Police warning residents in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey after 2 raccoon attacks

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Anthony Johnson has the story. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

A warning in New Jersey where there have been two separate raccoon attacks, both of them in Hasbrouck Heights where people are being told to be on the lookout and use caution.

Two people and two dogs have already been attacked and it appears that this raccoon strikes without warning.

Little Sophie is recovering nicely following a vicious attack by a rather large raccoon.

It happened as she was playing in her own backyard.

"He came right at the dog. There was no stopping him," said Chris Onorato, the dog's owner.

Her owner had to fight to free the dog.

"I wind up hitting the raccoon a few times, finally released after about 40 seconds or so but the dog was hurt at that point," Onorato said.

Sophie had to get a rabies booster shot and is on medication, but is doing better.


Chris was able to trap the raccoon which he believes weighed about 20 pounds.

"If I didn't get the dog out of the raccoon's mouth, the dog wasn't going to make it. I was going to do whatever I had to do to make that happen," Onorato said.

The raccoon escaped when an animal control expert tried to take it away. It bit the animal control worker before fleeing.

The county animal control office is putting out traps in the area, but also is advising everyone to be on alert.

"When they behave aggressively in an attacking mode, to animals and humans, then you're pretty suspect that this animal has got a problem," said Deborah Yankow, Bergen County Animal Services.

"If they catch them, I hope they can cure them, but I hate to see any animal put down. Everyone's got to be safe," said Steve Dunay, a resident.

Now that school is out, kids should be extra cautious and parents and grandparents should keep a close eye on the children to avoid a raccoon encounter.

"If it were to attack a dog, I'm sure the kids would probably be in danger," said Kathy Brieden, a resident.

Two raccoons have been captured. They've been sent out for testing to check to see if they have rabies.

Authorities say if you're walking your pet out on the street and it does not have a rabies shot; you should do that right away.

Any animal attacked and bitten by a raccoon that may have rabies, that animal will have to be quarantined for up to four months.

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