A woman attacked by a rabid raccoon in Prospect took matters into her own hands -- literally.
The raccoon jumped out from a backyard on Woodcrest Drive and bit Irmlind Stromkowski Monday morning.
“I turned around and grabbed him. Then he bit me in the hand. Almost took my thumb off, I mean bit right through the thumbnail. And then I managed to get a hold of him with my left hand, all the while screeching for him to come out. And I just shoved him to the ground and held him there,” said Stromkowski.
Stromkowski said she saw the animal chasing her dogs around the backyard. She got the dogs inside, but that's when the raccoon attacked.
She grabbed the attacking raccoon and choked it to death to keep it from biting her anymore. Her husband, Charlie Stromkowski, hit the animal with a hammer to slow it down even more.
“What disturbs me is I smashed his mouth off, I smashed his teeth in, he still wanted to continue in the attack mode,” said Charlie Stromkowski. “I was actually terrified at the resilience of this animal.”
His wife had to be hospitalized for her injuries. “I knew she was hurt by the way she was hollering and screaming. I never heard my wife quite that loud or in that pitch,” said Charlie.
The raccoon tested positive for rabies, so both Irmlind and Charlie Stromkowski are undergoing rabies treatments.
It's not the only attack by a raccoon in Prospect. According to police, a different raccoon injured a dog, before taking off. The attack happened during daylight hours. Raccoons are nocturnal animals. The dog had to be euthanized, because it hadn't had a rabies shot.
State Police issued a warning to residents in Prospect to be on the lookout for raccoons and skunks out during the daytime.
“You don’t even think of what you’re going to do. It’s like in a flash it comes to you. If this little guy gets out and infects other animals, bites other animals, or God forbid if he should get onto a kid that comes walking by, because he might get out of our yard and walk then somewhere,” said Irmlind.
They are also asking pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are vaccinated for rabies. Pets that are not vaccinated and come in contact with a rabid animal will have to be quarantined in a state facility for six months or put down, according to State Police.