Mary Seaver suffered a large bite wound to her left ankle after a fox attacked her outside her home Wednesday afternoon.

Mary Seaver says she saw the fox out of the corner of her eye before it clamped onto her left ankle.


“I thought it might be the neighbor’s cat until, of course, he crunched onto me,” Seaver, 69, said from a local emergency room after a fox attack in the front yard of her Oak Street home on Wednesday afternoon.






Seaver had been adding mulch underneath her bushes near the sidewalk as cars drove by on busy Oak Street, when the fox grabbed onto her left ankle and wouldn’t let go, she said.


“I screamed ... I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and I opened his mouth, and that’s when he let go,” she said, recalling the 12:45 p.m. incident. “I was going to go after him with the rake to see if I could do him in.”


A bleeding Seaver then ran into her home and called 911. An ambulance took her to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where she was being treated for a bite wound to her left ankle later Wednesday.


It was the second fox attack in two days in the neighborhood on Brockton’s north side, officials said.


On Monday night, 9-year-old Isabel Robbins says she was inline skating near her Martland Avenue home, alongside family members, when a fox grabbed onto her skate.


“It came right out of my neighbor’s yard and it came and bit my lace on my skate, and then it just wouldn’t let go,” said Isabel, who was not bitten in the 7:45 p.m. attack.


Her mother recalled the incident as “very scary.”


“I was dragging her across the street and then a neighbor came out and (the fox) ran off,” said Jennifer Robbins, 30. “(The fox) never made contact with her skin, thank God.”


After Wednesday’s fox attack, two animal control officers placed traps in Seaver’s back yard to try and catch the fox.


“We’re not sure if it’s rabid or not or it might be a mother fox that might have a litter of puppies that’s protecting its den,” Brockton Animal Control Officer Tom DeChillis said.


While he has received some calls about fox sightings in the city, “this is unusual that a fox has attacked anyone,” DeChillis said.


Mayor James E. Harrington sent out an automated phone message on Wednesday night to some Brockton residents, warning them to “on alert for an aggressive fox in the vicinity of North Main and Oak Streets.”


Meanwhile, the victim received her first of series of rabies shots Wednesday.


On June 17, a fox bit Michelle Fusco, 39, a mother of two, on Curve Street in Bridgewater. The fox, which police euthanized, later tested positive for rabies, officials said.


In July 2008, a fox that later tested positive for rabies attacked Shirley Doyle, 71, in High Pond Estates, an over-55 community in Bridgewater.


On Wednesday from her hospital emergency room, Seaver demanded that Brockton officials catch and euthanize the fox soon.


“My biggest concern now is he’s still on the loose,” she said.


The attack has worried Seaver’s neighbor Marie Dumorne, who said she would be extra careful Wednesday night.


“I have to put my car inside of the garage, to get in there safe, instead of leaving it outside, and I have to alert my daughter when she’s coming tonight,” said Dumorne, 46, a mother of three. “Oh my God, I hope they’re OK.”


DeChillis planned to distribute fliers to neighborhood residents to warn them about the fox.


“If you happen to see the fox, don’t approach it,” he said.


Anyone approached by a fox should call for help, create a loud noise by banging on something or yelling at the animal, and call police at 508-941-0200, animal control officers said.


Enterprise writer Maria Papadopoulos can be reached at mpapadopoulos@enterprisenews.com.