
Member
Edog

Yes, and no. The problem with raccoons is not that they are clever, but that we have killed their natural preditors. That Magnolian Cougar could have been helpful in this regard.

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