HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Henrico County Police Division made a public service announcement after a rabid raccoon attacked a dog while it was inside its owner’s home. Police are urging pet owners to make sure vaccinations are up to date.

Stephen Black told 8News his dog, Charlie, is okay but will have to quarantine for 45 days. He says he’s just grateful the attack wasn’t much worse.

“She’s got a lot of fight,” Black said.

Photo of Charlie, who defended his owner from a rabid raccoon. (Courtesy of Stephen Black)

On Friday, Jan. 27, a rabid raccoon entered Black’s home on Brookside Boulevard.

“The dog in question started barking like crazy at seven in the morning. I was in the shower,” Black said. “I went downstairs to let him out and I found my mom holding her dog bloody.”

The raccoon had entered the house through the dog door and made its way down into Black’s mother’s basement bedroom.

“She’s 83 and almost blind so I was worried about her,” Black said. “The dog jumped on the raccoon and then she wanted to separate the dog and protect the dog whereas she’s not able to do that.”

During the struggle, Black says his mother managed to grab a stick “like a backscratcher” and attempted to beat the raccoon with it. Charlie managed to successfully ward off the vicious raccoon but was left with a battle scar.

“At that point, the raccoon had gone and hidden in the bathroom,” Black said. “She’s an older dog and she had an injury to her mouth where she actually lost her tooth fighting the raccoon but the vet didn’t find any bite injuries.”

Henrico County Animal Care and Control was contacted and the raccoon was put down. It was taken to a state laboratory, where it tested positive for rabies — the first case of the year, according to Henrico police.

“I certainly wouldn’t wish it on anybody to be the first case,” Black said. “We’re gonna block the dog door at night in the meantime.”

The Henrico County Police Division is now reminding pet owners to keep their rabies vaccinations up to date. Henrico is hosting a rabies vaccination event at the Western Government Center on Parham Road from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on February 25. Vaccinations cost $15 and are cash only.

Abnormal wildlife behavior and potential rabies exposure in Henrico County can be reported by calling Henrico Police at 804-501-5000.