Fox attacked a woman and 2 dogs in Rockland
The Maine Warden Service is investigating two separate fox attacks involving dogs that occurred in Rockland on Wednesday.
Neither the dog nor its owner was injured in the first attack, which occurred around 1 p.m. on Pleasant Street, according to Maine Warden Service spokesman Mark Latti. But in the second attack on nearby Railroad Avenue at around 6:20 p.m., a dog owner was injured while trying to stop the fox from attacking him. She was taken to hospital, but Latti was unsure of the extent of her injuries.
Since authorities were unable to locate the fox or foxes, it is not known whether the animal was rabid or not. It is also unclear whether the same fox was responsible for the two attacks in Rockland on Wednesday. Latti said it was possible that it was the same fox given the proximity of the two incidents.
With the animal’s rabies status unknown, Latti said it would be best if the woman and her dog were treated as if the animal was rabid. He did not know if they had been treated Thursday afternoon.
“It’s really hard to say [if the fox was rabid], you can’t tell just by behavior. The only real way to test whether an animal is rabid or not is to take a brain matter test, ”Latti said.
In the first attack on Pleasant Street, the dog’s owner was able to scare the fox off by hitting it with a stick after the fox approached the dog and pulled on the leash it was attached to.
Latti was not sure if this incident had been reported to police, although Rockland Police Sgt. Ken Smith said he received a report that a fox was in the area earlier today on Wednesday.
It was unclear how the woman ultimately managed to keep the fox away from herself and the dog in the second attack, Latti said.
These are just the latest fox attacks to rock the mid-coast this year. Since March, at least five fox attacks have been reported in Topsham. Of these, only one of the animals tested positive for rabies. One animal was suspected to be rabid, and the other animals were not found or tested because no one was injured during the attack.
Neighbors told the game warden investigating the incident that families of foxes had lived in the area for several years.
“It’s not unusual for foxes to be found in the suburbs, they’re very adaptable,” Latti said. “A fox will make a house, under sheds or a patio, under abandoned wood or whatever.”