A Vancouver woman is warning the public about the dangers of backyard bandits after she and her small dogs were attacked by raccoons.

Anne Hurwitz said she was ambushed by the group, or gaze, of raccoons near 1st Avenue and Arbutus Street as she walked her dogs Monday night in the city's West Side.

Hurwitz said she's seen them many times in the area – they're so frequently there that CTV News was able to find the critters while on location – but for some reason this time the animals attacked.

"I was trying to kick them off," she told CTV News the next day.

"They were not scared of me. They were not scared of other people… They were not giving up."

Passersby heard the scuffle and came out to help scare them off.

Eventually she was able to separate the raccoons from her dogs and rushed the pets to a nearby vet. She went to the doctor and was given a tetanus shot and antibiotics.

"I've got bite marks all up my legs. Lucy was bleeding from her head, and by the time I got home she had blood coming out of her eye, which was incredibly scary," Hurwitz said.

A neighbour who witnessed the attack said he thinks she knows why the raccoons keep coming to the area.

"I'm quite sure the neighbour in the building likes to keep them around by feeding them," Morgan Hall said.

Conservation officers are looking into the claim, and Hurwitz is hopeful that something will change.

"They're going to hurt a small child. They're going to kill a small dog next time," she said.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sarah MacDonald