A Vancouver woman who was attacked by raccoons this week has a message for anyone who thinks about feeding the critters: don’t do it.
The attack happened while Anne Hurwitz was walking her two small dogs near 1st Avenue and Arbutus Street on Monday night, she told CKNW’s Steele & Drex on Friday.
LISTEN: Why you shouldn’t feed the raccoons in your neighbourhood
She said she’s aware of a group of raccoons that live in a particular tree in the area, and was walking in the opposite direction to try and avoid it when the animals found her.
“They came out from underneath the bushes, there were three or four of them, they were huge. They were not babies,” she said.
That’s when the animals attacked, as Hurwitz desperately tried to collect her dogs — both of which were leashed at the time, she said.
“Which was just a chaotic scene because I could not pick them up and there was two of them. I was trying to kick them off, I’ve got bite marks all up my legs, they’re extremely bruised now. Luckily I took the brunt of it,” she said.
“I was screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘Help me! Help me! Help me! Because I couldn’t do it alone.”
Two neighbours came to her aid: a man who began kicking the raccoons to try and drive them away, and a woman who ran with her and the dogs toward the next apartment building.
“I looked back and I could see that these raccoons were following us, and this guy was continuing to kick them away. It was absolutely terrifying,” she said.
One of Hurwitz’s dogs was bleeding from the eye and needed a trip to the vet, while Hurwitz needed a tetanus shot from the doctor.
Hurwitz said she’s convinced the animals have become so bold because they’re being fed by a neighbour.
She said that suspicion was deepened when she called the Conservations Officers’ Service and was told there had been prior complaints of a nearby resident feeding wild animals.
“I know that there were signs all up along in that same apartment block about somebody feeding coyotes last year, and I’ve seen food being thrown out on the grass there,” she said.
WATCH: Vancouver woman attacked by raccoons.
Hurwitz isn’t the first person to be attacked by a raccoon in the city recently.
Back in July, an East Vancouver woman was hurt badly after a raccoon attacked her in her backyard.
And in October last year, another East Vancouver woman was left with more than 50 puncture wounds after a raccoon attacked her while she was walking her dog.
The City of Vancouver referred the issue to the Ministry of Environment, which it said has jurisdiction over all issues relating to wild animals.
CKNW has reached out to the BC Conservation Officer Service for comment.
Hurwitz, meanwhile, said she’s frustrated and feels like nothing is being done.
“People on Facebook were writing, ‘You should keep your dogs on a leash, you shouldn’t be going up to a mother and her babies,'” she said.
“These were not babies. My dogs are always on leashes. We did not go up to them, we were going in the opposite direction.”
“We were a whole apartment block away from where they live and they came out from underneath the bushes and ambushed us.”