"Imagine the Tasmanian devil", she said, "it was terrifying". When it began to bare its teeth, she "instantly knew" it had to be rabid. Borch would eventually be forced to kill the animal with her mitts to protect herself. She held it there until it drowned, Blood said. It had blocked her way on the foot path in Hope before lunging at her and attacking. With adrenaline pumping, Borch suspended her disbelief. She knew she was probably going to get bit by the raccoon so she stuck her hands outs, figuring it would be better than taking a bite anywhere else. Borch screamed. The raccoon clawed her arms wildly, its jaw pressed tight. Borch had no idea what to do until she noticed that she had dropped her phone into a puddle.
Not surprisingly, Borch has since changed her belief that raccoons are cute and cuddly, saying "I just will never look at them the same way".
Borch, dragged the raccoon to the puddle and submerged it.
"With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck", Borch says. She crawled to it, the raccoon still clamped onto her thumb, and held its head underwater. "It was still struggling and clawing at my arms and legs, (and) it wouldn't let go of my thumb".
Hyperventilating and in hysterics, she pulled her thumb out of the raccoon's mouth, "and then I just bolted as fast as I could through the underbrush", she said.
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Borch saw the path was too narrow to run past it. Then she ran - shoeless and in hysterics - almost a mile to her house.
Once at home, her mother, immediately drove her to the hospital to get shots.
A ME woman took matters into her own hands when faced with a rabid raccoon.
"Not to scare people", Blood said, but "when there's one [infected], there's typically another".
Infected animals typically start showing signs within two weeks, Blood said.