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Rabies Alert In Effect for East Haven

East Shore District Health Department also issues warning for towns of Branford and North Branford after recent incidents raise some concern.

The East Shore District Health Department has issued a rabies alert for East Haven — as well as the neighboring towns of Branford and North Branford — after two recent incidents involving rabid animals have raised some concern, according to a WFSB report.

Within the last few days, health department officials have reportedly caught two animals in the district that have tested positive for rabies: a bat that found its way into a local home and a raccoon that attacked a neighborhood dog.

Both animals tested positive for rabies.

Uptick in Reports Last Summer

The alert echoes a similar warning issued by the district late last summer, which noted an uptick in reported and confirmed cases of rabid animals in the shoreline area.

Because of this ongoing threat, health department officials are "advising residents to be vigilant and to protect themselves from contact with wild animals," according to the report.

District officials said residents should also make sure their pets are immunized. 

In its report, WFSB stated that health district officials expect the alert to last through to the end of the summer.

Some Protection Tips

Here are a list of precautions to help protect you, your family and your pets:

  • Immunize your pets Make sure pets receive regular booster rabies vaccinations to keep their protection continuous.  Keep proper documentation of vaccination. 
  • Do not leave out food for animals: wild, stray or pet.
  • Report strange behavior in animals to your local animal control officer. Symptoms of rabies include daytime activity in nocturnal animals such as bats, raccoons, and skunks. Other signs are aggression, awkward movements, or simply that an animal appears “sick.” 
  • Stop pets from coming into contact with these wild animals when possible.  If a pet does have an encounter with a wild animal, the owner should contact their veterinarian immediately. 
  • Do not attempt to break up a fight between a pet and a wild animal. Protect yourself with rubber gloves and protective clothing when trying to gain control and clean up your pet after a fight. 
  • If you are bit, wash the area immediately with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention.  It is extremely important to seek immediate medical attention if exposed to rabies. If not treated, rabies is almost always fatal.
  • All incidents involving a person bit by any animal should be reported to your town’s animal control officer and the Health Department. The Health Department will work with your physician and advise on the need for rabies shots. If the animal can be caught, the town animal control officer will assist in capturing the animal and having it tested for rabies. Testing a suspect animal for rabies is the best approach, if possible.

For more information call East Shore District Health Department at 203-481-4233 or find information at its website: www.ESDHD.org.

Michelle Petroccio February 23, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Just an F.Y.I. to all, there have been many skunks out and about lately in the Foxon area of East Haven. Be wary of your cats and dogs when they are outdoors.
Michelle Petroccio February 23, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Thank you for adding the info Julie, I felt the need to share very important.
Ginger DeMatteo February 23, 2012 at 03:55 PM
You are correct, Michelle. Unfortunately, we found this out the hard way. Yes, my shepard got skunked. Thankfully, only on her face, she was smart enough to run away and not continue to chase the skunk. But, oh, what a long night it was!!! We had to keep her on the porch until the next day when we could get the proper supplies. FYI for those who don't know...do not put water on your pet when they are skunked. It releases and locks in the oils. Best to use a paste of baking soda, dawn dish detergent and lemon juice (or white vinegar). Works great!!
Michelle Petroccio February 23, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Ginger, early this morning, my husband let our dogs out and they were barking uncontrollably at a skunk (after daylight) ran through our yard. Thankfully, my babies did not get sprayed. Later on I had to run an errand, and the little critter was out on the main road for vulture prey. Sadly dead, and very stinky! Quite many years ago when I lived in Trumbull, I had the misfortune of my dog being sprayed in the face. It was awful. We used baking soda, lemon juice and tomato juice to get rid of the smell on her, but to add to the problem, she ran back into the house, and dove face first onto the hardwood floor in our living room, eyes burning, and buried her snout under the sofa. Needless to say, we got the smell out of the house by cleaning the floor and disposing of the sofa. My clothing was covered in the stench of it all. I jumped into my car to make it to the grocery store before it closed, and the odor remained in the car. I had to have the interior completely detailed, and my clothing dry cleaned. The clerk in the store left her register to hurry down the aisles with me to get what I needed and get me out of the store rather quickly! Comical? yes, it was, but not funny!
Ginger DeMatteo February 23, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Oh, that is comical, but not funny! Yes, our Echo got right by me before I realized she was sprayed, and ran right to my room and jumped on the bed, where she usually is welcomed. She proceeded to wipe her face all over my bedspread! Needless to say, we threw that out! It took a few days for the smell to dissipate. About 12 years ago we had a cocker spaniel who was not intimidated by anything. She got sprayed and instead of running away, continued to chase the skunk. She was sprayed over and over, so much she was soaked as if it were raining. She shook off in my kitchen...let's just say it was not pretty. Poor baby had to sleep on the porch for 2 months. Luckily, it was summer! Skunk spray is definately the worst part about owning a dog, but we wouldn't trade them for anything!!

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