PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Another video of a raccoon attack in Northwest Portland shows a man using a wooden pallet to defend his dog as an aggressive raccoon family in the neighborhood continues to distress local residents.
These nocturnal menaces have raised alarm in Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District, causing residents to place signs around their neighborhood to warn others to be careful after dark.
Resident Emily Warren said her partner, Vincent Jacobi, let their dog out around 11 p.m. Friday night and “had to fight off the raccoon with a pallet that had been left behind the day before by a construction crew.”
“The pallet is really heavy,” Warren said. “And the raccoon was not afraid of him at all.”
Jacobi said he had to do whatever it took to get the raccoon away from his dog.
“So it started coming, and I was clapping and it just ran right over my foot, and they both were circling. So I turned, knocked the raccoon with the pallet, and then just kept knocking,” Jacobi said. “It took a couple of hits before it relented and it went that way.”
He brought the couple’s dog, Paxton, inside — and neither of them were hurt.
According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the raccoon involved in these incidents have several offspring, and it isn’t uncommon for raccoons to be aggressive toward dogs — especially when protecting their young. Officials also said the animals are most active at night when they search for food near homes.
But despite the recent uptick in racoon attacks, officials claim there isn’t much they can do.
ODFW will euthanize aggressive animals when necessary, but won’t do the trapping. They don’t release raccoons to other areas, due to research demonstrating their potential to spread disease and low survival rates following relocation.
Although ODFW is now offering to lend raccoon traps and give trapping permits to residents in the Northwest Portland neighborhood, residents say they don’t feel comfortable with that responsibility.
“I’m not a wildlife expert,” Jacobi said. “So putting that onus on me to start catching the wild raccoons is not really ideal.”
Another nearby resident, Jordan Barbeau is the owner of one of the three dogs she said have recently fallen victim to these attacks. She has contacted Multnomah County Animal Services and the Portland Police Bureau, but neither deals with raccoons.
To reduce the chance of further conflict with raccoons, ODFW suggests being aware of where the families could be congregating. They said to avoid those areas when walking dogs at night, and keep dogs on leashes.
“We’re bothered by it because we want to be able to take our dog out at night and be safe around here,” Jacobi said. “It’s concerning that there is nothing that is being done and that this is happening across multiple blocks and other people are being affected is pretty disturbing.”
Wildlife officials also recommend mitigating potential attractants — for example, accessible food waste, pet food, and fruit from bushes and trees — which may also reduce raccoon presence in urban neighborhoods.
Those that wish to receive a permit can contact the ODFW at 971-673-6007. Ask for Lindsey and request a permit to borrow a catch-and-release trap for raccoons.
ODFW says people can also hire private professional wildlife trappers. Barbeau told KOIN 6 she plans to have ABL Wildlife assess her property soon.