SURRY — An incident involving a rabid skunk has prompted Brad Saunders, animal control officer in Surry and Blue Hill, to warn pet owners to immunize their pets against rabies.
Saunders said a pet dog was bitten by a rabid skunk the morning of Feb. 27 after the dog’s owners let it out into their yard along Route 172.
Saunders said the dog was not immunized and is now being kept in quarantine for six months.
The skunk was shot by the owners and taken to the state lab in Augusta, where it tested positive for rabies.
Saunders said the skunk’s behavior indicated it could be rabid.
“Usually, a skunk runs or sprays,” he said. “This one decided it was going to fight. And it’s unusual to see skunks in daylight hours.”
Saunders recommends calling the game warden service when you observe wild animals behaving erratically. He said wild animals are naturally afraid of humans, and encountering a wild animal that is not afraid is an indication that it may have rabies.
Any furbearing animal can have rabies, Saunders said.
He stressed that the best precaution is to register and immunize pets.
When encountering a wild animal you suspect of having rabies, you should call the game warden service, Saunders said.
For more health news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.