Aggressive raccoon attacks puppy in Vancouver's West End
3-month-old puppy Kira was jumped by a raccoon as owner fought back
It was raccoon versus puppy in Vancouver's West End and it ended with a trip to the hospital for the dog's owner.
Vancouver's FrançoisMorissette was walking three-month-old Kira down a sidewalk on Wednesday when the puppy was suddenly attacked.
"The raccoon basically jumped on Kira and when I grabbed my dog the raccoon was still holding on to her in some way, probably holding with the fur," Morisette said.
Kira was bitten in the leg and Morissette was also injured: He fell when trying to separate his dog from the raccoon, and ended up going to the hospital to get stitches.
Raccoons are common in the West End and, now that spring is here, they are more active — often with young ones to protect. In years past, Vancouver residents have been bitten, and cats have been targeted as well.
Two years ago, Drew Snider's cat Teeny was cornered by a gaze of raccoons.
"I just heard this terrible cat screaming sound and growling like the Tasmanian Devil and I found that these three raccoons has basically swarmed our cat, and I chased them off with a pitch fork," Snider said.
Teeny had a punctured thigh and scrapes to the belly.
Morissette has called the city, the province, even his MP. He wants the raccoon removed.
But the city's policy is for residents to coexist with wildlife, not to feed them and to discourage contact, especially if the critters' babies are nearby.
Neighbours who came to the window during Wednesday's attack feel for Kira and her owner, but say getting rid of the raccoons just isn't practical.
Morissette still feels something should be done. He doesn't want to go through the experience ever again.
"Just hearing her cry this way was probably one of the worst experiences of my life," he said.
The City of Vancouver says that while rabies isn't a concern in this case, canine distemper is; and Kira should be checked out by a veterinarian and the dog's owner should make sure her shots are up to date.
With files from the CBC's Kirk Williams