British Columbia 05/22/11 ctv.ca: Residents of a small community in British Columbia have a mysterious killer in their midst and are taking steps to protect their pets, farm animals and small children. An animal thought to be part timber wolf has been stalking Bowen Island, just off the coast of Vancouver, for about six months — preying mainly on dogs and cats. “Anyone who has family, has pets, and anyone who has seen it, seen the way it looks at you, knows that it’s dangerous to have around,” said island resident Stacey Powers. Her husband John recently caught the animal on video, and saw it snatch a gosling out of a nearby pond. The animal has “shown no fear of coming up close to the house,” he said, “and obviously you don’t want to have a concern that he’s there and all of a sudden the kids are in his range.” The family is keeping its pets indoors and young children nearby. A local veterinarian believes it is part dog, part wolf and that it may have been abandoned after being brought to the island. “They are a mixed-up species. They are part domestic with the instincts of a wolf,” said Dr. Alastair Wescott. “They don’t react normally and so people can’t manage them, and so dumping them is a common thing to do.” It is thought to be a young male weighing about 90 pounds. Missing pet signs are posted all over the island. The animal has killed at least three dogs, more than a dozen cats and two sheep. Many deer carcasses have also been found. The municipality has set up a hotline, bought a tranquilizer gun, and enlisted both Westcott and a professional trapper to find the animal. Once caught, it is expected to be euthanized. Rescue organizations have been contacted, but the animal’s behaviour has been so vicious they say there’s no chance of rehabilitation.
National05/19/11 umaine.edu: by Anne Lichtenwalner, DVM PhD, Universityof Maine Animal Health Laboratory – Now that a human case of hantavirus respiratory syndrome has been diagnosed in Maine, it’s a good idea to review how to minimize any risk to humans due to this disease. It simply boils down to keeping rodents out of your house, barn or camp. If you are going into a camp or other building (shed, garage, etc.) that may have rodents living in or around it, wear a mask. Open the door and let it air out for 30 minutes before you go in. Then, spray things down with a dilute bleach solution, then mop or sponge all surfaces to remove the solution. Avoid breathing the dust: don’t sweep or vacuum! This is what can carry hantavirus into your respiratory system, which is associated with the dangerous form of hantavirus in humans. See the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zoonotic – Hantavirus (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome)for details about cleaning areas where you think mice have been. If you think there are rodents in your home, you can use traps, bait or other methods to reduce them (a highly motivated cat works very well, too!). Usually you will know — by a musty smell, the small dark pellet-like droppings or characteristic gnaw-marks in food packaging/walls — that rodents are resident in your home or barn. You’ll almost never see them — if you do, the problem is likely greater than you would think. (For complete article go to http://umaine.edu/veterinarylab/2011/05/19/hantavirus-reducing-the-risk/ )
Utah 05/21/11 barrelhorseworld.com: by Mark Thompson – Hantavirus caused the death of cutting trainer and ranch cowboy Kenny Paul, 35, Estancia, N.M., May 7 in Ogden, Utah, five days after he guided a horse to a tie for third place in the Western Nationals’ Open division. Family members and Paul’s employer and business partner, Cyle Sharp, confirmed the results of an autopsy done by the Utah Department of Health. Payton Paul, 10, daughter of the late Kenny Paul and his wife, Shauna, also lost a horse that she competed with at the Western Nationals due to the EHV-1 virus. “We buried her daddy Saturday [May 7] and then we buried her show horse Monday night [May 9],” Sharp said. “Payton will continue to cut. We’ll figure something out.” A primary reason in publicly releasing Kenny Paul’s cause of death, Sharp said, was so that everyone knows it was not related to the equine herpesvirus. The virus also known as EHV-1 cannot be transmitted from horses to humans, health officials stated. Several horses that competed at the Western Nationals were diagnosed with the EHV-1 virus.
California 05/21/11 times-standard.com: by Jessica Cejnar – Feral unvaccinated cats may be behind a rabies infection that sent a Willow Creek resident to the hospital two weeks ago, according to local health officials. But health officials also say that they may never know how exactly the victim contracted the disease. The victim is currently in stable condition at UC Davis Medical Center and is improving, according to the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services. The patient’s family and medical personnel who came into contact with her are being vaccinated against the disease. Officials also vaccinated two other individuals who were at risk from animal bites. Even though feral cats may be the primary source of the disease, county health officer Ann Lindsay said officials are investigating other wild and domestic animals for signs of rabies as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the case was a rabies infection on May 6. It is thought to be the first-ever confirmed case of human rabies in Humboldt County, according to health officials. Bats and gray foxes are the usual carriers of rabies in Humboldt County, said Dave Lancaster, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game. According to county public health, which tests animals for rabies, about five gray foxes and one bat tested positive for rabies last year in Humboldt County. In 2009 more than 35 gray foxes in the county tested positive for rabies. Almost 40 skunks also tested positive for rabies in 2009. (For complete article go to http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_18111085 )
Arizona 05/20/11 azfamily.com: by Carina Sonn – Coyote attacks in the west Valley have spiked, sending at least six dogs to the vet in the last 10 days. Sun City West Animal Hospital says they have seen everything from puncture wounds to life-threatening injuries. Arizona Game and Fish says the spring is coyote season, when the animals look for food in the cool morning hours for themselves and their new pups but they admit, the numbers are unusually high. Ardy Geyer’s poodle mix, Lacy, was attacked by two coyotes early Thursday morning after she let the dog out. Geyer, who lives near 128th Avenue and Beardsley says she left Lacy for just a minute before she heard two coyotes, who had jumped over her four-foot fence to attack the dog. “I just heard her cry and yelp and thought ‘Oh my God.’ It was quiet, you wouldn’t know [the coyotes] were there. It was almost eerie.” Lacy suffered a large puncture wound, and hernia but she will survive. Beth Barnard’s dog was also attacked in the early morning hours. Louis, also a poodle mix, was bitten by a single coyote Tuesday morning at her home in Sun City. “I walked back into the house and heard him fighting like I’ve never heard him fighting before.” Barnard says her dog fought the coyote back, which she says was about three feet tall and full grown. Louis suffered two puncture wounds. Arizona Game and Fish says pet owners should try and keep their dogs on a leash when they’re outside. If you see a coyote, make yourself as big as you can, make a lot of noise and scare it away so the animal knows it’s not welcome. The department adds that homeowners should never feed the coyotes or leave trash out. If your pet is ever bitten by a coyote, Veterinarian Joshua Winston advises you bring it in to get checked out and worries that even if the bite doesn’t look bad there could be underlying issues like infection.
California 05/19/11 tahoedailytribune.com: El Dorado County Animal Services is searching for the owner of a dog that bit a 32-year-old South Lake Tahoe man as he was attempting to come to the dog’s aid about 8:45 a.m. May 11. The biting dog is described as a very large Mastiff-type dog with mostly white fur and gray patches, wearing a green collar with tags. The dog was running loose on Tahoe Keys Boulevard near Texas Avenue in South Lake Tahoe when the man stopped his car to see if he could help the dog. As the man reached down to look at the dog’s collar and tags, the dog bit the man and then ran away. The dog’s owner did not appear to be anywhere in sight. Animal Services would like to speak to the owner of the dog to verify that the dog is current on its rabies vaccinations so that the man does not have to go through post-exposure rabies treatments. Since the bite occurred, Animal Services has been canvassing the area, knocking on doors, speaking to neighbors, and following up on leads, but has thus far been unable to locate the dog. Anyone with information is asked to contact Animal Services at 530-573-7925.
Colorado 05/21/11 aspentimes.com: by Andre Salvail – A coyote reportedly attacked a woman’s Labradoodle on the Smuggler Mountain Trail near Aspen sometime Friday morning, then dragged it to an area where other coyotes ate the pet in front of its owner. The woman, whose name was not released, was not physically harmed in the incident, which was confirmed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The unleashed dog was walking ahead of her when the attack occurred, said DOW Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will. “It’s just a real unfortunate situation,” Will said. “You have to feel for the pet owner. Wild critters are unpredictable and despite any precautions someone might take, these types of incidents can still occur.” He said calls to his Glenwood Springs office involving nuisance coyotes in the Roaring Fork Valley have increased in recent years, but are still relatively few. In fact, his office is fielding many more calls this spring involving problems with bears, including an incident earlier this week in a west Aspen home near Red Butte Drive, in which a bear broke down a door in its quest for food. The bear was captured and put down because it was a repeat offender, Will said. It was the first time this year a local bear has had to be euthanized, he said. As for the Smuggler Mountain coyote issue, Will said his staff and field officers will evaluate the incident before deciding whether any action should be taken. “It was probably an isolated incident,” he said. (For complete article go to http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20110521/NEWS/110529962/1077&ParentProfile=1058 )
Connecticut 05/20/11 acorn-online.com: by Macklin Reid – Three pet dogs are under state-mandated quarantine after a dead raccoon they’d been sniffing was found to have rabies. “The state tested it. It came back positive,” said Animal Control Officer David Coles. “All three dogs were put on 45-day quarantines — that’s a state requirement,” Officer Coles said. The raccoon is the first animal found in Ridgefield to test positive for rabies since 2008, when there were three — two raccoons and a bat. Last year there were 112 cases of rabies confirmed in animals across Connecticut.
Florida 05/19/11 suwanneedemocrat.com: by Jeff Waters – The rabies alert that went into effect on April 4 after a rabid raccoon was found in western Suwannee County has been extended after another rabid raccoon was found Tuesday within the same area, health department officials say. The alert issued April 4 would have ended after 60 days if another incident wasn’t discovered. However, the Suwannee County Health Department confirmed through laboratory testing on May 17 that another rabid raccoon was discovered in the area of 76th Street and 185th Road. “Therefore the alert will be extended until” July 16, SCHD Administrator Pam Blackmon said in a press release. “Again, all citizens are asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this county.” Residents in the area of 76th Street (Mitchell Road) and 185th Road (Falmouth Road) are advised to avoid contact with free roaming domestic or any wild animals and not to leave pet food outside and secure outside garbage in covered containers to avoid attracting wild animals. Also, contact your veterinarian to make sure your pets have current rabies vaccination and don’t feed any stray or wild animals. Local law enforcement has been advised by the health department to assist in the enforcement of making sure all dogs, cats and captive wild animals are confined to the owner’s premises.
Georgia 05/20/11 patch.com: by Jessie Gable – Health officials confirm that a raccoon that recently attacked a dog in Ball Ground has rabies. On May 3, the raccoon attacked a dog on Hightower Trail in Ball Ground, according to a release from the health department. There was no human contact and the dog was up-to-date on its shots. Only a 45-day home quarantine was required.
New Jersey 05/20/11northjersey.com: by Maxim Almenas – Edgewater health officials recently found four raccoons that tested positive for rabies. The finding comes just months after a Shadyside resident was attacked at the doorstep of his apartment last December. The recent rabid raccoon confirmations were made in several areas throughout the Borough including the Edgewater Ferry Terminal. For further information, go to bergenhealth.org or 201-634-2600.
New York 05/20/11 pressrepublican.com: by Joe LoTemplio – A rabid fox has been found in Keeseville, spurring officials to warn residents to take precautions. “Essex County Public Health Department reminds all residents to avoid contact with stray or wild animals and cats and dogs that are unknown to you,” a news release said. The fox was found on Dugway Road, and tests confirmed that it was rabid. It is the first confirmed case of rabies in a wild animal in Essex County this year. For more information call the Health Department at 873-3500.
New York 05/19/11 uticaod.com: A Mohawk man is undergoing rabies treatment protocol after being bitten by a bat, Herkimer County health officials said. The man put his hand under a pillow in some loose bedding when he felt the pain of a bite and then found a bat in the pillow, officials said. He washed the wound with soap and water and then sought medical attention. He carefully double-bagged the bat, and it was sent to the New York State Wadsworth Laboratory, where rabies was confirmed on May 16, officials said.
North Carolina 05/20/11 thetimesnews.com: The Alamance County Health Department said Friday that the state has confirmed a fifth case of rabies for 2011. This is the second case reported within the past week. According to a Health Department press release, a 3-year-old basset hound attacked a skunk that had entered a fenced enclosure Tuesday evening in the 1700 block of Whitney Burche Trail in the Pleasant Grove community. The dog’s owner shot and killed the skunk during the confrontation. The dog’s owner took the skunk to Alamance County Animal Control on Wednesday where it was subsequently sent off to the state laboratory for testing. The Health Department and Animal Control were notified Thursday evening that the skunk tested positive for rabies.
Pennsylvania 05/18/11 wtae.com: The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed that a cat in Lawrence County has tested positive for rabies. The Health Department said the cat was found on Sunset Valley Road in Neshannock Township on May 12. Anyone who thinks they may have been bitten or exposed to saliva, fluids or tissue from the cat should call the Lawrence County State Health Center at 724-656-3088.
Rhode Island 05/19/11 turnto10.com: by Kate Davis – (T)here have been several reports of foxes infected with rabies. Some have approached people’s homes, and even attacked their pets. “There were several incidents involving people. One in particular, an elderly man let his small dog outside, heard scratching at the door expecting the dog to come into the house and it was actually the fox with the dog in its mouth,” said Dr. Scott Marshall, Rhode Island state veterinarian. Marshall said that wasn’t the only incident. A fox that attacked a dog in Westerly was killed by a homeowner. The animal later tested positive for rabies.