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Ask Amy Shojai: How Do I Keep Pets Safe in Cold Weather? Cold Weather Pet Tips!

Animal Attacks! Raccoon Video Caution

by | Jan 16, 2013 | Ask Amy Videos, Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 6 comments

A couple of weeks ago my Magical-Dawg got a wonderful surprise—for him—and a heart-stopping scare, for me. As he dashed to retrieve one of his Frisbees, he caught the movement/scent/who-knows-what of a critter. Yes, Magic dashed off (with Frisbee firmly in mouth) to make friends with an injured and/or sick raccoon. Thank goodness he came away when I called, and had no toothy contact, or I’d really be shaking in my rain boots. I returned after an hour, and the critter was still there so I took pictures and shot the video, below.

It’s not just raccoons and coyotes in our neck of the woods. All sorts of animals can pose a risk to your pets–even hawks and owls may swoop down and grab up an unwary kitty or small dog. What kinds of wildlife do you deal with, and how do you keep your pets safe? I wrote an article about the dangers of animal attacks.

But what did I miss? Oooh, just realized I didn’t mention alligators, a problem in many southern states. What else is important for pet owners to understand? Heck, anyone with small children especially toddlers also can be at risk.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly PUPPY CARE must knows, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!


  1. vscook

    Very scary Amy – luckily Magic came back when you called! A sick raccoon could have rabies. Last year, we had 26 confirmed cases here in Allegheny County (PA) and 16 were raccoons!

    • amyshojai

      Rabies was my first thought, too. Here in N. Texas, skunks are more commonly found to be rabid. Other parts of the country it’s bats, or foxes.

  2. Stacy Green

    I’m so glad Magic didn’t get hurt. But I have to confess, I have a soft spot for raccoons. My parents live in the country, and there is a family that comes up and eats the cat food. The outside cats (which are feral enough they won’t let us pet them but are happy to hang out on the deck and chow down, peek in the windows, etc) aren’t bothered by them at all.

    I always have to remember the raccoons aren’t really cute and cuddly, tho, and make sure to tell my daughter not to go out when they are there.

    Although, a few summers ago, when they first showed up, it was a big mama and five sweet little babies. I stepped out to shoo them away, and mama ran off. The babies started crying like human infants and didn’t know how to get off the deck. I felt so bad I gave them more food, lol!

    • amyshojai

      Stacy, they ARE cute! We had one that used to come to the back patio at night, and steal the nipple off the hummingbird feeder, and chug down all the juice. And my cousins rescued two babies when I was a kid, and raised them as pets.

      But you’re right, they are NOT pets. As long as there’s enough food for both the feral cats and the raccoons they’ll likely get along. But I’ve had friends who tell of feral cats being mobbed/attacked by hungry raccoons so I’d be VERY cautious especially with your daughter around.

  3. Karyl Cunningham

    Dunno how it is there, but here if you have toddlers you have to watch out for the coyotes too. They get very bold and come quite close to the house. Apparently there’s a recent genetic study that shows that the midwestern coyotes actually do have dog and wolf back in their ancestry, which could explain why they’re so much bigger and less scared of people than the ones west of here. They even sometimes hunt in packs here – couple years back my aunt mentioned they were starting to harass the cattle.

    • amyshojai

      Karyl, we have packs here that hunt house pets mostly. And yes, coyotes do breed with dogs upon occasion, and that can introduce all kinds of other characteristics–boldness included.


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