A 4-month-old baby girl spent Christmas in the hospital after she was brutally attacked by a raccoon inside a Philadelphia apartment. (Warning: The photos below are graphic.)
Baby Journi Black is recovering after the Dec. 20 attack which left her needing surgery and 65 stitches.
“My daughter was laying on the bed sleeping and I went to take my son to the bathroom,” mother Ashley Rodgers told KYW. “We heard a sound upstairs and we see a raccoon run down the steps. When I finally got to her, she was laying on the floor so it had dragged her off the bed, across the room, and she was bleeding and crying and her whole face was red.”
The attack came one day after Rodgers and her two children moved into the one-room apartment inside a house in North Philadelphia, according to Philly.com.
Journi was rushed to the hospital where she immediately went into surgery. Deep gashes on her face required 65 stitches.
“It’s just ridiculous,” Samuel Black, Journi’s father, told KYW. “My daughter could have lost her life.”
Neighbors say the area around the North Philadelphia house has a serious problem with the critters.
“It’s terrible around here with these raccoons, yes it is,” neighbor Barbara Butler told KYW.
Following the attack, the Philadelphia Licenses and Inspections Department determined the homeowner did not have a license to rent rooms in the house.
“It needs to be shut down,” Rodgers told KYW. “Everybody needs to leave out of there.”
The family says they plan on pursuing legal action against the landlord.
“It is his responsibility,” Black told KYW. “There’s no reason an animal should have gotten into the house with minors.”
Rodgers moved into the apartment because it was all she could afford at $375 a month, according to Philly.com, but she says she won’t be returning.
Finding a new place to live will be a lot easier for Rodgers thanks to generous donations from strangers who heard about the family’s plight.
As of Dec. 26, $23,872 had been raised by 716 people on GoFundMe. The campaign, which was posted on Dec. 22, is raising money so that Rodgers and her children can live in a safe environment after Journi is released from the hospital.
“It will be safe. It will be secure,” Kenneth McDuffie, Journi’s uncle, told Philly.com. “It will be wildlife and rodent-free, a place where they are comfortable and they are safe. We can’t always predict what is going to happen in the future, but we want to make sure that [Rodgers] and her family are safe.”