Raccoons enter home thru doggy door, attack pets

The extraordinary effort to save an injured and orphaned raccoon named "Timmy."

December 15, 2010 11:32:15 PM PST
Alameda police are warning residents about vicious raccoons who are attacking people and animals. It's the 10th incident in the last six months and the latest attack wounded two family pets, after a gang of raccoons used a doggy door to get into the house.

Those two dogs are now under rabies quarantine for 30 days and experts are urging homeowners to keep the pet door shut. Neighbors are also taking precautions.

"When I heard about the raccoons, we have a door, a doggy door in the back that the dogs use to come in and out at night. I guess we've got to slide down to shut the door and close down and they won't be going outside anymore," Alameda resident Jim Ross said.

The raccoons come out at night traipsing around the neighborhood, looking for food in garbage and recycling cans you find out in the street. Now they're going into homes through pet doors to enjoy dog and cat food.

"If there was no garbage, no pet food and if there are more people feeding raccoons on purpose, there is some of those, and if there wasn't that, there would still want food but the population wouldn't get so high where there is population stress and it's affecting the animals," Daniel Wilson from Alameda Vector Control said.

But what has animal control people concerned is the intensely aggressive behavior exhibited by raccoons.

"With some of the earlier incidents, people were just walking down the street with their dogs and have an aggressive raccoon react to their dog, well that's really troubling because it's a public safety issue.

Public safety concerning raccoons is bothering Ross -- and this is a Marine talking.

"They are dangerous. They are not afraid of anything, and I don't want to come out and have one on my leg," he said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture came out and trapped some raccoons and removed them from this area. The best advice is when walking your dog, be aware of your surroundings, especially at night, because raccoons can come out of nowhere and attack. Also the best offense is some defense, so keep those pet doors shut.


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