Coyotes return to Rye, New York, where children were attacked last year; a Rabid Fox enters an Alabama home through a pet door; and more Rabies reports from California, Georgia, Minnesota, Montana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia (2), and West Virginia.

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

New York 05/12/11 by Nik Bonopartis – Two coyote sightings were reported to the Rye Brook Police Department over the past week. The first was reported on May 6 at 7:18 a.m., when a resident on Sleepy Hollow Road reported seeing one of the animals. A patrolman responded and checked the area, but the coyote was gone by the time he arrived, according to police. A second sighting was reported on Monday, when a caller reported spotting a coyote on Country Ridge Road. Like the earlier case, an officer searched the area, but the elusive animal was gone. The sightings are the first reported since January of this year, when Port Chester police warned of coyote sightings and fresh tracks in a one-mile stretch between Tower Hill Drive and Chestnut Street. In those cases, residents reported sightings in wooded areas and told police they’d caught the animals feeding from their garbage cans. At the time, Port Chester police issued a warning to residents, asking them to be more alert and to secure trash areas to discourage coyotes from getting close to homes and apartment buildings. In addition to the Chestnut Hill Apartments, the area includes Lyon Park. On Thursday, Port Chester police said they’d received several dog-related complaints over the past month, but Lt. James Ladeairous said there had been no coyote sightings reported in Port Chester. In Rye Brook, police confirmed some of the sightings in recent weeks may have been foxes or dogs – which can often be confused for coyotes, especially at a distance – but Lt. Eugene Matthews said some of the sightings were legitimate. The coyotes “all appear to be healthy animals,” Matthews said. That’s a concern because of one of several high-profile incidents last year, including a September case where police shot a coyote that had rabies and was feeding on one of her own pups. Police believe that animal may have been responsible for two earlier attacks on young children in the area. In addition, Rye police shot and killed a coyote in November, and authorities from several police departments have worked closely with wildlife control companies and trappers after last year’s coyote attacks caused panic in several Rye, Rye Brook and Port Chester neighborhoods.

Alabama 05/13/11 by Elsie Hodnett – Authorities have confirmed that a fox killed in Lincoln last week had rabies. “We received confirmation Wednesday that the fox killed in Lincoln the first week of May was positive for rabies,” said Dr. Larry Chasteen, St. Clair County rabies officer. Chasteen said the fox chased a dog into a residence on Eureka Road, following it through the pet door. “A fight ensued in the house between the fox and the dog, and the dog was bitten,” he said. Chasteen said the fox was killed and brought to Logan Martin Vet Clinic in Pell City, where Chasteen is a veterinarian. Samples were shipped to the state laboratory for testing.

California 05/12/11 by Tina Falco – The Calaveras County Health Department has issued recommendations to prevent rabies exposure. This action comes in response to a bat found last week in the Valley Springs area testing positive for the rabies virus. Additional information about rabies is available at

Georgia 05/12/11 The McDuffie County Health Department has received confirmation of a rabid raccoon found in McDuffie County.  A Marshall Church Road resident killed the raccoon on his property May 4 when the animal tried to attack his dog. The McDuffie County Health Department submitted the raccoon to the Georgia Public Health Lab for rabies testing. Positive rabies notification was received on May 6.

Minnesota 05/13/11 Mankato police are asking for the public’s help in finding a dog that might have bit a toddler in Sibley Park Thursday around 6:30 p.m. The dog knocked over a two-and-a-half-year-old child, who received facial and dental injuries. It’s not clear if the injuries were sustained because of falling or a dog bite. The dog, which looks like a black lab, and its owner, described as a white male in his mid to late 20s with dark hair and no facial hair, left the scene as a parent tended to the child. The child was examined at the hospital and has begun preventative treatment for rabies. Anyone with information about the dog or its owner or any witnesses are asked to call the Mankato police impound office at 507-387-8590.

Montana 05/14/11 The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is looking for information on a dog that bit a woman’s leg on the Drinking Horse Trail on Fish Hatchery Road north of Bozeman Thursday. The dog, a large Malamute, St. Bernard, German Shepherd mix was accompanying two unknown people around 3 p.m. on the trail. Gallatin County Animal Control Officer Pat Hess said she needs to verify the dog’s rabies vaccinations. She will not pursue other charges, she added in a written statement Friday. Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call Hess at 582-2116.

Pennsylvania 05/14/11 by Megan J. Miller – Beaver County’s second confirmed case of rabies for 2011 was recorded in April when a rabid dog bit its owner in a New Sewickley Township residence, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services. The dog was euthanized, and the owner was treated with post-exposure rabies vaccinations. The county averaged 4.4 confirmed rabies cases per year in the five years from 2006-2010, according to state health department statistics. That’s notably higher than Lawrence County’s 1.8-case per year average, but lower than Butler County’s 8.8-case average, and much lower than Allegheny County’s-20.6 case average. Some of the difference can be attributed to the availability of animal habitat and to the size of the counties’ populations — where there are more people, there’s a greater chance that someone will encounter an animal with rabies. But state officials say Beaver and Lawrence counties’ low numbers are due in large part to a decade-long war the federal government has waged against the westward spread of rabies into Ohio. In that war, Pennsylvania’s westernmost counties are on the front lines. Each year, around September, an airplane flies back and forth over a narrow band of western Pennsylvania, dropping doses of (oral) rabies vaccine over wooded areas and other raccoon habitat. (For complete article go to )

Rhode Island 05/13/11 A stray cat that bit two Providence city workers has tested positive for rabies — and it may not be alone.  State health officials said Friday that the rabid feline is part of a Providence cat colony whose numbers may run as high as 40 strays. They say it’s unclear whether the rest of the colony has rabies, but that they are treating the rest of the animals as potentially infected. A sanitation worker was bitten Wednesday by the cat. It also bit the animal control officer who arrived on the scene to capture the stray.Both are receiving treatment for rabies exposure.

Virginia 05/13/11 A health official in Suffolk says a fox that bit two children was rabid. Western Tidewater Health District environmental health manager Jay Duell says the fox tested positive for rabies. The fox was killed by a dog a day after biting the children last weekend. Duell tells media outlets that the 7-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy are undergoing rabies treatments, while the dog is under quarantine and had already received rabies shots.

Virginia 05/12/11 by Lisa K. Brown – Animal Control officers responded to a home in the 4000 block of Braxton Road in Chantilly on Monday, May 2 for a report of three dogs that attacked and killed a skunk on Saturday, April 30. The skunk was sent to the health department and returned positive for rabies. The three dogs, a chow/terrier mix, a Sheltie mix and a Bernese Mountain Dog, were given booster shots and quarantined for 45 days.

West Virginia 05/12/11 Morgantown – A raccoon that was collected by the Monongalia County Health Department on May 11, in the Cheat Lake area, has tested positive for rabies, health officials announced Thursday. The raccoon was found in the Rockley Road/Horton Lane area and attacked two dogs, officials said. The raccoon was killed and sent off for testing. While the dogs were exposed to the disease, there is no confirmation that any humans were exposed. Health officials are asking anyone who may have been exposed or who has pets that may have been exposed, to call the health department at 304-598-5131. In April, a raccoon in Preston County also tested positive for rabies


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