Raccoon attacks man and dog; blighted property blamed

Raccoon attacks man and dog; blighted property blamed

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A New Orleans man blames a raccoon attack on the city's lack of progress after his previous complaint and a property owner's lack of effort.

Jonathan Pretus endured painful injections to prevent rabies after he and his pet Chihuahua were bitten by a raccoon Saturday night.

"I went to the ER, got 14 shots over the course of the evening because it was aggressive and a rabies question, but thankfully the doctor said it's not going to be a problem," Pretus said.

There is a family of four raccoons living in the abandoned property behind his house in the Fountainebleu neighborhood. Pretus made a complaint to the city about the house in the 3200 block of Vincennes Place when the animals attacked and bit his dog last year, and Saturday the raccoons attacked again.

"We took the dogs out. One of the raccoons came over the fence at the dogs, bit one of our dogs and bit my leg, as well. This has been going on a little more than a year now with raccoons living on the property," he said.

"If it happens to my kids, let me just tell you there will be hell to pay," Janeen Holley said.

The animals left carcasses in her backyard, according to Holley, who made the discovery when entertaining children for her daughter's birthday.

"Three possums that were gutted from the neck down. Small, young possums that were all just left like, 'Hey we just killed everything because you didn't leave any food for us,'" she said.

Monday, New Orleans Code Enforcement Director Chad Dyer tried to talk to the property owner who lives next door to the abandoned home. The property violates several ordinances and the dilapidated shed where the raccoons live needs to be removed, Dyer said.

"It seems kind of simple, well there's a raccoon - go get him. As code enforcement, that's not my area. For code enforcement, it's about the property and we are going do what we can about the property," he said. "We are going to work collaboratively with the other agencies to try and make something happen for these people."

Dyer said because the animals attacked a resident, the city's mosquito, termite and rodent control will visit the property to address the raccoons living in the shed.

Though the help may be coming a little late for Pretus, he is pleased the city is working on a plan to rid him and the neighborhood of the aggressive pests.

"That's really all we've wanted the whole time is just give us a plan tell us what's happening. It's nice to get a face to the name and actually see somebody that's working on it to get a resolution to the problem," Pretus said.

Pretus' Chihuahua is doing fine after the raccoon bite and expected to make a full recovery.

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