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Raccoons attack dogs, family in Magnolia

August 4th, 2010 · 71 Comments

“It was a bloody mess.”

That’s how Maggie Mallett describes a battle with some raccoons in her yard.  Early yesterday morning, Maggie let her dogs Bailey and Casey outside.  Moments later, a mother raccoon started attacking one of the dogs.

“I started screaming and then my other dog got involved.  I was kicking the raccoon with my bare feet when it turned and attacked me,” Maggie told us.

Maggie’s husband Dean came outside to help stop the mother raccoon, only to encounter a baby raccoon that was just as aggressive.  By the time Maggie and Dean fought off the attackers, everyone was bloody from the raccoon bites.

DSCN9071 (2)
Raccoons that were rounded up a few months ago in Magnolia.

Today, after a round of rabies shots and an interview on KOMO-TV, the couple and their dogs are recovering.  Maggie says she was especially worried about one of her dogs, but they both appear to be okay.  Maggie, who lives on the 2600 block of W. Plymouth Street, wants to warn her neighbors to be careful especially since the raccoons that attacked her are probably still in the neighborhood.

“The raccoons even seem to know when garbage day is.”

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  • Nicole

    This is what I was afraid of. Our dog was attacked a few weeks ago and is still afraid to go out in the backyard. I feel for you as I will never get the sound of my dog’s cries out of my head. Thankfully, you are all ok. Something has to be done on a community level.

  • Ouch

    Sorry that happened

    Do you have little Dogs ??? I have a bunch of Raccoons come byand My Lab Scares the (*&# out of them.

    Get a BB gun ??? It’s part of living out here I guess …. Better than Rats ?

  • Mike99

    So let me get this straight. Wild animals, in/around their native environment are attacking people and pets. These are Raccoons.

    Isn’t this the same cowardly neighborhood who HAD to have Coyotes and Cougars (natural predators of Raccoons, and also native) removed so people wouldn’t be attacked, even though they hadn’t been yet??

    Come on hypocrites, coexist with nature.

  • dougm

    raccoons hate paintball guns. Just sayin’

  • Nicole

    I don’t have a problem co-existing with nature. Tell that to the raccoons. And they do hate paintball guns. Especially when you freeze the paintballs first. Or so I’ve heard anyway.

  • MudBaby

    There is a lot of forested habitat in Magnolia and along the saltwater shoreline of North Seattle in general, including the greenbelt above Pier 9. It is unrealistic to think that racoons would not occupy this habitat.

    I’d look into non-lethal methods for creating an aversive experience for racoons who enter people’s yards. These include water pistols, paint-balls or something like them filled with racoon-repelling substances, and BB guns. I would not recommend turning large, racoon-agressive dogs loose on them because rabies might be an issue.

  • MudBaby

    I meant Pier 91.

  • Roberta

    I think I read that in Washington it is illegal to remove wild animals anywhere other than to another part of your own property. (“Save the Nature” types got that one approved.) Maybe a “Raccoon Pit” dug deep into your back yard and a few plums thrown in for bait, you could have a Raccoon cap and slippers for Christmas. I hear they are tasty critters, too.

  • Roberta

    Yep, found it. Bummer!

    “It is unlawful to release wildlife anywhere within the state, other than on the property where it was legally trapped, without a permit to do so (RCW 77.15.250; WAC 232-12-271). Except for bona fide public or private zoological parks, persons and entities are prohibited from importing raccoons into Washington State without a permit to do so (WAC 246-100-191).”

  • Mike99

    “Tell that to the raccoons. ”

    Come again? They ARE nature, in their native environment, our behavior is what causes the incidents, not the other way around.

    Of course, removing their only natural predators was obviously a smart move, instead of just keeping your pets indoors or on a leash.

  • Naenmagnolia

    Where I grew up we had snakes, trantulas, scorpions, coyotes and more. Wild rabitts were our lawn mowers. :) We left everything alone as much as was possible and behaved with our brains. We moved in on them not vice versa.
    I think it is just awful that Nicole says “Something has to be done at a community level.” Really Nicole? What would you suggest a racoon lynch mob?

  • Magmom

    Oh good lord. It’s not like Magnolia is a brand new development encroaching on an unspoiled animal habitat. We are at the core of a very urban environment. We are densely populated with lots of kids.

    When wild animals become aggressive, there needs to be action. Community education, trapping the more aggressive animals, or trapping and removing enough animals to reduce the population and thus the stress that leads to aggression are some possible ideas. I’m sure the experts have better ones. But when aggressive, potentially rabid animals are actually attacking domestic animals and the adult humans that are trying to intervene, then kids are at risk.

    (Now someone will say that if we want safe kids, we should move to Belltown or something. Or keep our kids indoors! Because it’s our fault the raccoons are so very, very angry!)

  • Mike G

    Hey folks, we’re up in Ballard, but whenever the little rascals come to our backyard I use a technique my wife suggested: Ice Cubes!

    I grab a handful from the freezer and throw them, shotgun style, at the side of our wood shed. The BANG-BANG-BANG scares the poop outta the critters and I don’t have to worry about BB pellets, rocks, etc. in the yard. Sure they come back after a night or two, but after a few years of this they are still scared. Of course, it could be my Elmer Fudd or Bill Murray from Caddyshack impression that _really_ scares them away.

    I hope this helps.

  • Dennis

    Racoons will always be in Magnolia, and there is really no way to get rid of them. When faced with an unchangeable obstacle, we must adapt. Get used to it.

  • Kris

    I’ve seen people feed raccoons (though not in the Magnolia area). It’s hard to say if these raccoons were fed by humans but it seems a likely contributor to the raccoons losing their fear of dogs and people and becoming aggressive toward them.

  • Maggie Mallett

    My Westie is not out of the woods yet, and is struggling to walk due to her injuries. Not only has this been emotionally and physically traumatic, it was quite expensive due to emergency trips and continued medical care for our pets and us. We just want people to 1) stop feeding wildlife; 2) keep pet food, bbq drip pans, and garbage cans indoors; 3) watchout for your small pets (especially at night); and 4) do your best to not make physical contact with wildlife- lots of hard lessons for us personally, and we’re putting out this big heads up to spare others our physical, emotional and financial pain. The raccoons are vicious, stubborn and aggressive wildlife, not domestic pets. Yes, it was a parent protecting it’s young, and it was really a case of bad timing for the raccoons, my poochies, and us. No need to argue this one to the high court, just remember they’re wild animals….treat them as such. Thanks, Maggie

  • DeDe

    It blows my mind that our own Magnolia neighbors don’t have compassion for animals and owners getting attacked by raccoons. People are actually defending the raccoons? Are these the same people that feed them and keep them around?!! What a scary experience – I hope you are all doing ok.

  • Renee

    I live in the 2600 block of Plymouth and my neighbor across the street actually FEEDS the raccoons! It’s true….she throws leftover food onto her front lawn and no surprise – you can see raccoons scouting the place on an almost daily basis. It’s no wonder animals (both the pets and raccoons) and people have been hurt.

    I’m all for people and wild animals trying to live alongside each other but we still shouldn’t be feeding them. I’ll print off this article and walk it over to my neighbor. Maybe that will help. My point is that, this isn’t completely the raccoons fault. When a human is actually trying to entice them out of the woods with food, this is to be expected.

  • Maggie Mallett

    Hi, a post-script…our first bill has come in for our ER visit at over $29,000.00, and that’s without the additional 4 weeks of shots. Yep, I got the zeros correct. My westie can finally walk again, but both dogs and I are still nervous to go out in our own yard in the dark, more than a month later. Thanks to those who have sent good wishes, etc..

  • Rich

    Im just across the border in White Rock and last night a raccoon entered our yard in the dark. My half lab Peppy encountered him and a fight ensued. He left Peppy bleeding from the neck, ear and the very tip of his tender black nose. I hate these friggin raccoons helping themselves to my domain and I’m going to take a head off one of them with my post hole shovel if he gets brave again. Peppy was merely trying to protect his territory from the freeloader. I had blood covered all over my hands from last night and I dont want that to happen again!! >:(

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    OMG that’s so sad their is always a racoon in my house at night and my dog always starts to growl and bark like crazy the racoon left for a while but then it came back again.