Mike Shields from Anthem, Arizona, regularly takes his dog, Skelly, for Sunday morning walks.
The last weekend did not seem any different from previous ones until a bobcat ran after the dog and attacked them. The bobcat was later on tested and showed to have rabies.
“We were by the main entrance (Anthem Country Club) when I saw a bobcat,” Shields said in a 12 News report, recalling that the bobcat came closer and lunged around 8 feet.
Shield held on to the leash of the German shepherd, saying he didn’t know what to do while the two animals were engaged in a fight.
Steve Verschoor was driving by and decided to help out when he saw the scene. He was bit by the bobcat as he got it off the dog: his hand punctured, his thumb fractured, and his arm clawed, ABC15 noted.
Verschoor had to pry the bobcat’s mouth open to get his thumb out.
A local official later on found the bobcat and killed it. By Monday afternoon, it had been confirmed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department that the animal had rabies.
Bobcats And Rabies
According to the agency, they are looking at where the cat possibly contracted rabies from, as it’s deemed a rare case. The last mammal testing positive for rabies in Maricopa County was a mountain lion from 2012, they revealed.
The incident, however, is deemed a non-reason to panic and not a sign of “a problem in the Valley.”
Rabies testing is done on brain tissue, so the concerned animal has to be killed.
Verschoor, considered a Good Samaritan in the incident, already received rabies and tetanus shot for his wounds. Over the next four weeks, he will have to undergo several more rounds of shots.
Meanwhile, his daughter established a GoFundMe page to assist in her father’s medical bills.
Just last June, an 80-year-old woman named Elsie Dabrowski in Sunapee, New Hampshire, was merely trimming roses in her garden on a Sunday night when she was attacked by another rabid bobcat. She used her sickle and some help from her army of dogs to fend the animal off.
According to Desert USA, bobcats are a “consummate predator and a bold raider,” warning that they could be a nuisance needing to be controlled. Their nighttime screams could frighten people, and they can pose a serious threat if rabid.
Minimize encounters with them and keep as much distance as possible when near one. Protect children and pets while backing away slowly without running, as doing so could incite a pursuit response in the wildlife creature.