Dog quarantined after saving girl from rabid raccoon

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — A pet pit bull is being hailed a hero after he chased away a rabid raccoon that was about to attack an 11-year-old.

The little girl was inside her family’s chicken coop when the raccoon started to attack the chickens. That’s when Tank the dog got involved.

“All of a sudden he comes flying over, barking, and I look under and there’s a big, huge raccoon under there and they start to fight,” said the girl, Savannah Vanase.

Vanase says the raccoon never really went after her. It didn’t have a chance.

“He dragged him out of the pen, far away, and then he walked up to the chickens, sniffed them, and then he looked up to me, wagging his tail like ‘did I do a good job?'” said Vanase. “I was just really amazed how. I’ve never seen him like that.”

The pit bull pup is now under quarantine at the Norwich Animal Shelter.

“If it wasn’t for Tank, I wouldn’t be here right now,” said Vanase.

The raccoon was rabid, and because the deadly disease is passed through saliva, Tank could have caught it and so could have Savannah’s family.

“If you have an open wound, or the dog licks your mouth, or you touch and it goes into your system, yes you can contract it that way,” said animal control officer Donna Gremminger.

That’s why they’re undergoing a series of painful shots, and Tank is off limits until July 31, being closely watched for symptoms of rabies.

“At least I know he’ll be like Old Yeller, that story, yeah, but I don’t want it to end like that,” said Vanase. “I really don’t.”

If Tank was vaccinated he wouldn’t have to be quarantined for six months. He would only have to be quarantined for 45 days at home.

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