Raccoons hunting cats in Abbotsford, warns vet clinic manager
Clinic says it's seen at least 20 attacks since January
The office manager of an Abbotsford veterinary clinic is warning the public to keep their household cats inside after an uptick in raccoon attacks.
"We used to see one or two a year [raccoon attacks on cats]. You know, cats would come in, and they would have bites on their tails or bites on their backs or scratch marks.
"But now, they're coming in and they're severely injured, the ones that do make it," Glenn Mountain Animal Hospital's Janice Toplass told Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC's The Early Edition.
She says her clinic has seen five attacks since June, and 20 since the beginning of January.
Toplass believes the attacks are centred around Glenn Mountain and McMillan Road and is warning the public they're taking place during the day, as well as at night.
Toplass lost her own cat to a raccoon attack last November and remembers when her husband found the cat on their front lawn.
"He was deceased. He had been attacked and a third of him eaten," said Toplass.
"Up until recently, I never would've thought they hunted and ate meat. I thought they were scavengers and lived in garbages. It never would've occurred to me that they would hunt and kill."
Pet owners on their own
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service says raccoons and the problems associated with them are out of its jurisdiction.
"It really is up to pet owners to ensure the safety of their animals. If people are concerned about raccoons interacting with their pets, they can certainly keep the pets indoors or just accept that sometimes there'll be negative reactions," said Insp. Ben York.
However, if raccoons become aggressive toward humans, York says conservation officers will step in.
York says if people are having problems with raccoons on their property, they could contact a local pest control company.
You can listen to the full interview below; warning, the interview contains an explicit description of a cat attack.