Bobcat attacks dog and man in Arizona; bobcat tests positive for rabies

Posted at 10:35 AM, Jul 17, 2017

A bobcat attack was caught on camera in Anthem, Arizona this weekend.  

Jason Garrido posted the video to Facebook and provided the footage to Phoenix-based KNXV. 

Garrido said the bobcat ran after and attacked a dog. A witness saw what was happening and jumped out to help.

Steve Verschoor was bit by the bobcat as he got the bobcat off the dog. His hand was punctured, his thumb fractured, and his arm clawed.  

"Once I saw the cat spring on top of the dog, and the owner was trying to pull the dog back, I said, 'Someone else has to help out here,'" said Verschoor.


The Arizona Game and Fish Department said the bobcat tested positive for rabies. They said the last mammal that tested positive for rabies in Maricopa County was a mountain lion back in 2012. 

They said this is a rarity, and they are investigating where the bobcat contracted rabies from. At the moment, wildlife officials believe it could have contracted rabies from a bat, but they are still investigating. 

They said the bobcat incident does not "imply we have a problem in the Valley" and it is "not a reason to panic." 

Verschoor received a rabies and tetanus shot.

There was no shortage of good Samaritans when the attack happened. When Verschoor jumped out of the car to help, his adrenaline was going, but so was his car.

That's when Jason Garrido, who recorded video of the incident, ran over to stop the runaway car after Verschoor inadvertently left it in gear.

According to game and fish officials, an MCSO deputy found the bobcat in a storm drain away from the crowd. A field supervisor with the game and fish department authorized the deputy to shoot the bobcat.

The only way to test an animal for rabies is to test brain tissue, so the animal needs to be killed, according to Amy Burnett, a public information officer with the game and fish department said. 

Verschoor said, besides the fright, the dog only suffered a scratch. It was current on its shots, but will still need to be quarantined for an unspecified amount of time, according to Burnett.