Rabid Raccoon Attacks Piscataway Hills Resident in Driveway

racoon
Raccoon with glowing eyes just before attack

Kris Ran Court resident Pat Myers was about to close her garage door at about 8:30 p.m. on June 26 when she saw an animal run in. She looked closer and saw the glowing eyes of a raccoon.

Not alarmed by seeing a raccoon in the evening, she pulled out her camera and took its picture. But then it started walking toward her and Pat ran toward her car in the driveway.

“The raccoon then ran after me—very fast—and before I could get the car door open, it jumped on me, scratching and biting me on both hands and legs,” Pat wrote later in a Facebook post. “I screamed and was able to throw it off, but it jumped right back on me, biting me more. Finally, I was able to get in the car and roll up the window and back out.”

Neighbors Virginia and Earl Parsons heard Pat’s screams and ran over to help. They warned other neighbors and called 911, while Pat drove to pick up her daughter, Valerie, from a music lesson and then to Fort Washington Hospital.

The hospital staff said that a scrawny, aggressive raccoon was probably rabid. Pat had numerous bites and scratches on both her arms and legs and on her back, but she didn’t need stitches. She received a tetanus shot, a rabies immune globulin shot in her arm, and two rabies shots in addition to the ones on the wounds. She had to go back for a shot in the arm at three, seven, and 14 days later. The treatments were successful and Pat has fully recovered.

A County animal control officer responded the same evening to the neighbors’ 911 call. She took a report and searched for the raccoon without success. Animal Control set a trap the next evening, and something ate the bait overnight and escaped. Mike Reamy on Piscataway Court spotted a raccoon shortly afterward, but animal control officers doubted that it was the same one, because it had not acted aggressively.

The incident caused considerable concern for several days on Kris Ran Court and Pine Road, especially since the rabid raccoon was never caught. However, animal control officers assured residents that a raccoon in apparently such a late stage of rabies would die within a few days.