SEARSMONT (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Yet another rabid animal attack has taken place in the area of Maine's midcoast. A dog was bitten by a raccoon early Thursday morning in Searsport.
Diane Sturgeon, the dog's owner, told NEWS CENTER Maine that Decker is doing fine. She said the marks are barely visible on his chin where he was bitten, and he's "shown no ill effects" since the attack. She said they got lucky Decker wasn't more seriously injured.
The raccoon did test positive for rabies, according to Searsmont Animal Control Officer Robin Dow. Fortunately, Sturgeon said, Decker was up to date with vaccinations, was given a rabies shot for good measure and "bounced right back from the whole thing as though nothing happened."
"It was definitely alarming when it happened," she said. "We've lived here for more than 15 years and had dogs almost the entire time and have never experienced anything like this."
Sturgeon said it was pretty obvious the raccoon was sick. She said it's important for people to understand that it's not always so obvious and to respect that wild animals are wild and should be left alone.
"I have never worried too much about the wildlife around here except for the obvious concerns about skunks or porcupine quills," she said, "but after this incident, I'm a lot more cautious just walking around in our backyard."
Sturgeon said the scene was chaotic and "the neighbors definitely heard some colorful language." She said a friend of hers had to stand on the raccoon as she grabbed Decker's mouth to separate the two animals. She said once removed they worked to subdue the animal and it was "finished it off" with a shovel. She said her friend, in an effort to avoid exposing them both to potential disease, did well to kill the raccoon without dashing the head or getting blood or saliva anywhere.
"The experience was horrible, but it ended as well as it could have with nine of us getting really hurt," Sturgeon said. "If a wild animal is acting 'friendly,' it's probably sick."