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February 07, 2016

Good Samaritans from Northeast Philly save girl from rabid raccoon

Men saved young girl who was being attacked by raccoon with rabies in Lower Merion

Two good Samaritans from Northeast Philadelphia put saved a young girl who was being attacked by a rabid raccoon in a wooded area in Lower Merion, said officials from the Montgomery Count Health Department

The attack happened Thursday as the girl was walking home from school, on the Bridlewild Trail near Dodds Lane. James Myers and Rick Turnbull, both from Philly, saw what was happening and rush to her rescue.

“One apparently stood on the animal’s tail while the other beat the raccoon with a hockey stick until it let go of the girl’s leg,” said Julie Paoline, director of the health department's Division of Communicable Disease Control.

The men then drove the girl home to her parents, but left before anyone was able to catch their names. The health department was only able to find the men after the media had picked up the story and one of the men called a local TV station. 

The raccoon was eventually captured by health officials and tested positive for rabies. The girl has gotten rabies shots, but the men assured officials that they had not touched the animal's saliva and so should be safe from infection.  

Rabies is usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. It's preventable if treated after a bite but usually leads to death if the shots are not administered.