RALEIGH, NC --Around 9 p.m. Thursday night, Raleigh resident Chuck Wright heard his dog, Sadie, barking and squealing for help in the backyard. He came outside and saw a raccoon attacking the dog by the fence.
"The raccoon was acting a little aggressive," Wright said.
He immediately took action. Wright grabbed a garden tool and hit the raccoon several times before it unclutched its teeth from Sadie.
"Unfortunately, I had to put (the raccoon) away with a shovel," Wright said.
After the animal was dead, it was transported to a lab, where it tested positive for rabies.
Sadie did suffer some injuries.
The dog's rabies' vaccination is current, and its owner was provided with counseling concerning appropriate steps that should be taken.
"She had one little spot of blood right there on her muzzle," said Chuck's wife, Nancy. "If we had not been close by, she wouldn't be probably alive."
Thankfully, the dog survived and her rabies shots were all up-to-date. As a precaution, she went back to the veterinarian Monday night for a round of booster shots
Sadie is going to be turning 12 years old next month. She's a Belgian Malinois. The breed often works as police dogs. They're intense, athletic, and intelligent. The dog is known for protecting man, but this week it was man who protected the dog.
"I really hate to kill the animal, but I was defending my dog and myself," Wright said.
The attack happened along Woodsdale Road in Southwest Raleigh, not far from Lake Johnson Park.
Raleigh Police say if anyone sees unusual behavior or has other concerns about animals in Raleigh, they should immediately call (919) 831-6311.
Wake County health officials provide the following general tips to help minimize rabies risks:
- Residents should not approach animals that they do not know.
- Residents should ensure their pets have a current rabies vaccination. If a pet is allowed outside, a booster vaccine is recommended. Outdoor pets should be kept inside until they receive booster vaccines.
- Do not feed stray or unknown animals, including cats and dogs.
- Do not leave trash or food outside, unless it is in a trash can with a tight-fitting lid.
- If a pet is fed outside, do not leave food out overnight.
- If a pet comes in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact a veterinarian immediately.