Rabies is “the most deadly virus on the planet.”
A western North Carolina family says it was terrorized a few days before Christmas by a rabid raccoon that burst “shrieking” into their home and began chasing their pets around the furniture, reports Fox Carolina News.
The strange ordeal happened Dec. 21 in Asheville, and began when one of the Burke family’s dogs “came running into the house through a doggy door and a raccoon followed,” the station reported.
“It was going nuts, and I knew there was something bad and wrong with that animal,” family member Margaret Burke told WLOS.
Her husband, Smith Burke, told WLOS the family has dealt with deer, wild turkeys and even bears during their 30 years in the neighborhood, but the raccoon “was the most dangerous I would say.”
The raccoon started attacking one of the dogs and that’s when the Burke’s son stepped in and began chasing and prodding the animal with a curtain rod, WLOS said. He eventually trapped the raccoon in their shower and they called Buncombe County animal control, the station reported.
Buncombe County health officials issued a public health alert the next day, warning neighbors that a raccoon captured Dec 21 in the Skyland Community had tested positive for rabies.
“If you, anyone in your family, or your family pets had contact with a raccoon in this area, please contact (health officials) as soon as possible,” said the health alert.
“Rabid animals are unpredictable, aggressive, and can attack people and other animals.”
Media outlets did not report whether any of the pets in the Burke home had come into direct contact with the raccoon.