ATLANTA - A possibly rabid raccoon is on the loose in the Candler Park area. Just this week it attacked two cats and charged at a man. People who live in the area are upset, saying they have no one to turn for help, but have come up with a unique solution to track the animal.
Residents are taking to the Next Door app to report sightings including one resident, Christian Villegas, who told his story about his cat being attacked. Other people quickly chimed in saying their pets were also attacked, with about 10 possible attacks in the area over the last week.
Villegas’ cat, Buttonsworth, was back home Wednesday recovering after a raccoon attacked him two days earlier.
"I came up to the raccoon and grabbed a stick tried to shew it away. My cat bolted and then immediately came charging at me," said Villegas.
That is the main reason Villegas believes the raccoon could be rabid. He posted what happened to him online. Emily Taff who lives about a mile away saw the post and had just been through the same thing with her cat.
"It looked like a dark gray cat and my cat were involved in a fight in the bushes by the back deck, so I just started throwing things down into the bushes until I broke up the fight. I didn’t' see where my cat ran, but I saw the supposedly gray cat run over a fence. And I was like oh, that's a raccoon," said Taff.
Taff’s attack happened just three hours before Villegas’ encounter. Emily's cat, Pico is OK, but was still hiding under a neighbor’s home Wednesday.
Villegas said since his post, more people have come forward with similar stories, but there is no help in sight.
"I've contacted the CDC, Department of Health, Georgia DNR, Atlanta-Fulton County Animal Control, APD, fire department behind my house, all of them said they weren't licensed to handle raccoons. Hire a private raccoon company and if not try to attempt to capture it yourself. When that happens, that's the only time we can come out," Villegas explained.
He said residents have set traps, but so far no luck. He just wanted a little help from officials before the raccoon strikes again.
"Send someone out or kind of do anything honestly and actually have a response that's more or less valid, instead of just saying we don't do anything call this number," said Villegas.