Rabid raccoon attacks woman and her two dogs on Radnor trail

"He was moving so quickly and made a beeline for Venus and I because Ranger was in the water," said Amanda Bernard of Devon.

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Friday, July 29, 2022
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A woman was out with her dogs on Monday when she came face-to-face with a rabid raccoon. And within seconds, one of her animals was in a fight for survival.

RADNOR, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A 4-year-old Golden retriever named Ranger is tougher than he looks. He is a lover, not a fighter, but he sprung into action to save his family from a vicious raccoon attack.

"(The raccoon) was moving so quickly and made a beeline for Venus and me because Ranger was in the water," recalled Amanda Bernard of Devon.

Bernard was taking her usual walk with her two dogs through The Willows in Radnor just after 6 p.m. Monday when she says a rabid raccoon attacked Venus -- a Jack Russell terrier.

Ranger managed to scare the animal enough for it to retreat , but Venus suffered a bite to the leg.

"When I saw the raccoon backing away, and I had Venus, I thought, 'OK, we're safe. This is done,'" Bernard said.

But then she said, "And then this I've never seen an animal do. It turned around and came back at us."

Bernard said that's when Ranger put himself between Bernard, Venus and the raccoon.

"The raccoon just lunged at him. He fought back," Bernard said.

Ranger suffered some scratches, but Venus was in bad shape.

"Her leg was bloody and she had puncture wounds," Bernard said.

SEE ALSO: Caught on video: Man filming baby raccoons gets attacked in Philadelphia

Luckily, the dogs were up to date on their shots, but are under a 45-day quarantine in case they become rabid.

Bernard wasn't hurt and has had a series of shots as a precaution. She had to cancel a trip to Europe because of the exposure to rabies.

"I know that the township was out the next day looking to see if they could find the raccoon. They did not find it," said Bernard.

Action News found plenty of people walking their dogs on that same trail, many of whom say they're going in cautiously, knowing the rabid raccoon could still be out there.

"That's incredibly worrying," said Sarah Chang of Villanova.

"There's always that chance that there's something out there in the woods," said Brent Jones of Bryan Mawr.

SEE ALSO: Video of raccoon on a leash in Philadelphia goes viral

Action News is told the raccoon is likely dead. Bernard's vet says that based on the raccoon's behavior, it was in late-stage rabies and will die within 48 hours.

Bernard says she worries about another possible attack.