Elderly Woman Attacked by Rabid Bobcat, Protected by Dogs

Posted by Amber King

Bobcats rarely attack humans unprovoked, but Elsie Dabrowski's scary encounter proves that isn't always the case.

The 80-year-old New Hampshire woman was tending her garden Sunday evening when the rabid animal crossed onto her property. Most likely interested in the flock of chickens in the nearby coop, the bobcat spotted Dabrowski and changed course.

She told WCVB News:

"I don't even know where he came from. It's still hard to believe. This little thing just came and attacked me, but he was strong. He was really strong."

woman attacked by bobcat
Image Source: WGME

The wild animal launched itself toward the woman and bit into her cheek. She attempted to defend herself with a gardening sickle, but the relentless animal wasn't deterred. It scratched her face, arm, and back before the commotion caught the attention of the dogs that also lived on the property.

All 80-year-old Elsie Dabrowski could think was;

"Why is this stupid cat attacking me?"

Dabrowski said she hoped the dogs would come and was relieved when the pack of loyal canines finally charged the cat.

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The dogs worked together to get the bobcat away from their owner and successfully chased it under a nearby shed. During the scuffle, Dabrowski's adult son heard the yelps and screams from his nearby yard. He arrived at his mother's Sunapee home with shotgun in hand and killed the rabid bobcat.

Bobcat in deep green grass with yellow and white flowers

Testing by the state lab later confirmed the bobcat had rabies. It had porcupine quills in its mouth and was sick enough to be desperate for an easy meal. Dabrowski needed 50 stitches and will undergo a series of rabies shots.

The pack of dogs that saved her life will also receive anti-rabies booster injections. It's the first bobcat found with rabies since 2013 and a reminder to stay vigilant in areas with large wildlife populations.

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Elderly Woman Attacked by Rabid Bobcat, Protected by Dogs