Bowdoinham authorities are ramping up patrols, looking for signs of rabid animals after two residents, a dog and a stray cat were attacked along Post Road and Pratt Road over the past two weeks.

Bowdoinham Animal Control Officer Cliff Daigle said three different raccoons were responsible for the attacks. Two were killed, both later testing positive for rabies. The third raccoon ran off and hasn’t been found, according to Daigle. Local law enforcement, state police and the game warden have all been alerted to the situation and are scanning the area for the critter.

Daigle said the first attack occurred on March 13 when a woman living between Wilderness Lane and Pratt Road was bitten inside her home after a raccoon entered through an open door and lunged at her household pets. Game Warden Bob Decker responded to the call and shot the raccoon. The woman received shots and antibiotics to combat the rabies virus, he said.

Three more raccoon attacks were reported on March 18 along Post Road. Daigle said a raccoon attacked a man in his driveway while retrieving his newspaper, but he managed to get away unscathed. The raccoon left the man’s property and attacked a stray cat in a neighboring yard.

A passerby visiting friends in the area told Daigle he saw the animals fighting and pulled his truck over, got out and shot the raccoon. Game wardens prefer residents call 911 after encountering a rabid animal, but if you are in immediate danger, shooting the animal in a “responsible manner” is considered an appropriate response, according to Mark Latti, communications director at Maine Game Warden Service.

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 since the attack, neither the dog nor the cat is displaying any symptoms of rabies.

He expressed concern about the potential that other animals coming out of hibernation face increased chances of contracting the virus locally.

There have been 12 cases of rabies reported in Maine this year — 10 raccoons, one skunk and one bat, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control. Bowdoinham is the only town in Sagadahoc County to report cases in 2023.

The town of Bowdoinham has urged residents to stay observant and call the Maine Warden Services in Augusta at 1-800-452-4664 should they encounter a possibly rabid animal.

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