The parents of 4-month-old Journi Black were startled Wednesday evening when they heard a disturbance coming from their upstairs bedroom.
Their alarm grew when they saw a raccoon scurrying down the stairs, clearly the cause of the noise. They rushed upstairs to a horrific scene: Their daughter had been dragged from her bed by the animal, bleeding, crying and obviously severely injured.
"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," Ashley Rodgers, the infant's mother, explained in an interview with CBS Philadelphia.
The child was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent surgery. Doctors reportedly say it will take her at least a year to fully recover from the attack.
Animal control was called shortly after the incident, and traps were set in the hopes of something like this never happening again. Black's parents, however, said they are not entirely satisfied and believe that the landlord of the building should be held partially responsible for the attack on the child.
The family has been living in the home for a short time, during which they, and other tenants, have seen raccoons lurking around the complex, especially in the trash area. Before her daughter's attack, Rodgers saw a raccoon and notified the landlord, who told her he had gotten rid of the animal.
Furthermore, even though there are other tenants living in the home, a spokesperson for the city's Licenses and Inspections Department told CBS Philadelphia that the landlord does not have an actual rental license, and if he is renting homes, he is doing so illegally.
"It's just ridiculous," the child's father, Samuel Black, stated. "My daughter could have lost her life."
The infant's family said they fully intend to pursue legal action against the landlord in the hopes that he will be held responsible.
Thankfully, the baby girl survived the attack, but the trauma from this experience will likely haunt her and her parents. It is abundantly clear that there need to be screens added to the windows and doors of this complex to keep out these dangerous creatures.
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