Belchertown woman details being attacked by fisher

Western Mass News Exclusive
A Belchertown woman said she was attacked by a fisher cat and now, she may need her foot amputated.
Updated: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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BELCHERTOWN, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Belchertown woman said she was attacked by a fisher and now, she may need her foot amputated.

Kelly Sullivan has been in and out of the hospital for the last week after she said a fisher attacked her in her own driveway. She was getting into her car when she encountered an animal she had never seen before.

“I felt a real burn on my foot. I looked down and I had first thought it was a regular cat, but it was way bigger and missing fur,” Sullivan explained.

She told us a fisher cat grabbed on to her left leg and attacked her while she was in the driveway of her Belchertown home.

“He came out, grabbed on to me, and did not want to let go…I thought I was dying at one point. I started slamming my car door on its head to try and get it to release,” Sullivan noted.

The attack was last Tuesday and for the past week, she’s endured numerous scans, hospital visits, and antibiotic treatments. She spoke exclusively to Western Mass News from the emergency room on Wednesday where she was receiving her last rabies shot. She said that her primary care doctor is concerned she might lose her foot.

“I can’t walk still. It’s too painful. It swells and it’s hot to touch,” Sullivan explained.

Sullivan posted photos of her injuries in the Belchertown Community Forum. In the comments, there has been an outpouring of support and wishes for her speedy recovery, as well as neighbors who are concerned and are wondering if this is normal behavior for a fisher cat.

We checked with Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife and found problems with fishers are rare and are usually only attacks on birds, rabbits, and house cats. They said that if you encounter a fisher to scare or intimidate the cat with loud noises, bright lights, or water.

Sullivan is still receiving care for her injuries.

We were not able to learn if there is an active search for the fisher by environmental police.