World

Vancouver raccoon attacks leave neighbours shaken



Warning: This story has details that may be upsetting to some readers. 


Vicious raccoons launched two separate attacks on pets and people in a Vancouver neighbourhood last week.


In one of the attacks, a Shih Tzu dog lost an eye and now residents are demanding something be done.


The little dog, named Pingu, is healing better than his owners expected after being ambushed by three raccoons while out for a walk in the early morning hours last Friday on West 1st Avenue between Arbutus and Maple streets.


“I saw two big raccoons crouching down, motionless, staring straight at my dog,” recalled Pingu’s owner, Jake Moss.


“All of a sudden, both of them just pounced. One grabbed a hold of him, and started trying to bite his face and grab at him,” he explained.


A second raccoon launched an attack on Moss as he fought to save his dog’s life. Later, a third raccoon joined the fight.


“I saw the jaws open and he (the second raccoon) went to bite my dog’s neck and my dog sort of reached back and tried to bite the racoon in the face. When he did that, the racoon got his mouth around my dog’s eye,” said Moss.


Pingu would lose an eye in the prolonged attack, but appears otherwise okay.


Moss suffered wounds to his ankles and hands.


“This one, there’s a little bit of possible nerve damage,” Moss said, referring to his bandaged hand.


“I don’t have mobility or strength in a few of the fingers,” he added.


Neighbour Mark Harrison ran outside to after hearing Moss’ screams for help.


“I saw him standing here covered in blood, holding his dog and yelling for help,” he said, explaining that he took Moss to the vet first at his request and then the hospital.


It was the second attack by raccoons in the same area in less than 24 hours.


Mark Harrison says the evening before he helped fight off a large raccoon to save a woman’s dog.


“For me, it was a lot of trauma in one day and something must be done about the racoons in the area,” said Harrison.


Neighbours blame an area resident who they say has been feeding wildlife. They want the city and conservation officers to take action.


“We’ve contacted animal control Vancouver 311 and have gotten very little response,” said resident Sophie Roy who explained that her sister was attacked by raccoons two years ago.


“We were told by every level of government we spoke to from the city to the province that it’s just not their issue,” said Moss.


They say the lack of action has left them more frustrated than ever.


They want something done about the aggressive raccoons before another person or pet is hurt.


“It really seemed like they (the raccoons) were hunting and they saw these dogs as prey,” Moss said.

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