With the neighbors’ dogs barking wildly and her instincts on full alert, DeDe Phillips knew something was happening outside her home that required investigation. She didn’t expect it to be a rabid bobcat, though.

Phillips was at her home in Hart County, Georgia, with her son and 5-year-old granddaughter. Once outside, she spied something under her truck and whipped out her phone. Phillips snapped a photo of what turned out to be a skinny, sickly bobcat that was hiding under the vehicle.

Then it attacked her, leaping to her chest while clawing and biting. Phillips returned the attack, going into full-bore Protective Grandma Mode in an effort to hold off the beast and subdue or kill it. She told OnlineAthens.com she didn’t want to scream for fear of that attracting her young granddaughter and, thus, putting her in harm’s way if the child came outside.

“I didn’t want her coming out,” Phillips said. “If she would have came out it would have killed her. But he’s biting the daylights out of me and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t let him go. Not today … I wasn’t dying today.’ ”

Phillips somehow got a strong enough grip on the crazed animal and subdued it. When it stopped attacking, she began yelling for assistance and for someone to call 911. Law enforcement responded; Phillips’s son had come to her aid by then, and had stabbed the bobcat.

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Phillips obviously did what she needed to do in the situation to protect herself and, she believed, her granddaughter. She was transported to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center and treated for a broken finger and puncture wounds on her legs, arms, chest and hands from being bitten and clawed.

The bobcat also was rabid, thus lending insight to why it attacked Phillips unprovoked. Rabies is caused by a virus. It affects an animal’s neuromuscular system and can cause swelling and inflammation in the brain. Wild animals such as canines, felines, skunks, raccoons and others can contract it, as can domestic cats and dogs. Infected animals can transmit the virus to humans via biting or scratching.

Due to the bobcat’s infected status, Phillips is undergoing treatment for rabies. Donors to this online fundraising account already have contributed thousands, but more is needed to help pay for her medical expenses.

Featured image: DeDe Phillips via OnlineAthens.com


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