Malden Police came to the rescue of a local couple who were attacked and bitten by a rabid raccoon in the backyard of their home.
According to reports, Laurie Rose, a Forestdale resident, has been placed on a regimen of rabies shots after being treated at a local hospital following the attack Saturday afternoon.
Malden Animal Control Officer Kevin Alkins told The Malden Advocate yesterday it was the first instance of a rabid animal attacking a local resident in many years, one of few he could recall in his 23 years of service.
Malden Police had to shoot the rabid raccoon which attacked Rose and injured her heel, which required treatment. The raccoon also charged the police officer after he arrived on the scene on Winship Street.
“When I went into the backyard, the raccoon was at the opposite end of the yard and it ended up charging and coming at me, Malden Ptl. Polston said in an online report. “I had to shoot it.”
Rose’s husband, Brian Day, had also come to the aid of his wife before the Malden officer had arrived, and had been hitting the raccoon with a metal pan from the kitchen, trying to get it off his wife.
“I had the pan in my hand, but I wasn’t quite sure where the raccoon was,” said Day, who is blind, in a report. “Laurie was screaming that it was biting her. I just kind of reached down and felt with the pan where it was, and I kind of whacked it four or five times as hard as I could.”
The efforts by Day were successful in dislodging the raccoon from Rose’s heel and the couple went inside and called police. Ptl. Polston arrived and put the raccoon down due to the dangerous situation.
Rose was first alerted to the raccoon’s presence Saturday when she heard her chicken, Alice, squawking Saturday evening and decided to go outside to put Alice in her pen. That’s when she spotted the raccoon.
“It just charged me. I slipped and it grabbed a hold of my heel, and it would not let go,” Rose said.
Animal Control Officer Alkins warned Malden residents they should never approach a wild animal even in their own backyard and that most of them want nothing to do with humans, anyway.
“Almost every wild animal, including raccoons will run away when they see you,” he said. If the animal is exhibiting any warning signs such as aggressiveness, residents should call the police as Rose and her husband did.
“We had the animal tested at the state level and it did come out positive for rabies,” Alkins said.
“It was a good team effort with our police and fire departments and EMS,” Alkins said. “We all worked together to come out with the best outcome.”
Alkins said the presence of rabid animals also illustrates the need for precautions of rabies vaccination for residents’ pets to safeguard their lives. “All dogs and cats must be vaccinated to protect them. They can’t protect themselves.”
Anyone with animal issues of this nature may call 911 or the Malden Police directly at 781-322-1212.