Two suspected rabid raccoons attacked a man, a stray cat and a pet dog in separate incidents on Post Road in Bowdoinham on Saturday, according to the town’s animal control officer.

One raccoon was shot and killed and taken to Augusta for rabies testing, while the other remains on the lam.

Passersby saw one raccoon attacking a stray cat in the neighborhood on Saturday, according to Bowdoinham Animal Control Officer Cliff Daigle. The raccoon later wandered a few houses down and attacked a man who was in his driveway retrieving his newspaper. The man was able to escape without being bitten.

The raccoon then returned to pursue the stray cat again. A driver visiting friends in the area noticed this, pulled over and shot the raccoon, according to Daigle. Shooting a rabid animal in a “responsible manner” for personal safety is appropriate, according to Mark Latti, communications director at Maine Game Warden Services. Latti said the other immediate response after an encounter should be to call 911.

The raccoon’s body was taken to Augusta so its brain could be tested for the rabies virus. Results of that test were expected Monday but had not been released as of Monday evening.

The stray cat appeared to be unhurt, according to Daigle, but residents of the neighborhood are asked to keep an eye on the cat and report if it starts to behave strangely.


Daigle made rounds in the area to see if anyone else had seen anything unusual and spoke with a resident who said a raccoon and her offspring had moved in under her porch.

An hour later, Daigle said the same raccoon tried to attack a German shepherd who was in a kennel next door. A sheriff’s deputy in the area couldn’t shoot the raccoon without risk of hitting the dog but chased the raccoon into a woodpile. Because the wood was frozen together, they couldn’t get to the animal.

Daigle said there’s a chance the raccoon might not have attacked the dog because of rabies, but because it was trying to protect its young. He asked residents in the area to keep an eye out for the raccoon in the event it shows further concerning behavior.

These attacks were reported just days after a Bowdoinham woman was bitten last Monday by a rabid raccoon inside her home in the area of Wilderness Lane and Pratt Road last Monday. The woman is now undergoing an aggressive series of shots and antibiotics to combat the rabies virus.

A person being attacked by rabid wildlife in their home is extremely rare, according to Regional Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper. He said in his 32 years as a biologist, he has never heard of such an occurrence in Maine.

“This is absolutely an anomaly,” he said.


Kemper said abnormal behaviors that could indicate rabies include a lack of coordination in the animal’s hindquarters, problems walking and aggression.

Daigle said it’s likely there will be other rabid animal encounters in the area going forward. He said parents should keep an eye on their children as they wait for the bus in the morning and should not leave their pets alone outside for long periods of time.

There have only been four documented cases of rabies this year, three in Cumberland County and one in Androscoggin County, not including the recent events in Bowdoinham.

Daigle has urged residents to stay vigilant and call the Maine Warden Services in Augusta at 1-800-452-4664 should they encounter a possibly rabid animal.

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